Economic growth is seen as a good thing. More economic activity generates more taxes and so allows the government more money to spend on healthcare, education, and welfare. Society benefits from extra spend on these issues.
But forecasters say that economic growth is low and predicted values are reducing. It is the government’s responsibility to try to improve economic growth.
The present chancellor also believes that it is beneficial for the government to ‘balance the books’. In the 2016 budget the chancellor has said that it will be more difficult to ‘balance the books’ because ecomonic growth has slowed down. He then goes on to propose tax reduction for the better off, and to reduce benefits to the poorest and most vulnerable. In proposing these policies, he is either ignoring or unaware of a fundamental principle:
If the poor have more money, they will spend it. They need to buy the essentials – food, clothes, rent. This puts money into the economy, which then grows.
If the rich have more money, they will save it. They have no basic needs, and fear being poor in the future. This removes money from the economy and growth slows.
If we follow the basic Christian principle of giving money to the poor, we stimulate the economy and things get better for everyone. And you don’t have to be a Christian to do it.
The chancellor refuses to do this on our behalf, which makes it more difficult. But if you have more money than you need, give some to the poor.
Here are some ways to do this:
- If you are a landlord, charge less rent
- Pay your taxes, and don’t look for tax loopholes
- Leave bigger tips at restaurants,
- Give to anyone who asks
- Employ people instead of DIY, and pay a fair amount
- Give to charities that help the poor and needy
- Give to foodbanks
- Financially support someone less well off than you are
Give it a try. You will feel better for it, and it will make a difference.