Budget: so what's the alternative?

By Simon Barrow
July 9, 2015

Inevitably budgets produce criticism, and just as inevitably the cry "what would you do?" or "what's the alternative?" Our good friend and stalwart Tax Research policy analyst and change-agent Richard Murphy pre-figured that question with a significant talk and article a couple of days ago: one that deserves further attention.

Based on a talk given to Bury St Edmunds Quakers (at a meeting attended by, among others, Ekklesia associate director Jill Segger), Richard set out what in effect was an alternative budget.

He declared: "I would first lay out the background to an economic plan for the UK that recognises three fundamental facts. The first is that we need more, better paid, jobs. The second is that we need to tackle wealth and income inequality. The third is that we are going ridiculously slowly in tackling climate change and its causes. I would also raise some fundamental questions of tax reform."

On that basis he made the following proposals: http://www.taxresearch.org.uk/Blog/2015/07/07/what-would-i-do-tomorrow-m...

The article concludes: "This would be a budget for the lowest paid and the vulnerable. It would be a budget for jobs. It would be a budget for justice. It would be a budget that reduced inequality. It would be a budget for a level playing field. It would be a budget for tax simplification. It would be a budget for reducing the deficit. It would be a budget for business responsibility. It would be a budget that encouraged business investment but not business speculation. It would be a budget for a fairer, wealthier, more sustainable and progressive UK."

Exactly the kind of alternative we need: the re-uniting of economic and moral purpose.

* More about Richard Murphy and Tax Research: http://www.taxresearch.org.uk/Blog/richard-murphy/

* Full 2015 budget coverage and commentary from Ekklesia at: http://www.ekklesia.co.uk/budget2015

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© Simon Barrow is co-director of Ekklesia.

Although the views expressed in this article do not necessarily represent the views of Ekklesia, the article may reflect Ekklesia's values. If you use Ekklesia's news briefings please consider making a donation to sponsor Ekklesia's work here.