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The £200m Tory Bribe to Rural England - heck if this works lets have more of it. It won't

Tom Winnifrith
Saturday 29 July 2017

The useless Tory Government has today announced it is to spend £200 million on a new package of measures to help rural England. Natch a good chunk of that is going on improving broadband speeds but the overall measures will, it is promised , create 6,000 jobs.

I am delighted that with a deficit of more than £50 billion and the largest national debt in Europe, the Tories have found yet another money tree allowing them to spend vast amounts in Tory marginals, oops I meant deprived parts of the countryside.

I do not for a second believe that the programme will create 6,000 jobs but I shall humour the hopeless Tories and say that it might. In which case the cost per job created is c£33,000 a pop. Hang on, I thought Tories wanted to cut the deficit. Surely creating jobs at £33,000 a pop when the alternative is paying the 6,000 dole and benefits ( say £12,000) is madness.

Laughably, those in the political bubble describe such programmes as "investment." We wicked capitalist wealth creators always look at investments in terms of the return we might get. So in this case the taxpayer will shell out £200 million and will save 6,000 times 215,000 (dole) and receive tax on those getting new incomes of £7,392.80 times 6,000. In other words the return to HMG in terms of savings and income is £116,356 million. So that is a return on capital of MINUS 42%.

But that assumes that the programme does create 6,000 jobs.How many of these jobs will stay when funding runs out? What the Tories once accepted was that it was the private sector, we wicked capitalists, that created jobs and that, as Ronald Reagan noted, the most frightening words in the English language are "I'm from the Government and I'm here to help."

The Government website explains how the money tree cash will be spent

£30m to improve rural broadband – the grants available will encourage growth by helping provide broadband services at speeds of 30Mbps or faster where this is not available or planned. It will supplement existing Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport investment in rural broadband.

£45m to help rural businesses grow and invest in new equipment – rural businesses, including those engaged in tourism and food production, can apply for funding to invest in their company, helping them to expand, diversify, and invest in new technology.

£120m for projects that improve farm productivity – this money will help farmers, foresters and landowners manage their land more effectively. Funding will be available for a wide range of purposes, including woodland management equipment, creating on-farm reservoirs and using water more efficiently.

Hmmmm

Ok so new equipment for cutting down trees and creating duck ponds. I can see how that will go down well with large landowners but how many £33,000 jobs do you see that creating?

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About Tom Winnifrith
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Tom Winnifrith is the editor of TomWinnifrith.com. When he is not harvesting olives in Greece, he is (planning to) raise goats in Wales.
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