I started this blog with the intention of reviewing the latest budget, which was presented yesterday by Chancellor Rishi Sunak, as we start to see the light at the end of the tunnel and are hoping that most of the existing lockdown measures will be eased by June 21st.
The budget contained some measures which will help business, like the extension of Furlough, VAT and Rates holidays and the inclusion of 600,000 businesses who were set up in 2019. But it did not help the nearly 2 million businesses who have been excluded and the regulated pub company tenants who have seen grants come in, then go straight out of the door to pay rent to their pub company owners. It is also clear that Government has been dealing with a brand-new situation unlike anything the country has faced before and I am sure doing their best in the situation, so it seems unnecessarily negative to criticise, but we must accept that mistakes will have been made in the last year and we need to learn from them.
And that made me think and change tack a little, because the reason human beings have done so well as a species is because we learn, we make mistakes, correct them, communicate the mistakes and solutions, evolve, and grow. We adapt to different environments, to ever-changing circumstances and this is our greatest advantage in survival and growth. With the Covid-19 pandemic, we have entered a new era, which a few clever people like Bill Gates had predicted. We have had a global pandemic that will take years to recover from and have a new virus which like Flu we will have to live with and it is also very possible that there will be more of these viruses in the future. So, the government must do what we as human beings are best at, analysing and questioning what we did right, what we did wrong and what we could have done better, not in order to apportion blame, that is a worthless process, they need to do it to learn and apply what they learn!
Arnold Schwarzenegger of all people put it best when he said, “some things are too important to be left to government”, who very often take a short-term view, particularly when politicians, if they are put under pressure and in danger of losing their jobs, start to discard principles like a balloonist discharges ballast.
In the best interests of the country, and to make sure we are in a better position if something like this happens again, the government needs to carry out a full and detailed evaluation of their actions and decisions to find out what worked, what did not work and how we can make things better going forward, so we are better prepared next time. To ensure we spend our resources in terms of time and money in an efficient way, cause the least damage to the economy and save lives. Its time to take a long-term view and make sure we learn from this experience and if the government is not prepared to do it, they need to put something in place that will, for the benefit of all our futures!
Keep Health and Safe!