Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Deficit-busting and the Chinese curse

An article about Britain in the FT is likely to reflect the choices facing a large number of other indebted and deficit-addled countries (not least Greece.) Its headline Brace yourself, Britain, for higher taxation is self-explanatory; and one of its key points was:

"The notion that the problem can be fixed by eliminating waste was part of the phoney debate. There is widespread waste in the public sector – as in the private – but if it were easy to eliminate it would already have been eliminated."

Another, more entertaining article illustrates the nature of the problem:

"I never realised I was such a hard-hearted brute until I tried out the online “deficit-buster” on

It allows you to play chancellor and simulate the UK’s next three-year spending review. You swing the axe - and the deficit-buster tells you all the gruesome consequences in terms of human discomfort.

Before I knew it, two million families with an income of more than £24,400 had lost a benefit worth around £1,000. And all because I thought “means-testing” child benefits was an easy option.

I retraced my steps and swung again. Eleven million people over the age of 60 lost their right to free public transport.

Oops. (And I used to be such a nice son-in-law.)

My wife had a go. She tried to abolish the police - but it wouldn’t let her."

To state the bleeding obvious - we are currently living in the time of the Chinese Curse. The politics of tax is, unfortunately, going to get interesting.


Blogger Chua Chin Leng aka redbean said...

I think it is the curse of the colonial conquest.

12:46 am  

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