We all know about the 2008 financial melt-down, and some claim they knew about it sooner. Working in the CAB from 2006 and 2008 I knew something wasn’t right with all the people coming in with debt problems. I told the Labour Party this at an interview to be a candidate for Parliament and they didn’t seem to think I was deserving of being a candidate for them.
What I want to know is; If people like Vince Cable knew what was going on, why did he not propose an amendment to Labour’s Banking Act when Northern Rock was short of capital? Why has it taken three years into his government for them to introduce new measures?
The fact is, the bankers lent more money than banks had for houses worth less than they were sold for to people who couldn’t pay the loans back, just so they could get bonuses. At the time, no one offered a better alternative to Gordon Brown’s Crass Keynesianism, which secured the country’s AAA rating, protected pensions, and protected savings. Even 5 years on, the best economists can’t work out a better way to solve the problem than Gordon Brown chose!
When the Con Dems got in with their austerity plans I laughed at how naive they were. We have now seen that borrowing has had to increase and there is more and not less need for public spending, with the out-of-work benefits bill being around the highest it has been. The fact is paying off our debts is not going to help the economy. There will have been penalties for paying them off early, and as any business owner will know paying off loans reduces cashflow and puts one more at risk of becoming insolvent. Could this be why the Con Dem Government lost the AAA rating that Gordon Brown preserved, even with high levels of borrowing?
But, this weeks budget was one that I had hoped the New Labour Governments would have had the courage to do. It does not ‘reward millionaires’ to the degree Ed Labour say. And if it does, do people not think if they became self-made millionaires that they would deserve to enjoy the fruits of their labour?
This budget did everything that needed to be done to grow the economy – incentives for businesses to use their patents, do research and development, and expand the gaming industry and social enterprises. They also introduced measures to improve the pensions for the self-employed. In other words, it was a budget for people like me – a budget for the aspirational who want to better themselves – the sort of people Tony Blair fooled into joining the Labour Party when it hadn’t changed the way he claimed it had.