Wednesday, November 09, 2011

A Simpleton's Manifesto For The UK

I do not claim to be an economist, I am just someone who looks at systems and situations and asks questions like 'do we have to do it this way?' or 'has it always been like this?'

My soapbox moment relates to the UK economy but could apply equally to many of the countries that are experiencing economic difficulties just now.

Many parts of England and all of Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland are heavily dependent on the public sector for jobs. With budget cuts the UK government is telling councils and government departments that they must hack huge sums of their budgets. It sounds sensible at first until you realise that:

  • The departments left behind cannot actually provide a proper service anyway
  • The so called Big Society cannot plug the gaps
  • The private sector cannot create jobs at the rate that the government is cutting them
  • More people will end up unemployed and claiming benefits
  • More unemployed equals less money spent in shops and other businesses
Does it have to be this way? What if we kept employment artificially high in the public sector but made it more capable of doing more and providing better services or slimming itself down through efficiency rather than surgery. Could we not have a situation where:
  • We improve the performance of the public sector
  • The Big Society can do its work without being stretched to breaking point
  • We do not rely on the private sector but both sectors work together for economic prosperity
  • There is no steep rise in people claiming benefit
  • We continue to spend in our businesses and on the high street
I am no economist and someone far cleverer would need to do the maths but I do wonder if anyone has really considered the possible alternatives. Mr Cameron says there is no Plan B. I disagree, there are many possibilities but not all will be compatible with coalition policy.


Derby Sceptic said...

I would ask where the funding will come from to keep employment in the public sector artificially high?

It cannot come from the potential savings in benefits because the workers would not accept a reduction to that level.

So we need a magic pot of money. Or better still we need to stop bailing out the Eurom which we are not part of, and providing foreign aid to allow other governments to buy new private jets, finance their armies, run nuclear weapon research and have a nice little space program!

Derek Cheshire said...

Not a simple calculation but on one side we have cost savings by govt against increased benefit payments and loss of tax and NI revenue. Then when spending power goes there is a knock on effect on the local economy.When that dies we have even more unemployed!!