Magazine article Public Finance

Everyone's Business

Magazine article Public Finance

Everyone's Business

Article excerpt

General elections used to be about big political issues: war, poverty, welfare, that kind of thing.

This one is different The outcome of the contest on May 6 will be settled by the sort of questions that normally only agitate readers of PuWic Finance, but have now moved decisively centre stage.

The precise percentage of National Insurance contributions or VAT rises planned by each party; their impact or otherwise on business; the exact level of efficiency savings required to pay down the deficit - these and other arcane issues are sending the pundits into paroxysms of excitement, and the polls all over the place.

How did we get here? When did the interests of Gordon Brown's Ordinary middle classes' - or David Cameron's 'great ignored' - get narrowed down to pocketbook politics and micromanaging the public finances?

PF's expert round tabfe on the bankingcrisis (see cover feature on pages 20-24) provided some useful clues.

Speaker after speaker reminded us that the near-collapse of the global financial system - and subsequent state bail-out of 'the people's banks' - had reached into the lives of every household in the UK The vast cost of the credit crunch in terms of lost tax revenues to the Exchequer, and projected spending cuts, will affect public services for decades to come. …

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