How to decide how to spend our money?

CeoxYHfXIAEB_KLBudgeting in times of austerity is not easy, most people have got used to the challenge, even if the extent to which it impacts on them personally varies. I have no idea how hard it must be for George Osborne to make decisions that one would have assumed would be tough ones, but surely this shows he needs a bit more help or perhaps he needs a break from the job. If the Port Talbot steel works is losing £1M a day, then by my calculations £22Bn would pay for those losses for 66 years. I am not suggesting that we use the money to prop up a steel works for that length of time, simply that our money needs to be cared for a bit better. It seems strange that the ideology of share owning businesses and that of state ownership are seen in such different lights depending on what is involved. I am content for the state to continue to own banks and indeed steel works if we can ensure that we get the most bangs for our buck or perhaps the most jobs, the best steel, the most moral banking decisions etc. Why is it that George Osborne is so determined to act differently? unless as some allege he has friends who want to buy banks on the cheap and allow foreign steel to become the source for all of our infrastructure projects? In any event I would rather we use the money for the benefit of British people than simply give it away just to satisfy a personal philosophy! There are precedents for Government Ministers wanting to protect UK produced goods. Nearly 2 years ago speaking at a Conservative Party Conference in Birmingham, Elizabeth Truss stood up and denounced Labour for their willingness (in her eyes) to import food from abroad, rather than to support the production of food here in the UK. She made it clear that she was determined to ensure that Britain has the choice to eat more of its own produce and branded it as a disgrace that we import so much food when our own food is of such good quality. I hope that the same sort of resolve is beginning to emerge from Sajid Javid and his colleagues as they focus on the future of British steel production. It is disturbing that our own Government has failed to support stronger barriers to steel imports in its role within the EU and has so far failed to explain why this is the case to us. It is clearly vital that we reduce the distance that food has to travel to reach our plates, but surely the same logic needs to be applied to the transportation of steel which plays such a vital role in our building and engineering requirements. While few of us pop down to our local steel supplier in the way that we call into our bank, or to our local supermarket or farmers market the need for a robust industrial strategy that focuses on the production of material such as steel is vital.


About ianchisnall

I have a passion to see public policy made accessible everyone who want to improve the wellbeing of their communities. I am interested in issues related to crime and policing as well as in policies on health services and strategic planning.
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