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Friday, 14 November 2008

Redwood's blog for the Tory take on devaluation

It's just as well John Redwood pens a blog. Without it, I'm not sure what the official Tory line on the economic crisis and the pound's devaluation is. Am I supposed to shrug and support the idea that in free markets currencies should be left to find their own levels, look for a ray of sunshine in the benefits to exporters (except those whose feedstock or raw materials are imported and priced in dollars), or excoriate Brown for yet another devastating miscalculation. Thankfully, it appears the latter is the correct choice.

But whilst the weak pound helps Gordon's countrymen sell their whisky to foreigners, it's also going to make the 50% of food we import more expensive and rob us of much of the benefit of the fall in the oil price.

And now is also the time for a freeze on recruitment to the entire public sector, with the exception of the fighting forces, the emergency services and the prison service. Churn is traditionally lower than in the private sector, but even if it's in the range of 5% - 10% annually this could pay big dividends. Education and health have been so over-funded for the past few years that they can take a couple of years of shrinkage, and the redeployment of public sector workers across the sector to fill important public service gaps would tighten things up nicely. There's no reason why a Smoking Cessation Advisor can't draw a broom and barrow from the municipal stores and get on with cleaning the streets.

C'mon George. Time to get out of first gear.


Anonymous said...

"Education and health have been so over-funded for the past few years that they can take a couple of years of shrinkage"

Indeed, that is correct.

But the over-funding has gone into Admin and Management, whereas the shrinkage would (will?) come from front-line activities.

Pournelle's Iron Law always applies.

Scrobs said...

I've never understood why huge salaries for public servants are justified by whiney statements such as 'He - or she - is being paid the same as an equivalent position in the private sector'.

The reason why they wouldn't is because they wouldn't last five minutes in a proper job.