OMG will Johnson last another 10 years?

interesting comment yesterday by guy from IFS regarding social funding and NHS.
He said that Brits want a social model mirroring other western European countries funded by a low taxation regime as per America, but it is a circle that can’t be squared.

He suggested until that is worked through and agreement reached then either persistent under under funding would continue or expectations would exceed reality.

I agree that is what is at the heart of most of the problems of public sector finance…I saw it only too clearly when I worked in the financial area of England’s largest County Council.
People want high quality public services but object to paying taxes to fund them.

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I’ve never seen any convincing evidence for this popular myth. What does change for many people over their lifetimes is asset ownership - which I do believe is a key determinant of political activity, including sometimes voting. The problem for the right in the UK now is that they have made it increasingly difficult for people to acquire the most significant personal asset - their own house (or at least to pay off their mortgages). People that are still paying high rents in their 60s+ tend to remain on the left. (As, incidentally, do those university-educated, for obvious reasons - and they’ve also increased in numbers.)

This is the story told in the mainstream media and simplistic ‘opinion’ surveys - but it’s a false opposition. Higher levels of public services do not necessarily imply higher taxes, and higher tax-takes overall do not necessarily imply higher taxes for most people.

Remember the idea that taxes ‘pay for’ public services is not actually true. Governments with their own currency can simply create any amount of funding they like for public services. This MAY result in inflation - IF the public services don’t increase productivity sufficiently (a complicated sum - for example better health services, especially prevention, could well have big impacts on productivity, as could better transport systems, etc, etc) - but then it’s much more effective to tax the rich than the poor to remove surplus spending - as well as obviously fairer.

A personal anecdote: when we moved to France everybody warned us we would pay more tax, and we did, a bit - but we were still actually better off (principally because our family allowance (allocations familiales) more than tripled. People responding to surveys etc in the UK just think ‘if I pay more tax I’ll be worse off’ - but in fact when the value of better public provision is taken into account most might well be better off (as indeed most people are in Europe’s most socialist countries like Denmark , Norway and Sweden).

Problem is, it’s not possible to get these messages across in the UK mainstream media (another reason, perhaps, the young are more radical - they use different information sources).

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I wonder if a part of that is that when you have ‘nothing’ it is easy to give away notional rights to the things that you don’t have (especially if they belong to others) but when you have worked hard and managed to build in a little security the radical approach looks decreasingly attractive, more so if you no longer have the strength and drive of youth to re-build it again. It makes me wonder if the change from energetic youth to less energetic middle age & older may be as big a driver as the actual acquisition of wealth.

How many of us would be OK going back to a bedsit while scrabbling around for money just to cover living expenses? IF there is a shift to the right with age, it’s most likely the effect of experience and circumstances rather than simply greed.