The Budget: A layperson's views and ideas

Assured Angel By Assured Angel, 19th Jul 2010 | Follow this author | RSS Feed
Posted in Wikinut>News>Politics

The Budget has been unveiled. Policies have been publicised and now its down to the nitty gritty of seeing it through. There are questions that remain and promises yet to be fulfilled or broken by those in power. However, one stands out amongst the rest - if we (the ordinary man) were in power, what would we do about the the eye-wateringly large deficit and how would we get the economy moving again?

Dealing the with the UK’s deficit: A layman’s views and ideas on the Budget

In June 2010, the UK government unveiled its emergency budget. The document and furore surrounding it showed the many problems that face the people and businesses in Great Britain. The first port of call of the Budget was to deal with the ₤163 billion deficit (and still counting) and encourage economic growth and financial stability. The government has come up with a raft of changes designed to meet these aims. With all the rhetoric and counter-rhetoric flying about concerning the Budget and the issues it raises (and attempts to confront), it is difficult to see how this problem can ever be solved. For me - from the outside looking in -it is a question of common sense, careful planning, hard work and determination to see things through. This is not designed to be some sort of quasi-political manifesto nor is it a list of concrete policies, it is just a slightly tongue-in-cheek look at the Budget. It is designed to inform you, get you thinking and make you laugh (a little).

1. Cap the expenses that politicians get paid and keep a closer eye on them

More stringent policies are now in place to try and do this. Of course, it has met with resistance from certain quarters. I mean, how is someone supposed to live on ₤60,000 (minimum) and only have ₤36,000 (or whatever it is) in expenses? I hear the anguished cries ringing through Parliament. Well for me, I would build extensive flats round the corner from the House of Parliament. Politicians can stay there when the Houses are in session and they need to be there. It will either be rent free or have a minimal rate which they pay. This would reduce the astronomical amounts claimed for second homes which are subject to abuse. Stop the ‘turn-up-and-you-get-paid’ allowance. Unless they have contributed significantly to the business of the day, they get little or nothing. How many people do you know get £150 for just turning up at their place of employment? Not many. Time for the government to get real on this thorny issue.

Another suggestion which is already in about to take place is the reduction of ‘golden goodbyes’ currently enjoyed by public sector workers. C’mon now, 6 years salary?? Is that really necessary?

In fact, start with a 10-20% cut in their wages. If everyone has to make savings, so can they.

2. Go easy on small business
Enough of the red-tape and over-regulation. It is of course necessary to have strong guidelines in place to prevent fraud, reduce the chances of a business going under and boost financial strength. Have a uniform set of rules and criteria for lending money to a business rather than the postcode lottery where, dependent on where you are, the bank will give you the capital you need to get started.

Lighter financial and tax burdens until the business has been operating for one year. The same would apply for when they start hiring staff. As there are thresholds of taxation for individuals, the same principle should apply for SMEs.

3. More monitoring of the bonus system especially in the banking sector

Despite the outcry surrounding this, I read in the paper today that £5 billion has been set aside by the banks to pay bonuses. Forgive me if I am wrong, I thought that bonuses were paid when someone does something right. If a bank/financial institution has not done well -especially as far as their customers are concerned - then they do not get their bonuses. That should save a pound or two!

4. Get more people into work

It’s not rocket science. The more people in paid employment, the more taxes (money) there are. If people are not (seriously) looking for work, then why should they receive Job Seeker’s Allowance? The clue is in the name! That would save millions, if not billions of pounds in wasted money given to people who could not care less about work.

Having been unemployed in the past, I know what it is like to be out of work and desperately looking for something that would be enough to at least pay my bills and give me enough to live on. It is important to treat looking for work as a full time job because it is!

Prisoners - Now I am not talking about the serious offenders here – rapists, murderers, paedophiles – I am talking about those imprisoned for ‘lesser’ offences. Now whilst on holiday in America, I saw prisoners out on the motorway – picking up rubbish, painting fences, cutting grass etc. This not only got them out in the open (heavily supervised with armed staff), but made sure that they were also repaying their debt to society and doing a public service. So this means that even if the only skill they learn whilst in prison is painting walls, they will be able to put that into good use when they come out. I don’t believe in paying them to do work though even if it is £5 a week, they are being punished after all!

5. Ditch the non-jobs that proliferate in some areas and sectors

I mean do you really need a ‘change facilitator’? Is an ‘exercise coordinator’ really necessary? Will a council fall to pieces if they don’t employ an ‘innovation officer’? No, I didn’t think so. Get rid of these semi-fictitious posts and either invest the money in improving services for people or give the money to the teachers and nurses (many of whom deserve a pay rise).

6. Increase VAT – but slowly

Deep down, we all knew that the VAT increase was coming despite election promises. However, I think it is too much too soon. Why doesn’t the government increase it by 1% to 18.5% in 2011 and then to 19% the year after and then to 20% in 2012?

There is more but I think that would a good start. So here is my question to you – what would you do to get the economy going and reduce the national deficit? It is an issue which evokes a lot of passionate debate and I, for one, would love to know your thoughts.

Ngozi Nwabineli © 19th July 2010


Budget, Politician, Politics, Small Business, Tax, Tax Efficiency

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author avatar Assured Angel
Talented and experienced freelance writer/ businesswoman with a legal background whose engaging, confident but professional attitude is reflected in her writing.
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