Wednesday, 20 March 2013

Budget: Still focused on retail and financial sectors

Budget: Still focused on retail and financial sectors

One fact that characterized Margaret Thatcher’s administration and following Conservative administrations was the privatisation of British companies – including public companies – and the exportation of jobs - in particular to China. The intention of entering the Chinese market was the fundamental reason to give up Hong Kong after building a very expensive airport facility at British taxpayers’ expense.

During the Labour administration, from 1997 until 2010, the confessed aim of the Labour Party beginning with Tony Blair as Prime Minister was to transform Britain into ‘a country of services’, namely retail and financial services.

The emphasis of the budget delivered this afternoon by Chancellor of the Exchequer George Osborne follows the same lines of the previous Conservative administration and of the Labour Administration that followed it. Remarks about how to promote national manufacturing, farming, fisheries, transport and energy sectors et cetera et cetera are once again missing.

Britain urgently needs to replace nuclear reactors as one of the most fundamental items in the energy mix and to do so the Coalition reached an agreement with EDF, a French company, to build a nuclear reactor in Somerset. Before that, an agreement was reached with Siemens, a German company, to provide trains for the EUROSTAR lines and EUROSTAR, the actual company that manages high-speed railways, is actually French. So, in the end, every step of the way, we see that practically only foreign companies have become major players in projects developed in Britain and this shows, quite clearly, a self-evident failure to promote national interests in a country that has more than 2.5 million people unemployed.

There is a lot of cost cutting but there seems to be very little in terms of investment in national projects to be developed by British companies for the benefit of British workers and of Britain as a whole.

When it comes to deffending British consumers, the Labour Party in Opposition does not fare any better. All the blame seems to be about reduced welfare payments but there is no mention of any affirmative action to counter inflationary trends created by big supermarket chains and utilities whose greed is destroying vulnerable families.  

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