BUDGET: Credit for boom but not the bust

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It seems most think the recent budget is one for the older generation. Yes. In respect of it all being depressingly familiar.

There is nothing new about the ‘boom and bust’ we have witnessed over the last 50 years. It works like this; when the economy is looking good the politicians claim BOOM! and all credit for making it happen.

Then they set about spending more of OUR money in ways they think will gain them more votes... conversely, when times are not so good it is BUST; then they set about blaming everyone else and telling US to tighten our belts.

In my view, unless there is some evidence of a new kind of economic miracle at work, the latest recovery is largely consumer debt-fuelled. Same as it ever was.

Only nowadays, it seems to me, the ‘booms’ are weaker and shorter while the ‘busts’ are longer and stronger. More worryingly now, against a backdrop of lousy productivity, is a culture of low wages and ‘zero hours’ employment contracts that seem to defy reform and go almost unchallenged in our working society.

Also, high taxes and rents plus, mostly, unaffordable housing, drags young people down.

My humble view is this: If politicians want to tell us that they are prudent and responsible at all times, when most evidence suggests they are not, then, all of us, young and old, must be prepared to challenge and call them to account at every level, remind them all of their duty to prioritise the spending of OUR money prudently, in accordance with the real needs of OUR community.

David Turp

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