In ‘The Week’ this week I thought I would take a further look at the budget and any impact on business. As an owner of a small business I wondered if there would be anything remotely helpful to me in the budget. For big business the corporate tax will drop, just before the next election to 17% of profits over £300,000, which is nice if you’re earning that amount but apart from that there wasn’t anything helpful for start ups or small businesses, just a load of ‘future help’ and ‘areas of growth’ and new ‘authority’ and so on, yardy-yard, boring.
There was more about increasing the devolved powers to Scotland, giving them the noose to hang themselves with as far as I can see. The government plans to isolate Scotland into a prison of their own making, the rhetoric from the Scots continues about the bad Tories and how if they were in control of their own decisions how much better all would be for Scotland – but the SNP leader has plenty of power and still the Scots complain – then Salmon marches off to London, to do jack as they have no power there. David Cameron doesn’t have to listen to the SNP members at all – they made sure of that by drubbing Labour, so now he can give them more power to do what they like with a smaller budget then they currently get; so a help to England in these days of austerity – and old Salmon can’t do anything about it – it is a case of ‘be careful what you wish for!’ The Conservatives have played the Scots well, successfully marginalising Scotland and reigniting Middle England distaste for financially propping Scotland up – the nail in the coffin will be the Scottish people having maybe half of the amount of money spent on them then they do now and Scotland will start its downward spiral economically.
All of this on top of more devolved independence to local authorities so the government can step back and use elected mayors as scape-goats for why certain areas of the country aren’t growing or prospering, it’s not that clever and certainly not original as its quite feudal but for some reason the middle aged, middle England voters love it.
Anyway, back to the Budget. If all the cuts are successfully implemented then the estimates are that we save 73.5 billion (a tidy sum of money) by 2021. That’s the government’s best figures; we spend 167billion this year on the loan interest on the repayments so by 2021 our repayments will be down to paying 92 billion a year, but that is just interest repayments we haven’t even touched that whooping 1.5 trillion in debt, which will have grown to roughly 2 trillion by 2021 – so that the reality of it this government has done nothing to tackle the deficit; in fact its increased it by 500 billion or more since they got in 5 years ago! Putting it crudely, the UK economy is worth 672 billion yet pensions, defence and everything else we pay for costs us 674 billion a year so you can quickly see our problem. The government is failing to tackle the big areas of public spending; which are not immigration, unemployment or housing – you may be surprised to find, it is pensions that is the big issue. You could take all the spending on the military, unemployment and housing, throw it all in a big pot and you would still only be just over half way to how much money we give out in pensions. That the reality of it is that the UK is never going to be in an economically strong position as the biggest area that we would need to cut is the pensions, and the conservatives will never tackle that properly because old people vote for them and young don’t – so that is democracy in action my friends – self preservation.
The reason I am pointing this out is because I have been disgusted by the comments and mis-information I have read on social networks and ‘the poor are poor because they are lazy’ or ‘if you want to be rich just work,’ and the ignorant views that all our economic woes are due to scroungers – how the media control minds! – But the reality is the unemployment benefit pot is one of the smallest area of money paid out by the government at 4.8 billion. I know a billion is a lot but it doesn’t touch the 78-80 billion paid out on pensions does it? That’s the issue, right there, we are a top heavy country in terms of age – I know folk have paid in but that money was fluttered away but the State to bail out banks and the like – and now we have a burden to pay out from a much depleted pot. So that the reality which no one appears to want to talk about and tackle – it’s not about the poor or about loads of scroungers or about immigration – I am sorry to say it is the aging population, the baby boomers who have had a golden ride – they had the benefits of the property boom, free education and easy mortgages – so bear that in mind when they are telling you how marvellous the Tories are – the first generation to ensure their offspring are going to be worse off than themselves. Compare the lot of a 25 year old in 1970 to one in 2015 – I know who has had the better deal! So whilst we continue to feed the money to those who had it all then, by the next election we will be closing in on that 2 trillion debt.
So, what I would do? Well the budget needs to face the problems and help business grow so I would invest in small start ups, not just with money but with time, energy and support to get them growing; as someone who has a small business I know first-hand how completely useless the government are; even with requests for non financial support they fudge, things that would take someone in Westminster five minutes to do and could create 10 to 15 jobs just don’t get any action. I would take some of our great companies back and give them our new and upcoming leaders or creative people to get all British companies back out there competing, similar to Germany, instead of allowing brilliant assets like Jaguar and Land-rover to be sold off because they were stifled and we failed to re-energise them. I would invest in R and D as Britain has some of the greatest universities in the world and is at the cutting edge of space, medicine for a start – just think if we can create fusion power or arc reactors in a state run setting, Britain can export these to pay for our country’s needs, similar to how places like Norway have done.
Anyway that’s it for this week, my two week look at the Budget, don’t get too disheartened, whatever damage this government does, there always be a few good people who will try to ease the pain. We just have to hope that at some point they will have sufficient influence to get us back on track – but it could be a decade or so! Have a good week, if you have enjoyed this then do share my blog with your friends, if you didn’t then I am sorry but I hope some aspect enlightened you in some way
All statistics are from the government website page on the 2015 budget.