In 1984, during Ronald Reagan’s reelect, he ran a campaign ad proclaiming, “It’s Morning Again in America”. This masterful piece of political campaigning carried a strong message of all that President Reagan had achieved in his first term, including halving interest rates and raising the number of people in employment to the highest it had ever been in US history.
Fast-forward to the UK in 2015 and Chancellor George Osborne’s budget. In a crowded debating Chamber in the House of Commons, the Chancellor was able to, like President Reagan, announce that more people are in work than have ever been in the Nation’s history.
Osborne was also able to boast the fact that the UK economy had faster annual growth in 2014 than any of the other G7 countries. And the strongest growth since the economic crash and ‘Great Recession’ that occurred under the last Labour government. Obviously this is good news. But it also adds credibility to the argument that Britain is better off out of the EU. If this is the growth that we can have within the EU then imagine what we could do with a conservative government outside of it. Why return to where we were just five short years ago?
Tax Free personal allowances were raised to £11,000 which means that people are able to keep more of their hard earned cash rather than allow the state to take it away.
Osborne also announced the end of the Annual Tax Return. Instead tax returns will be done online, saving on excess bureaucracy. How’s that for cutting red tape?
One item that was mentioned, or rather spun, was the state of the debt. The UK’s National Debt continues to grow year by year. The fact is that there seems to be little in the way of a clear priority when it comes to dealing with the national debt. The common piece of political rhetoric that is towed by the coalition is that the debt was built up by the last government yet the truth is that it has grown the most under the current Coalition government.
Of course there was more to this budget than just facts and figures and promises designed to win votes. There was also a wider message of a recovery, albeit a fragile one. The budget was designed to promote optimism about the direction that the UK is moving in and there will be no doubt that the Conservative party will be hammering home the fact that there are more jobs than there have ever been before. Perhaps its also a sign that the next Conservative government might start listening to the fiscal Hawks in the party and build us towards a stronger recovery.
Of course few people still believe in Osborne’s credentials as a Conservative however this budget was a baby step in the right direction towards fiscal conservatism. If we are to believe what Osborne has to say, we could be looking at a balanced budget by 2017.
It’s morning again in Britain…