Saturday's mention of the call for NHS patients to be allowed to top up cancer care in the private sector prompts me to quote from the thought-provoking article by Graeme Leach, chief economist for the Institute of Directors, in the current edition of The Difference magazine:
Just suppose there was a voice from heaven and the Lord commanded that Parliament enact only one more piece of legislation and nothing thereafter. Faced with such a binding absolute constraint, what would you choose? This is the last piece of legislation ever to emerge from the mother of parliaments. What can you do to have the maximum force for good over the coming centuries? Of course there are many options, but from a Biblical and economic perspective the introduction of education vouchers must surely contest for pole position.What do you think? If you could enact just one more piece of legislation, what would you choose?
The introduction of education vouchers could transform the economic and political culture of the UK while at the same time fulfilling the Biblical instruction to parents to take control of the education of their children. At the beginning of the 21st century we have consumer choice in every area of our lives, except the most important, the future of our children.
In the knowledge economy, education and skills are the prime factors of production. Do we really want to spend the 21st century with the number one factor of production in the hands of the state? Imagine a world where education is free at the point of use (with the option to top-up the voucher if you wish to go to more expensive schools) and parents seek out the school that best fits the needs of their child, from a multitude of suppliers meeting a diverse range of academic, vocational, sporting and, yes, spiritual needs.
To read more of "The education revolution" obtain your copy of The Difference magazine here.