Anorak

Anorak | Lord save us from newspaper fools: on the Thames Estuary airport and Severn Barrage

Lord save us from newspaper fools: on the Thames Estuary airport and Severn Barrage

by | 20th, August 2012

LORD save us form the newspaper fools. Especially the fools who write the editorials. Here’s the Daily Telegraph shouting that we must have lots more infrastructure spending:

It is little wonder that bold, longer term projects such as a Thames Estuary airport and a Severn barrage for power generation are struggling to be taken seriously – though it was encouraging to learn that David Cameron has now been briefed on the latter, even though the scheme was rejected on cost grounds by the Department for Energy last year.

It wasn’t rejected upon costs grounds. It was rejected on lack of benefit grounds.

That is, it really was taken very seriously indeed and lots of very clever people tried to work out what would be the costs of building it and then what the benefits of having built it would be.

The answer was that the larger we built it the more money we would lose. A small scheme with a few turbines in the flow would only lose us a few £billions of wealth. The great big scheme, damming the whole river, would lose a few tens of £billions.

It is possible that building more infrastructure would be a good way to get the economy going. It’s also possible that we need more infrastructure. But what we really don’t beed to do is go and build stuff that makes us poorer: as the Severn Barrage would. There’s plenty of things to build that would make us richer after all.



Posted: 20th, August 2012 | In: Money Comment | Follow the Comments on our RSS feed: RSS 2.0 | TrackBack | Permalink