Friday, April 02, 2010

Desperate to find a difference

The argument over the Labour and Tory plans for NI demonstrates just how pathetic our politics has become.

First of all, of course lots of "business leaders" support the Tory plans. On the whole, businesses support anything that means lower costs to them - but their opinions are no more worthy or valid than anybody else's so it really isn't relevant.

Secondly, in terms of the deficit and debt faced by this country, the sums we're talking about are trivial. It might sound like a lot - anything with the word "billion" after it always does - but it isn't really. That's the trouble when currencies reach the situation we have now - people lose all sense of value.*

Finally, the Tories are not proposing to reduce NI - only not to raise it by quite so much as Labour. Fundamentally, they are not arguing over the general idea - just over the scale of the idea - which demonstrates, once again, just how similar the two parties are.

It also demonstrates how desperate our political media is to find something to distinguish Labour and Tory policy - that they cling on to this minor quibble as if it is something of great importance while, in the grand scheme of things, it's very, very minor. In terms of our economy, it's like fighting over a farthing in the gutter while pouring hundreds of pounds down the drain.

* Which is why I believe we need to revalue our currency so that £10 becomes £1 - to bring back a sense of value to money. Consider this, if you've got £100 and spend £10 - you still have £90 left. That's a lot of money, right?

But if you only have £10 and spend £1 - you only have nine quid left. It's the same proportion, but suddenly it doesn't sound so much and you're much more likely to watch what you spend. Of course, this isn't a popular idea in a consumption based economy.


Antisthenes said...

As things are I will not be surprised if your revaluation idea will be swept away by events as the next economic problem will be the re-emergence of high inflation. So a £10 note will not go far for £100 cup of tea. Still it will do wonders for the national debt could wipe it in a couple months. As for the NI increases, any tax on jobs productive jobs that is means high unemployment and reduced revenue for the tax man. Lower taxes means more jobs and tend to be self-financing.

Stan said...

I quite agree that lower NI would be a good thing, but the Tories are not offering lower NI - just not so much of a rise in NI.

And the point I was making is that it makes damn all difference to the overall state of our national finances.

The Tories are always going on about Labour's failure to fix the roof while the sun is shining. Well - going on that analogy - it's like the roof is missing, it's chucking it down with rain, the taps are on full flow in the bathroom, the bath is overflowing and the downstairs is waist deep in water - and all they're promising is to fix that dripping tap in the kitchen.