The NHS crisis
The NHS has worked well over the decades, supposedly the envy of the world. So what has changed over the last 70-odd years? Simply: funding.
What you need to know:
- Modern Money Theory (MMT) recognises that taxes do not fund spending.
Re-read that to understand the consequences
- MMT recognises that you do not have to “find the money”, because there is no black hole or debt.
- The government is not like a household and does not need to budget like one.
- The Government can fund the NHS (and any other public service) simply if it wants to.
Yes, it really is that simple. It is a political decision, not a financial one.
- The Government can do this because it issues currency, rather than uses money.
- When the Government spends, it doesn’t have to “find” the money,
though it might have to find the votes in Parliament to spend it.
Why would Government tell us otherwise?
- As is said in the 1976 docudrama film All the President’s Men, “Follow the money”.
- Some people put money and profits before people and health.
Note to MMT purists
I know that MMT is only a description of the economy, and does not prescribe any policies. However, MMT has described a “full employment guarantee” as a core policy, and suggests public spending that makes most efficient use of available resources, such as that described here.
- Gavin Barker, “How to Fund the NHS and Public Services“, Citizen Network, 25 May 2018
- Prof. William Mitchell, “The British NHS debate – TINA but only if you believe in nonsense” (TINA – There Is No Alternative), May 28, 2018
- “The Market” is no solution for the NHS – or for any public service“, The Gower Initiative for Modern Money Studies, 14th February 2021
- Jaideep J Pandit, “Modern monetary theory for the post-pandemic NHS: why budget deficits do not matter“, British Journal of Healthcare Management, Vol. 28, No. 1, Publ. 6 Jan 2022. Read below:
- The NHS crisis – decades in the making @ BBC News, 8 Jan 2023