Unusual powers of clairvoyance
Government ministers have bowed to pressure and published a report by Public Health England (PHE) calling for a tax of up to 20 per cent on sugary drinks and foods, wrote Volterra’s Paul Ormerod.
[Why a sugar tax would be a big fat failure: People are too smart for central planners, Paul Ormerod, Opinion, City A.M., 28 October 2015]
If the tax reduced sugar intake in line with the recommendations, it is claimed that more than 77,000 deaths could be prevented in the next 25 years. PHE must be gifted with unusual powers of clairvoyance to be able to see the future with such precise accuracy. Better get the staff transferred to the Treasury or the Bank of England pronto, so they can predict the next economic crisis!
Volterra’s remarkable forecasting abilities have been recognised with the appointment of Bridget Rosewell as a ‘National Infrastructure Commissioner’.
[Infrastructure at heart of Spending Review as Chancellor launches National Infrastructure Commission, gov.uk]
From: HM Treasury and The Rt Hon George Osborne MP
First published: 30 October 2015
George Osborne commits to £100 billion in infrastructure spending by 2020
Chancellor George Osborne will today insist better infrastructure is vital to improve the lives of British people as he commits to £100 billion of spending in this Parliament for new roads, rail, flood defences and other vital projects.
Launching the new National Infrastructure Commission, led by former Cabinet minister Lord Adonis, the Chancellor will set out plans to ‘get Britain building’, saying that infrastructure will be at the heart of next month’s Spending Review.
In his statement, he will pledge £100 billion in infrastructure spending by 2020 – including full funding for the £15 billion Roads Investment Strategy.
A suite of asset sales which the Treasury expects to raise billions of pounds is being identified to be ploughed back into infrastructure projects, with more details to be announced at the Spending Review.
Speaking at the National Railway Museum in York alongside Lord Adonis, the Chancellor will also confirm the hugely experienced group who will make up the independent National Infrastructure Commission – the new independent body that has been set up to determine Britain’s infrastructure priorities and hold governments to account for their delivery.
The commissioners are:
Lord Heseltine – the former deputy prime minister who has long championed the regeneration of Britain’s inner cities through infrastructure investment
Sir John Armitt – the former chair of the Olympic Delivery Authority, and next year’s President of the Institute of Civil Engineers
Professor Tim Besley – a former member of the Bank of England’s Monetary Policy Committee and the LSE’s Growth Commission, which recommended an independent infrastructure body
Demis Hassabis – artificial intelligence researcher, neuroscientist and head of DeepMind Technologies
Sadie Morgan – a founding director of dRMM Architects and Design Panel Chair of HS2
Bridget Rosewell – a senior adviser at Volterra and former Chief Economist and Chief Economic Adviser to the Greater London Authority
Sir Paul Ruddock – chairman of the Victoria & Albert Museum and the University of Oxford Endowment
The commission will produce a report at the start of each five-year Parliament, offering recommendations for priority infrastructure projects.
Its initial focus will be in three key areas. These are:
* northern connectivity, particularly identifying priorities for future investment in the North’s strategic transport infrastructure to improve connectivity between cities, especially east-west across the Pennines
* London’s transport system, particularly reviewing strategic options and identifying priorities for future investment in large scale transport improvements – on road, rail and underground – including Crossrail 2
* energy, particularly exploring how the UK can better balance supply and demand, aiming for an energy market where prices are reflective of costs to the overall system