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Monday, 16 January 2017

Norway’s $885bn-nil advantage in Britain’s sea of social troubles | Business | The Guardian

Norway’s $885bn-nil advantage in Britain’s sea of social troubles | Business | The Guardian:

"One of the most famous pieces of football commentary came at the end of a match in Oslo more than 35 years ago in which unfancied Norway beat England 2-1. Few fans could now name the Norwegian commentator, Bjørge Lillelien, but plenty remember the rant and how it ended: “Maggie Thatcher, can you hear me? Your boys took one hell of a beating.” The humiliation for the boys with three lions on their shirts took place in 1981 during the early stages of a North Sea oil boom that benefited both Norway and Britain. Norway decided that it would set up a sovereign wealth fund – a piggy bank for the people – so future generations would reap the benefits of the unexpected bonanza. Britain did not. The result is that Norway has amassed $885bn (£727bn) – easily enough to cope with the cost of looking after a population of 5 million as it ages. In Britain, by contrast, the NHS is at breaking point, the social care system is struggling to cope and there is no pot of gold to pay for the healthcare and nursing fees of the baby boomer generation as it advances into old age. Norway is currently winning the sovereign wealth fund contest $885bn to nil. One hell of a beating indeed."



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