UK Chancellor of the Exchequer, George Osborne, delivers his second budget on Wednesday, 23 March 2011. The economy is in a mess and people are getting angry as the coalition government slashes public service spending in its efforts to contain the tailspin.
In fairness, much of the current problem was inherited from the previous government, whose bids to turn lofty ideals into reality were torpedoed by the global banking crisis and recession.
The Chancellor faces a huge challenge: initiating the measures necessary for putting Britain back in the black, and convincing the entire political spectrum that the treatment is both correct and essential.
For my money, the fundamental push must be to facilitate personal wealth creation across the whole population. In simple terms, this means getting people off benefits and back to work. This simple philosophy means that as more people earn decent incomes, they will naturally contribute more in income tax and national insurance – and they will also spend more, adding to the government’s VAT income. Some might even save more, easing future pressure on pensions.
The fact is that to satisfy the majority of people, the Chancellor has to steer a course midway between the myth of pure socialism and the harsh reality that the great British public can have any level of public services they like – as long as they are prepared to pay for them.
So, come on George. Let’s have an economic climate that encourages entrepreneurs, stimulates demand, creates jobs and drives real growth in all sectors. It will makes education, healthcare and other services affordable – and it will make Britain strong again. Let’s budget for wealth!
David Goddin was born in the UK and educated in South Africa. He began his career on daily newspapers and trade journals, before moving into public relations consulting. He produced award-winning writing and became an Accredited PR Practitioner, the highest qualification of the Public Relations Institute of South Africa. Since his return to the UK 16 years ago he has also contributed to a number of highly successful PR and marketing communications campaigns for major national and multinational clients. He is currently also President of the Haslemere & District Chamber of Trade & Commerce.