What would be in your Budget 2009?

It might not be the most exciting date in your diary but this year’s Budget speech is fast approaching. The Chancellor Alistair Darling will take the despatch box next Wednesday lunchtime and, I don’t know about you, but I’ll certainly be tuning in to hear what he’s got to say. Usually the Budget is in March, but with the recession unusually it’s been delayed by a month.

Frankly, in recent years the Budget speech has been pretty boring fare all round. Mostly the Government trots out measures that have previously been announced elsewhere. Journalists around the country listen intently to it and then scrabble around desperately trying to find anything interesting to write about it. But something tells me this year’s speech might be slightly more watchable.

We’ve had a grim 12 months since last year’s Budget and people will be looking to the Government to up its game and introduce more measures aimed at boosting the economy and struggling small businesses, as well as helping individuals who have lost their jobs and families finding it tough to cope in the downturn.

Darling is expected to take the scissors to his rather optimistic forecasts of a decline in UK economic growth of 1 per cent, cut from his previous forecasts of 2 per cent growth, as economists predict a decline of between 3 to 3.8 per cent this year. Meanwhile borrowing is at levels not seen since World War Two and even the Bank of England Governor Mervyn King has publically come out and said that more government borrowing wouldn’t be ideal. Unemployment is past the 2 million mark and the Chancellor will be expected to introduce more measures aimed at getting people back to work. Some commentators suggest work placement schemes for workers facing redundancy, tax breaks on re-training for jobseekers and corporation tax relief for companies taking on new workers would be a good place to start.

But my question is this – what would you like to see from the Budget? The Government obviously has a lot on its plate in terms of sorting out the ailing economy. But what do you think would make a major difference to the financial state of the nation? KPMG say they expect the Government to introduce some small tax reductions to lessen the effects of the recession on individual taxpayers. What would you do if you were in the Chancellor’s shoes? Do you think Darling should actually raise some taxes further – he’s already introduced a 45p top tax rate and plans to hike National Insurance payments – or would this be counter productive? Should he suspend tax on savings to help borrowers, which unfortunately seems unlikely? Are you concerned about how much the Government is borrowing?

And how should Darling help the business community? Do you think the cut in VAT to 15 per cent has helped boost retail spending? Should there be changes to the corporation tax loss system to help businesses survive the recession? And what of the housing market? What measures would you introduce to reinvigorate housing sales?

What would be in your Budget 2009 if you were Chancellor of the Exchequer? Leave a message and let me know.

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4 Responses to What would be in your Budget 2009?

  1. Christine says:

    There is something illogical in expecting the buying public to go out and spend again. The banks gave credit to people who are now having trouble paying off their debts. And savers have no reason to save at the rates on offer from the banks. This means that the banks have no money to lend (no savings and bad debts from borrowers who can\’t repay so not a lot in their piggy bank). Besides this, the debts the banks have in repaying the government (think 12- 15%) for bailouts means that any lending will have to be above this rate in order for them to cover their costs logically. Which is why people need such great deposits in order to buy a house.Most useful measures would be providing money to make improvements in the infrastructure – better roads, green power, investment in the rail system instead of expecting the customer to pay the greater share, more social housing being built with more green technology involved ( for instance solar panels, biomass for blocks of flats). This would provide work, provide houses and provide more money from taxation. More affordable housing and more jobs would also allow the public to go out and spend more. It\’s not bailouts of present technology but investment in the future that is needed – for example there is no point in making expensive to run cars when development of a whole new, environmentally friendly generation of transport is needed any more than there is the need to build houses based on technology of the last 100 years when new ones need to be far more environmentally friendly and cheaper to run. But I suppose that expecting a budget that will invest in jobs, new technology, provide the seed corn of investment for private industry to develop new products that will help the environment, make more of the things we need for ourselves and lead to export chances, to develop sensible apprenticeships in modern technology instead of IT courses for the scared which don\’t lead to jobs, to provide adult training in languages so that we can go back into the export market is completely out of the question. There is no-one in government with the vision like those who thought through the welfare state and the housing programme after WW2 and made both happen.

  2. AK says:

    I don\’t think the 15% VAT rate has helped at all. Things have still gotten more expensive. I\’ve been cutting back and buying more basics prdoucts from Sainsbury\’s so that I can afford things like glasses and new clothes on my benefit money. As a disabled person, what I\’d really like to see is a halfway house scheme to help people with disabilities get back into work. I don\’t propose shoving them into work, but gently getting their confidence up by work-based training and work placements.In my opinion, when I was looking for a job, there wasn\’t enough help available for me. I am Manic Depressive, so talking to anyone at the Job Centre about getting back to work is akin to talking to a brick or a wall. You simply don\’t get any good answers out of them. I did a free I.T. course and got a certificate on my own to help me towards a job, but still wanted more training. Yet, due to the Jobseekers\’ contract I wasn\’t able to go to college and train up the way I wanted to. Now I\’m classed as too ill to work, I\’m able to complete my I.T training at college and don\’t have the good old JC on my back. Thank God!I\’d like to see less stigma about people with mental illness going into and being in work. I talked to some other people in the local area about mental illness recently for an article I\’m going to write about mental illness, and they agreed that there is still a big stigma around work and mental illness. Last year I had a work placement set up for me doing admin work. I\’m really good with computers, so I really enjoyed it. That was until I started to get a little emotional due to my moods. The employer in the placement was told about my illness beforehand and agreed to take me on regardless. Nethertheless, eventually I was stigmatised by the employer and she started acting the same way most people do towards me because they don\’t understand my moods. It\’s hard enough as it is dealing with the illness, I don\’t need an employer on my back as well! That said, she ended the placement immediately afterwards.Rethink (previously called the National Schizophrenic Society) has published figures that state that 6 in 10 employers will not employ someone with a mental illness. It\’s really no-one\’s fault for suffering from a horrendous long-term mental illness. In fact, it\’s more of a struggle than going out there and being \’psycho\’ to everyone.I think the government really needs to address this problem to help us with mental health problems get into work. I think that work would really help boost the already low confidence of people with mental illness who are forced to stay at home because there is no medium between being sick and being able to work. With long-term mental health problems you are never really \’cured\’ or \’healthy\’ or \’ill\’ you just are as you are at that moment. I think this needs to be taken into consideration. Sorry. I\’m blabbing. But since this effects so many people and more and more people are becoming depressed, the government needs to do something about it!=Anli=

  3. Jen says:

    That\’s a very profound comment, AK. I\’m also disabled. I wonder if anyone minds someone needing a wheelchair to sit in all day? I saw a news blog back in December which caused me to blog it: http://thoughtsonthings.spaces.live.com/blog/cns!6D498B83A72B54F!240.entryI wonder…if we could do something like that for our disabled, none of us would be stigmatised! Reintegration is a nice word on paper. Who wants to waste their life away if they don\’t have to?

  4. george says:

    jobseekers allowance should not go up .i survived on it .make people clean the streets or the country side for there money.

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