Interesting Number


The European Central Bank found that if public spending were as efficient as that of the US, or Japan, the Government could spend 16 per cent less, while still producing the same level of public services.

The ECB isn\’t known as one of those anti-statist organisations now so this isn\’t a railing against the level of spending at all, just its efficiency. 16% is something like £ 80 billion. That\’s the entire VAT take, or the entire National Insurance take. All that money collected, all that deadweight cost to the economy, simply because the people who rule us are inefficient at what they do.

We could, for example, abolish both fuel duty and corporation tax if only they were in fact competent. Not perfectly competent even, just as much so as the Americans (not, to be honest, a very high standard being demanded either).

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