Friday, 21 August 2015

What Does £5bn Buy You?

Buddy, can you spare a £5bn?
Earlier this week the Higher Education Statistics Agency announced that income from research grants and contracts totalled £5.08bn in 2013-14.

This is an impressive amount, but if you were a Russian oligarch and had a spare £5bn to splash, what else could you spend it on, if you didn't want to bankroll the cost of pushing forward the boundaries of knowledge? It's always useful to be prepared should you ever be asked, so here's the Fundermentals cut-out-and-keep guide:

Which all suggests that it's much more cost efficient to die than to either get married, get divorced, have children or do research. And don't get me started on the Premier League or Formula 1. I do hope Sajid Javid bears all this in mind when deciding on the BIS budget cuts


  1. Really interesting comparisons there! Here are my (unsolicited) thoughts on them:

    TV rights to the Premier League between 2016-19.

    I don't know why, but this comparison really pleases me. We spend as much per year on research in Universities as it costs to by TV rights for one of the largest sporting franchises in the world for 3 years. I know it probably shouldn't please me and suggests I don't know enough about this.

    The cost of rebalancing Tesco's balance sheet. Come on, dig deep, people.
    Alternatively, if you want to find other ways of helping Tesco, you could buy their Korean arm.

    Tesco are in much more trouble than I realised.

    The cost of 35.5% stake in Formula 1.

    Thus proving how massively over-valued F1 is.

    Helping out the Government with lost fuel duty from the rise in electric cars.

    Surely they can charge a tax on battery rental to do that?

    27,530 averagely priced UK houses.
    10,377 averagely priced London houses.

    I succinct demonstration of the housing problem our country is facing.

    Almost quarter of a million averagely priced weddings.

    According to the ONS, this is almost exactly the number of weddings that occur each year in the UK.

    But only half as many divorces, which are almost twice the price.

    A great return on investment of 100%!

    Whereas you could almost get a whopping 1.5 million funerals.

    Well, savings have to be made somewhere to support the divorce windfall bonanza.

    Raising 22,222.22 children. Rather a pleasing number, though the .22 child might not see it that way.

    £12,500 per child per year, as suspect the deviation from the mean is pretty large on this one as this wouldn't cover some people's little darling's School fees!

  2. Thanks Chris! And interesting on the correlation on the weddings! I love reading about averages, whether it be the cost of something or the number of something. Obviously should be taken with a large dose of salt, but interesting nonetheless!