Friday, 25 April 2014

It's not about the money

For too long, the Left has peddled the dogmatic assumption that there is a hydraulic relationship between the amount of money that goes into public services and outcomes.

In fairness, occasionally, some brave analysis on the Left has challenged this assertion. For example, in The Spirit Level,  by Wilkinson and Pickett - the tome currently treated as a Bible by Ed Miliband's team - it is pointedly noted that there is no relationship between health spending and life expectancy (in part because prevention is both more effective and cheaper than cure).

One area where the coalition has convincingly rebutted the myth is crime. Despite significant cuts to local police budgets necessitated by the parlous state of the public finances, the latest recorded crime figures show a 16% fall. Before you point to question marks over how police record crime, the alternative crime survey figures (based on household surveys) show an even greater fall of 21%, including a 22% fall in violent offences.

In Surrey, the figures are particularly interesting. Despite police budget cuts of 7% since 2010/11, through efficiencies, the force has actually increased officer numbers - by 56 - and recorded crime is down by 21%.


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