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Quote of the Week, W/E 9 April 2010 April 11, 2010

Posted by Audit Monkey in Quote of the Week, The State of the British Nation.
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As some of view will have heard, we are going to have a General Election in the UK on the 9 May 2010.  I haven’t been enamoured (for want of a better word) by the quality of the political debate. Last week’s debate was dominated by the proposed increase in employers National Insurance and the impact this would have on the economy and job creation.

In context, the ‘debate’ on Newsnight (BBC 2) on 8th April between representatives from the main political parties on the subject was particularly trite.  The politicians and the viewers (except those living who have been living on Mars) are aware the a relatively small increase in employers NI isn’t going to have a huge impact; it is hard to see how the public borrowing deficit will be reversed.

Of course, the politicians ignored the ‘elephant in the room’ (an old phrase which been rekindled and re-entered the popular vernacular) and continued to wax lyrical on Newsnight about  the impact of increased NI and ignored the obvious that there has to be a fundamental rethink over the role of the State and what it can achieve.  The public sector accounts for 52% of GDP, is bloated and is crowding out private sector investment.  The politicians on Newsnight trotted out the old clichés that spending on the NHS was sacrosanct, there were efficiencies in the system that could be realised and avoided the hard truth that the welfare state is overdue for reform.

But no, the elephant in the room will be ignored, the politicians will play safe in the debate and advocate incremental change.  This may change in the next few weeks but I’m sceptical.  Sadly, without some honest and transparent debate, it is hard to see whether the political and economic problems Britain faces will be properly resolved.


“You haven’t seen me, right?”

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