Letter: Britain's squandered wealth

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The Independent Online
Since 1979, the Government has raised, in cash terms, almost pounds 70bn from privatisation, and approximately pounds 80bn from taxation of North Sea oil.

As a rough estimate this is equivalent to pounds 220bn at today's prices. This is about pounds 1bn for every month the Conservatives have been in power, up to their 18th anniversary in May 1997.

This revenue is a bonus on top of traditional sources such as Value Added Tax, income and corporation tax, National Insurance contributions and excise duties. No other government, of any party, has ever had access to and spent such proceeds in British history. Surely such a massive bonus should have been invested for the long-term, thereby helping the United Kingdom climb to new levels of prosperity, rather than falling from 13th to 18th place in recent OECD rankings?

As the UK still lags behind after such an enormous bonus, surely this question must be asked: what has all the money been spent on?

Bob Harrison

Blackpool, Lancashire