The Budget

“Hammond Needed a Budget for the Ballot Box”

This was a comment that caught my eye this morning on the Business Insider website.

In the article, this image was shared…

gettyimages-684076294

Is it just me or does the wording in this image seem very oxymoronic?

The idea of a Budget for the Ballot Box really does to put Party first does it not?

We are in a situation where all politicians of all shades are in the business of working on a five-year job application process. Ok, true we get to choose (arguably) the ‘colour’ of the type of politics the UK map is tinted with, but it if the aim of any Party is to be re-elected then that’s what they work towards. A person more cynical than myself might suggest that that’s all they work towards.

All Politicians create their platform on some philosophical viewpoint and the Political Parties they belong to are really collections of people who have, for the most part, shared ideologies. For this reason, they argue from their perspective,  The opposition is called the opposition for a good reason.

I digress …

Look back at the picture …

In the National Interest – well we’ve discussed that one.

Strong, Stable, Leadership – oh really?

Strong, only in the sense that the majority is being propped up by paid for ‘friends’

Stable, well with the need to review GDP predictions DOWNWARD even after the recent interest raise does not seem that stable to me.

Leadership, a moot point. On both sides, there is dissension ‘in the ranks’ – but for the party espousing their ability to lead… ???

The media are reporting that prominent figures at risk of losing their seats and handing Labour a majority are Boris Johnson, Theresa Villiers, Amber Rudd, Zac Goldsmith and Nicky Morgan…

Budget Stuff…

£769 billion pounds : UK ANNUAL INCOME :

£809 billion pounds : UK ANNUAL EXPENDITURE

So “UK Ltd” is borrowing £40 billion pounds to balance its books.

But we have a National Debt of £1.6 trillion pounds

The interest we currently pay on our debts is £41 billion pounds and is set to rise

These are sobering figures and do actually put the challenges facing any government into perspective.

The key questions facing any political party have to be…

  • How do they ‘balance’ the books?
  • How do they manage expenditure?
  • How do they increase income?

And the key difference between the Parties relates to how this can (or must) be done.

I think for the public to make real use of the vote they have, all political parties need to work to increase public awareness of the ‘information’ needed to make effective decisions.

The Brexit campaign was one in which ‘spin’ and ‘deceit’ got in the way of the information people really needed to make a decision. The issue, like so many political issues, become one of emotion and diversionary side issues?

How many Brexit folks really spoke about the nature of the divorce bill/

I can’t remember any. What I do remember was that bloody bus.

gettyimages-531883850-1-2048x1536_3490755

It’s almost laughable now.

If the campaigners were aware of the Brexit Divorce challenges then they were being deliberately deceitful. If not, then they were incompetent.

The Immigration card was played…

The fact that economically the UK is performing and that the job market is not as robust as people remember it or want it to be has nothing to do with immigration.

A 2016 leaked Home Office document stated that the Government keeps no figures on how many EU nationals claim welfare payments.

In 2016 studies showed that:

….migrants coming to the UK since 2000 have been 43 per cent less likely to claim benefits or tax credits compared to the British-born workforce. “Immigrants, especially in recent years, tend to be younger and better educated than the UK-born and less likely to be unemployed,” (Universty College London)

…. Of the 290,000 people who immigrated for work in the year to September 2015, almost 60 per cent had already secured a job and the share rose to two thirds for Romanians and Bulgarians

…. two million non-British EU nationals are currently working in the UK, as well as 1.2 million non-EU nationals and 28.3 million British (2015)

So those who were muttering even quietly “immigration’ is the problem were either ignorant of the picture, were deliberately being deceitful OR had a racist agenda. In any case such folks do not deserve to opportunity to server their communties.

The ‘foreign aid’ card was played…

This is the amount given by each country as a percentage of the National Income

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I could go on…

BUT the point is we are victims of information that is skewed; our political and emotional biases are massaged by rhetoric and media sound-bytes so how can we make decisions which are about issues of which we are generally ill-informed.

Politicians on ALL sides need to drop the spin and ensure that we all have the information we need to make decisions about the things that are important to our lives and our interactions with others.

When you hear any politcian make an offer or a statement of action the questions should be..

  • WHAT are you going to do?
  • HOW are you going to do it?
  • WHAT information can you give me that supports your decision and actions?

The moment they fall into rhetoric and emotionally based discussion we should discount them and their ideas.

 

Just Rambling …

 

Alan

For a budget analysis that has some interesting infographics visit the Independent website

The Guardian has an interesting breakdown of UK Income and Expenditure

The Independent has some interesting statistics on immigration from last year.

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