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Budgeting for Godot?

Published on April 1, 2015

Budgeting for GodotThose of you, like me, who are fans of Samuel Beckett will recognise the exchange that goes:

“Let’s go”

“We can’t”

“Why not”

“We’re waiting for Godot”

But why mention it in the context of a pre-election budget I hear you ask? After all if you’re under 21, a first-time buyer or have a few savings that you haven’t sheltered in ISAs or National Savings, what’s not to like? Well, the relentless onslaught on the limit on lifetime savings in pensions of £1m for a start,. Why it’s enough to make you join the equally disregarded band of smokers, although the ability to pass on these pots (pension not smoked) without their being charged to IHT is a boon that has not been well-publicised (and if I’ve got that wrong now is the time for someone to tell me). But more importantly the Budget fails to impress me because it lacks a direction of travel, of leadership borne of a vision of a better Britain. It’s asking anyone who says that we need a direction of travel to “wait for Godot”.

I’m not looking for handouts to entrepreneurs and other wealth creators; we’re capable of finding resources ourselves. But what we do need is greater focus on removing obstacles in the way of using those resources. The Government has made some inroad into reducing the power of wealth wasters: the Civil Service is aware that it really should do what its political masters tell it; the Armed Forces know that the excuse that any battle plan doesn’t survive the first encounter with the enemy is not applicable to buying a boat, no matter how big; and parts of the emergency services have now recognised that cyber-crime is their growth market, even if car crime is a little more obvious.

What I am looking for is greater focus on wealth creation, as well as continued focus on wealth wasters: I read that 65% of NHS users found the service good or quite good. If any of you have built or helped a business with customer satisfaction of 65% please let me know asap and I’ll share it with everyone else, along with Shergar’s whereabouts.

As I continue to strive for 90+% satisfaction I ask that we elect a Government that recognises that sitting around waiting for the deficit to come down is not enough. We need more than that, a vision of a growing community that creates wealth through world class excellence in some areas – I suggest creative arts, precision manufacturing and financial products – and share it with others based on their endeavour or REAL need. It’s thoughts of a better future, that we can imagine and seems attainable, that build and support sustainable enterprises and which are lacking now in all those who style themselves as political leaders.

And if you choose to share this blog with someone and they ask you why we need this vision, a reason to get up in the morning and work until the middle of April just to pay the taxes that MAY bring down the deficit, then perhaps you can suggest to them: “Ask Godot”