George Osborne loves Keynesian economics. If people are in work, preoccupied and not idle, this can only be beneficial. As long as taxes are being paid, the economic engine is moving and businesses are booming, this propels Great Britain forward. It can be described of ‘Keynesian Thatcherism’, as the Swedish finance minister Anders Borg puts it, but this is indeed an oversimplification. Chancellor Osborne is a morbid figure as far as public relations is concerned, and for many people it is not exactly a bad thing to portray him as an austerity axe-man, tasteless as that may sound to some people. As the 2015 General Election looms, Osborne’s autumn statement served up a ‘smörgåsbord’ of vote winning appeasement which often typifies financial promises in the year before a major election. Children being exempt from tax on economy flights will certainly appeal to the ‘squeezed middle’ demographic, and £7 billion to be spent on constructing a ‘northern powerhouse’ echoes Conservative desires of munching into Labour heartlands in the distant future. Yet after a number of obscure taxes in the early years of the coalition government (such as the ‘Pasty Tax’), is life beginning to become more rosy for regular people?
According to Russell Brand in regards to his most recent performance on BBC’s Question Time, life is not rosy and we are all suffering. Brands only exemption to the suffering would be the people he calls ‘the big bankers in the city’., something that he had repeated on numerous occasions. His economic solution to relieve austerity was to ‘take money from the bankers bonuses’, but unfortunately Russell Brand is leaving out the fact that a huge amount of tax is actually paid by wealthy people whether they are bankers or business owners. If we were to drastically increase taxes for not only the super-rich but also the moderately rich as well, we would find that many of these wealthy and successful individuals would simply pack their bags and go. The result of Brands economic ‘solution’ would lead to less taxes being paid into the public coffer as well as wealthy individuals wanting to seek more profitable business environments abroad. This in turn would also lead to less jobs, less money going into public amenities and most importantly less money to pay the remaining deficit.
There is a degree of discontent and a concern that the trickle-down economics theory is not playing a fair game in Britain. The system is not perfect, and like any country, it will never be. Osborne’s economic approach is working though, and there are the facts to prove it. To predict that Britain would be the fastest growing economy in the G7 group of nations in 2010 would be unimaginable, and London is unanimously undergoing a renaissance in development. We are in a better position now than in 2010, and critics of this position are fully entitled to disagree with that statement. The issue for those opposing that statement is that there is no credible leader to oppose Conservative policies outside the Westminster system, and Brand is not a credible leader.
By Stuart Chapman, Junior Writer at Daily Political View