With all the problems internationally, from Libya to Christchurch, and with the major global pressures on the UK economy, from the sharp rise in fuel and food prices to pressures on Banks and Sovereign Debt, it is easy and understandable to let the upcoming Budget to take a back seat on our radar screens. That would be a major error; rarely can there have been a more important Budget for Business, for employment, for economic stability in the past thirty years.
Tackling the deficit had to be Number One on the Coalition Government’s agenda; a big sign had to go up over the Country that international markets and global investors could be assured that we were serious about our economic management and the UK was very much open for Business. But cuts (no matter how essential; we can have the conversation about timing and extent but no-one denies their necessity; mind you I do tend to hear “I agree with cuts, but not this one” from many quarters!) never grew an economy.
If we are going to maximise the Private Sector’s employment potential to soak up the public sector lay-offs, if we are going to exploit the weak pound in our export markets, if we are going to develop exponentially the profits of companies large and small (and thus increase the tax-take for the Exchequer) then the 2011 Budget has to be a Budget for growth; the most “Business-friendly” Budget for a long time. There is no alternative but for the Nation to stop the carping at Business Success, for politicians to start praising companies that make money, for the taxman and the regulation-enforcer to work with the groove of wealth-creation, not see it as some sort of enemy.
So Mr Osborne; as you finalise your announcements over the next couple of weeks please bear in mind my…
“Five Tips for George”:-
1. Take anyone on the National Minimum Wage out of income taxation altogether. Make it worth going to work.
2. Abolish Employers’ National Insurance. A little understood insidious tax on job-creation, with no relevance to taxing profits.
3. Give an additional tax break for the profits of SME’s derived from exports. “An illegal subsidy” I hear Brussels cry. So other countries take notice of that do they?
4. Give some help to those coming out of public sector jobs which no longer exist who retrain for private sector work or move to other parts of the country to find work.
5. Give extra funding to Schools that ensure all pupils are numerate and both functionally and computer literate by 14. The enhanced productivity in both the public and private sector emanating from equipping all of the future workforce in this way will ensure that this measure pays for itself in very short order.
Grow the economy, stimulate wealth and job creation, pay down the deficit and rebalance our Country’s financial way of life.
Five Tips for George won’t sort the UK on their own, but they will be a good start… and the time to start is now!