Morning Call: pick of the papers

The ten must-read pieces from this morning's papers.

1. Struggling with a great contraction (Financial Times)

The risk is not of a double dip recession because this one has never ended, writes Martin Wolf.

2. Why wait for politicians to oust foreign tyrants? Every one of us can do our bit (Guardian)

Governments bomb despots, or do nothing, writes Jonathan Freedland. It is time to explore the alternatives.

3. Take cover: a financial hurricane is blowing in (Times) (£)

The end of summer is a dangerous economic time, writes Anatole Kaletsky. The next four weeks will show if the global economy is sinking.

4. Any delay to reform would represent fiscal recklessness (Independent)

One of the greatest threats to the economic recovery is a reckless banking sector, says Ben Chu.

5. Tell the truth: Scotland has been indulged for too long (Daily Telegraph)

The nation that always seems to be asking for more should start giving something back, says John McTernan.

6. Choker of the Exchequer George Osborne is the Government's weakest link (Daily Mirror)

Rioting came and went, but Osborne's disastrous economic policies remain with us, writes Kevin Maguire.

7. Who wants responsibility for healthcare delivery? Not Andrew Lansley (Guardian)

The health secretary can't claim the NHS is safe in his hands now direct responsibility for it has been taken out of them, says Alan Maynard

8. Britain has too few homes for sale (Daily Telegraph)

Our shortage of housing is good for rich foreigners and buy-to-let landlords, but bad for young adults - and even their parents, writes Ed Howker.

9. The new Libya needs Britain to give, not take (Daily Telegraph)

The best reward for our role in deposing Muammar Gaddafi would be stability in the North African state, says Malcolm Rifkind.

10. Apple minus its genius will be less lovable (Financial Times)

Steve Jobs could ignore vulgar consensus, take risks and kill projects because it was indisputably his company, writes Jason Pontin.

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Is anyone prepared to solve the NHS funding crisis?

As long as the political taboo on raising taxes endures, the service will be in financial peril. 

It has long been clear that the NHS is in financial ill-health. But today's figures, conveniently delayed until after the Conservative conference, are still stunningly bad. The service ran a deficit of £930m between April and June (greater than the £820m recorded for the whole of the 2014/15 financial year) and is on course for a shortfall of at least £2bn this year - its worst position for a generation. 

Though often described as having been shielded from austerity, owing to its ring-fenced budget, the NHS is enduring the toughest spending settlement in its history. Since 1950, health spending has grown at an average annual rate of 4 per cent, but over the last parliament it rose by just 0.5 per cent. An ageing population, rising treatment costs and the social care crisis all mean that the NHS has to run merely to stand still. The Tories have pledged to provide £10bn more for the service but this still leaves £20bn of efficiency savings required. 

Speculation is now turning to whether George Osborne will provide an emergency injection of funds in the Autumn Statement on 25 November. But the long-term question is whether anyone is prepared to offer a sustainable solution to the crisis. Health experts argue that only a rise in general taxation (income tax, VAT, national insurance), patient charges or a hypothecated "health tax" will secure the future of a universal, high-quality service. But the political taboo against increasing taxes on all but the richest means no politician has ventured into this territory. Shadow health secretary Heidi Alexander has today called for the government to "find money urgently to get through the coming winter months". But the bigger question is whether, under Jeremy Corbyn, Labour is prepared to go beyond sticking-plaster solutions. 

George Eaton is political editor of the New Statesman.