Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Class Dunce Gives Another Lecture

Collapsing NHS productivity

This morning another government quango gives another lecture on how businesses can boost their productivity. According to our old friends at the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE):

"Employees who smoke must be given time to attend clinics to help them to quit during working hours without loss of pay.

NICE claims that the proposal will cut the £5 billion annual cost of lost productivity, absenteeism and fire damage caused by smoking. It believes that a business with five smokers could spend just £66 on providing advice, including the cost of lost employees’ time, and see an overall saving of around £350 in improved productivity."

Either they've got the most extraordinary sauce, or they - a bunch of unaccountable tax-funded quangocrats - genuinely believe they are in a position to offer useful advice on boosting profits to businesses whose very essence is making money. Could anyone be that stupid?

As we've blogged many times, the government's own record on productivity is abysmal. The Office for National Statistics, attempting to calibrate just how abysmal, has come up with the following headlines (see this blog):

  • NHS- productivity falling by 1.6% pa since Labour came to power and ramped up spending (see here- including chart above)
  • Education- productivity falling by 1% pa since Labour came to power and ramped up spending (see here)
  • Adult social care- productivity falling by 1% pa since Labour came to power and ramped up spending (see here)

When we last blogged it, we calculated that falling productivity in just those three areas is costing us over £2bn pa- cumulative. Over ten years that's £20bn plus. Or 6p on today's standard rate of income tax.

Yet despite that atrocious record in its own business, Big Government thinks it's quite OK to lecture the successful wealth generating bits of Britain on how to make money. And quite OK to spend billions more on rubbish programmes like Regional Development Agencies, R&D credits, and pointless philosophical speculations, supposedly to raise productivity, but actually just imposing an even higher tax burden on successful businesses.

We used to make dunces stand at the back with that cap on.

Today we put them in charge, let them spend 43% of our income, and lecture us on how to live our lives.

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