I still get bemused by members of the public who go on television and say, “I am paying less tax but my benefits have dropped, so I am no better off”.
The Budget is not about making people better off, it’s about balancing books – and attitudes.
It is forcing people to work in many ways. If you work you now pay less tax and will do in the following tax year as well.
Benefits have to reduce as we don’t have sufficient wealth to maintain them, so work is the only option.
We are an ageing population and an individual retiring at the age of 65 will be almost as rare as a complete sheet of the world’s first adhesive postage stamp, the Penny Black.
We can’t afford to pay state pensions for 25 years so it makes sense for people to work for longer – unless they make their own provision.
My only concern is the bottom of the employment ladder and whether the cheap loans to small businesses and minor tax breaks will really help create enough jobs for the young, the old and the working families all to live happily ever after.
Similarly, for our own industry there was nothing in the Budget to help us secure the future of the present, let alone the next generation, of mortgage brokers.
I do hope the government’s great ideas for the future economy are not built on foundations of sand but only time will tell.