As I’ve been saying for some time now

Bureaucracy is one of the reasons for slow growth:

Britain’s £16bn plans for its first nuclear plant in a generation could be delayed or derailed by an EU investigation into possible illegal state support, which is likely to be launched within days.

European Commission officials are expected to publish a strongly-worded list of potential breaches of state aid laws in the funding arrangements for the Hinkley Point project, in an initial decision as early as Wednesday.

Under a deal struck by the Government with French energy giant EDF in October, UK energy bill-payers would be committed to paying billions of pounds in subsidies for the plant in Somerset for 35 years.

The EC could reject or approve the deal outright but is expected instead to launch an investigation that could take until summer 2015, derailing EDF’s plans to take a final investment decision in July 2014.

Now, whether it is state aid or not is a matter for the rules. Which is fine: I’m not arguing that there should be no rules on such things. But what in buggery is going to make it take 18 months to work it out? Somewhere in Brussels there is a little book, within which is the definition of state aid. We need one person to read the book and then read the deal and then decide whether the deal is legal or not.

This should take even a bureaucrat perhaps one long weekend. So what the fuck are they going to be doing for the other 545 days? Polishing their knobs or their expense accounts?

Hang the lot of them say I….

10 thoughts on “As I’ve been saying for some time now”

  1. You’ve missed the point that, for many on the Left, the fact that bureaucracy slows or even stops growth is a feature, not a bug. They want tractor production to be lower this year than last.

    They have swallowed the nonsense about the ‘limits to growth’, and CAGW is a heaven-sent opportunity to them to protest anything and everything which will improve the lives of millions around the world.

    Of course they are generally already comfortably off themselves. I don’t claim to understand it, but I suppose that is because I am not rich enough to be a socialist.

  2. Agree in principle, but I think I know what the problem causing the delay is. The definition is not in a little book. It’s in dozens of treaties, thousands of directives, and hundreds of court judgments.

  3. UK energy bill-payers would be committed to paying billions of pounds in subsidies for the plant in Somerset for 35 years.

    How is that a subsidy? Surely the UK energy bill payers are paying for it directly, much the same as they do with any service they are billed for?

  4. Hinckley is £16bn.
    A slightly larger Chinese equivalent, also being built by European contractors costs £4.5bn.

    Moreover the Chinese one will take app 3 years and ours 10, which, due to the missing 7 years before there is a return nearly doubles investor cost again.

    ALL of the difference is government parasitism.
    90%, arguably as much as 98% of each electricity bill is state parasitism.

    Being true this has, by definition, been admitted by every MP who is not a corrupt thieving totalitarian fascist parasite. That the number who aren’t is zero does not affect the philosophical truth of that.

    How one then defines those who make the opposite claim – that the engineering is “subsidised”, I cannot imagine, but certainly there are no circumstances under which any such person could be assumed to be telling the truth on anything else.

  5. I think you are all missing the point. In private industry there are massive incentives for taking risks and getting things done quickly.

    When it comes to the state things are exactly the opposite, the only people who are empowered to make decisions get caned when they get things wrong. So why would anyone make a quick risky decision on their own iniative, when they could bury it in paper and get 2000 people involved ?

    Sadly it’s actually the rational thing to do !


  6. Neil and Alex both make good points. But they can’t both be right.

    I blame the greens and a regime which classifies a banana level of radioactivity as nuclear waste.

  7. Bird mincers are far more heavily subsidises than this nuclear power station will be. So is there not double standards being exercised here or am I missing something.

  8. “ALL of the difference is government parasitism.
    90%, arguably as much as 98% of each electricity bill is state parasitism.” … I imagine it is far less than that, probably not even half, though perhaps as much as a third. Except for nuclear, where the engineers could probably bring it in for about a fifth of the prices being quotes. But not at 10% or 2%, Craig, you exagerate, Sir.

  9. Tim, you miss the point. State Aid is a legal issue so that means that LAWYERS will be involved. Not just the in house ones at DG Comp (I think) but external lawyers will be asked to advise.

    Most Lawyers charge by the hour and they just love those big institutional clients with deep pockets and the EU is one of the best because they don’t care about the cost.

    So think about this from an incentives point of view. I get paid by the hour, I have a client with deep pockets, the longer it takes the more money I make.

    What do you think is going to be the outcome.

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