Monday, December 29, 2008

A Little Fiscal Prudence

If any readers managed to enjoy the holiday without watching the alternative Christmas message from the President of Iran or catching the flu, then cheer up, there's always 2009 to look forward to!

To be honest, I'm a Wallace & Gromit fan and so reading the papers may be enough to send all but the most most stalwart personalities into spiralling depression and the popular television soap operas appear to be working overtime, the BBC's now politically correct Dr Who included, in convincing us that the end of civilisation as we know it is upon us.

Throw in a handful of Church of England Bishops declaring from the Xmas pulpit that the Government is morally corrupt - nothing new there - and the looming spectre of growing unemployment for anyone not lucky enough to be an MP or working safely in the public sector, then there's nothing more inspiring than our Great Leader, Gordon Brown, donning the mantle of Winston Churchill and invoking the memory of the Dunkirk Spirit in such troubled times.

In economic terms Britain looks much like a snowball that has just started rolling down a very steep hill. It's not that large just yet but gathering speed will see its surface area growing as financial gravity takes over and it swiftly gathers up families and businesses in its path.

Oil revenues and the City of London make-up the Lion's share of the UK's economy. Having allowed manufacturing to wither and almost die over the least decade, we are now a society that produces 'Services', welfare and public sector jobs. A raft of employment legislation also makes it very difficult for small businesses, to create jobs and as a nation we have become increasingly uncompetitive.

If any Government is going to 'Get a grip' on the problem of both the failing economy and social breakdown then it needs a radical agenda but many would argue that no sitting Government could win an election with a manifesto of true reform; the medicine would be too harsh for the electorate to contemplate.

Which leaves us where we are now, on a bright winter's day surrounded by the best Xmas sales in living memory, comfortably sitting in the calm of the eye of the hurricane that may be about to break.

Being old enough to recall the last two recessions, I'm aware that they can hold opportunities for those who are prepared for them. However, what's different today is the size of the personal debt mountain shared by individuals and families across the country and the accelerating negative equity impact of the housing market. Government, with its VAT reduction is attempting to persuade us to spend our way out of a recession but the maths simply doesn't add-up. Instead, this is the real time for all of us to be following Gordon Brown's original message of fiscal prudence, although, taking following the example of Winston Churchill he might reply:

"Although present on the occasion, I have no clear recollection of the events leading up to it."

3 comments:

Richard said...

Oil revenues and the City of London make-up the Lion's share of the UK's economy. Having allowed manufacturing to wither and almost die over the least decade, we are now a society that produces 'Services', welfare and public sector jobs. A raft of employment legislation also makes it very difficult for small businesses, to create jobs and as a nation we have become increasingly uncompetitive.

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I have thought the above was true for some considerable time......
Remember also our future depends on the skill set of today’s youth.
The result of which is nil, no opportunities for apprenticeships plus no incentive for employer or employee to train staff.

Its going to be a rocky road ahead.....

Major said...

Such training as does exist is often wasted - for example a friend's son went on a bricklaying course - he was woefully and terminally hopeless at it but still passed the "exams" at the end of the year and went back for a second wasted year at the taxpayers expense- it turned out the instructor on the course - who also "marked the exams" hardly got any pay unless the students passed.
And then there is of course the scandal of the ex-polys turned "universities" who are so desperate for students that they offer useless "somethingology" courses to totally unacademic students with no aptitude who would be better off sweeping up litter as a career.
All this does is massage the longterm jobless figures, which was of course one of exPM Blair's specialities.
I saw yesterday that, in the Government's latest attempt to talk the pound down to parity with the euro, they forecast the unemployment figures are expected to rise by 600,000 or so.
I think it will be at least that, and by the way we are now at 1.02 euros to the pound.
SCANDALOUS!

The Refuser said...

Labour will still blame the Americans and if that doesn't work Margaret Thatcher for all the ills that beset Britain. The really sad thing is there are still people who swallow their bilge.