Great plan George, if only I could see it

Without radical changes to our economic system, there will be bigger problems on the horizon. As a result, the ability to work will be a question for all of us

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George Osborne at a car manufacturing plant
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Simon Miller
On 20 July 2012 15:11

Can someone tell me something? Where exactly is this grand strategy from the government to solve our deficit problems?

Because at the moment it appears that we have none. Yes, we are in recession and yes, government receipts vs. spending gets unbalanced in recession; but where is this grand plan?

I know that some grand plan for boulevards of broken dreams – or an infrastructure plan to give it its formal title – has been announced but I mean a proper, economic plan – not a vanity project that governments devoid of skill, imagination or intelligence always seem to come up with.

Where is the truly outstanding economic plan to free us from the burdens of state, to give back individual pride to those lost in the system, to put two fingers up to those that abuse the system, and to create careers out of gaming the system for their own good?

For instance, take benefits; I mean, if you believe the BBC, there are outrageous cuts galore going on that will impoverish our nation and people are screaming at the government for cuts in the benefits system. Convenient headlines on how that disabled person or this single mother will be out on the street if their benefits are cut.

Apparently, people in million pound houses may have to move a couple of streets down; so impoverished are their lives now that they find themselves in Westbourne Park rather than Notting Hill.

But aside from the idiocy of the housing benefit system, here’s the fundamental question: if you are able to work, why can’t you?

Any government, no matter what shade, does not want to see those that are unable to work suffer. It is just simply not what they want. All governments have a duty to care and a duty for civic protection.

What they want is a system that isn’t open to abuse; where the system is a safety net, not a career choice.

The same goes with disability benefits.

The system that the government is attempting to change – until it spins into the opposite direction again at least – is based on five-days-a-week GPs who are too busy counting their pensions to worry if they sign someone off. They don’t care, they don’t have to buy into the system, and it doesn’t affect them.

As a result you have abled-bodied people not working. Now this is not the same as someone who is unable to work. For instance, thanks to my rugby days, I have a gammy leg that when it flares up, I sometimes find myself at home working with my foot up. I can work; I am able to work; I may not be able to limp into the office but with remote working, it is not that much of a problem nowadays.

And yes there are people who are physically or mentally incapable of working. That is when the benefit system should cut in – that is what it was designed for.

Now, of course, there are problems with the testing at the moment but when you have mastery in incompetence over outsourcing in Whitehall, what do you expect? With Richmond House far too close to the Red Lion, it is no wonder that the basics have failed – basics such as the ability to work.

Ability to work. Is that such a problem for people? I mean, if you are unemployed and you can get a job, why don’t you? You are able to work. Why should you be able to stay in the system? 

It is something that has confused me for a while now. Why is this such a problem for the left? This fundamental idea that if someone is able to work – be it through economic prospects or physical/mental competence – why shouldn’t they?

Are the left too embedded to the idea of bankrupting us all that they cannot see this? They do not get that there is too much money being spent; too much money that is being borrowed; and they want to borrow more?

Even worse, the International Monetary Fund has got in the act, wanting more stupidity in the form of quantitative easing. What a great idea. So far £375bn has been chucked into the ether and hasn’t worked so let’s chuck some more in.

There is only one way to get us back on track and that is to give us our money back and not give it to bankers to magically buy your debt out of the system with some Zimbabwean economics.

Without radical changes to our system such as cuts in taxes, cuts in the size of state and cuts in regulations, there will be bigger problems on the horizon.

When inflationary pressures begin, when the rate of income from the private sector drops, or rather continues to drop, there will be such stresses on the economy that something will rupture.

As a result, the ability to work will be a question for all of us, not just those in the client state so ably constructed by the previous government and seemingly continued by this coalition of few talents.

Simon Miller is the Editor of Financial Risks Today. He tweets at @simontm71

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