I don’t need an inventive title today, we’ve all been waiting for this. The first budget of the coalition Con-Lib/Lib-Con/Con-Dem government was announced today by George Osborne.
Described frequently as ‘tough but fair’ by Liberal Democrats and Conservatives alike, its main focus was to cut the deficit. They aim to have balanced the books by 2015 (the end of the parliament if the collation government holds together) which is ambitious, but gives a target. The people of Britain need something to believe in, and to aim for, and the aim to return to a debt-free Britain is something we can all wish for, in the aims of the Conservatives ‘we’re all in this together.’
We all know what its main message is by now: VAT increase to 20% from 4th January 2011. Osborne described this as ‘unavoidable’ during his speech today, as the result of excess Labour government spending. This has been the main focus, not only on the BBC news website, the first item listed today on the 6 o’clock news and the headline that will undoubtably run on many of tomorrow morning’s newspapers’ front pages. This is because VAT is what will affect everyone in the country, despite only being charge on ‘luxury goods’.
‘BBC Political Editor Nick Robinson described the financial statement as a “massive gamble economically and politically.” ‘ Overall I feel this is a fair statement from the BBC, as politically the Liberal Democrats have come out looking weak, and there are few indications of their policies in there, such as raising the income tax threshold etc, but yes, it does look just like a Tory Budget would do – tax rises, and cuts.
But to be honest, I agree and support whatever they decide to do here. They think they can balance the books by the end of the parliament and reduce our borrowing to 1%. That sounds pretty good to me. At the end of the day, what more can we do but support this? We did elect them in knowing full well they wanted to reduce the deficit, and to do it now means cuts in public spending, and more taxes.
Yes, it means that even people who have saved responsibly, are not in debt and haven’t contributed to the state that the country is in will need to tighten their belts too. The Conservative message highlights that, and the budget even features measures for the Royal Family to emphasise it. We all have to do this to get out of the mess we’re in.
Okay, so I don’t pay taxes, I don’t have a full-time job, I’m not a true member of society as of yet, so a lot of these implications just won’t affect me. But the best we can all do is to pool together, try our best to get the most out of the situation, and try and follow our government through the darkest of these times. At the end of the day, we don’t have a choice in the matter. This has to be done. If not now, then when?