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  • Writer's pictureMark Watson-Mitchell

You saw it here first - float of £2.5bn of NHS 5% 2048 bonds.

I have an idea.


How about either the Government or even one of the banking groups floating a specific NHS Loan Bond?


In times of crisis the UK, like so many other countries across the globe, has issued bonds to raise funds to pay for this, that or the other, with the British War Loan being perhaps the most famous.


So, I am now suggesting that one of those organisations raises £2.5bn of NHS 5% 2048 bonds.



The Terms


The issue would be at a discounted £95 per £100 redeemable stock, with £50m of the bonds being redeemed each year until 2048 – which is when the NHS would be 100 years old.


The funds could not only attract the institutions but also private investors, especially those wishing to protect their savings while supporting an incredible body that gives us all medical back-up from cradle to grave.


At a time when the banks are not playing fair with savers, I do believe that patriotic support would be quickly visible.


‘Arms Length’


I am not in favour of privatising the NHS, but I do encourage a substantial outsourcing of its activities to private and public companies, which needs to be at ‘arm’s length’ and totally commercial.


But then the questions will be what will the fresh funds be used for?


Certainly not to be propping up any inefficiencies in Government, even though the Government would be guaranteeing the Bond and paying down the £50m each year to redemption.


Instead, a sensible independent body could be established to apportion the funds raised and where they will be spent.


This would not be a ‘money fountain’ for the arbiters involved and certainly no ‘gravy train’ or platform for peerages.


More efficient operations


I believe that there are significant savings that can be made in operational costings across the NHS, but this new body would monitor required expenditure before being granted.


Success in getting such issue away in one year could be repeated in subsequent years.


However, a stringent indication must be that the raising of such funds must be directly for aiding the NHS and must not be considered to be an Exchequer tool for Government to circumvent its ongoing commitments to the NHS.


So, who is up for this suggestion – does it have merit?


And are the terms right for the patriotic investing public enough to dwarf institutional investors?


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