The Multiplier Effect

So often in current debates about public spending, particularly in Health, we hear that budgets must be slashed in the aftermath of recession and in the era of austerity. Whilst undoubtedly there is waste that needs reduced, we must see through this false economy that is presented. Increasing investment in key areas of the NHS can pay huge dividends, from more workers putting their hard-earned salaries directly back into the economy to the general population being much more healthy and productive.
Jobs such as nurses and porters, essential to the smooth-running of health care, are relatively low paid, so the vast majority of these wages are spent on essentials and pumped back into the GDP figures. More people in employment reduces the numbers drawing Job Seekers’ Allowances from the state and also improves individual well-being, multiplying the benefits.
Health care is especially beneficial because, whether assisting someone out of debilitating, clinical depression or providing physio after a broken leg, promptly removing the chronic pain of a rotten tooth or defeating cancer in a twenty-something, people are being enabled to lead more productive, fruitful and successful lives. Improving national well-being should be at the centre of what government is about, not an incidental expenditure that can be left to the vagaries of markets. Next time you hear a politician bemoaning the billions spent on this budget, remember the benefits a healthier population can deliver.