Wednesday, 5 May 2010

Austerity Measures

Goal 49: To have earned £40,000 by the end of this year

We took a long hard look at our expenses last weekend. We have a little income each month and combining this with our savings, we can last a few more months if we cut out all ‘luxuries.’ Our kids allowances have been halved in May and they have been warned we might need to stop even this next month.

‘Luxuries’ include putting money aside for things like next years MOT and home insurance… But, what can one do? The fact that we had been putting money aside, though never as much as we really could, has meant we now have a few months grace until I can get a contract.

I can’t imagine what it must be like for anyone who has already reached the point where all savings have gone. Well, I can, I just don’t want to. But, it’s in my nature to consider the worst case scenario and while it would not be pretty, bankruptcy would not be the end of the world. We’re a long way from that though.

I have a plan and it doesn’t involve spending our way out of this recession!

I’ve pretty much switched off to the election debates apart from discussing it with friends. None of the political parties seem to be anywhere near addressing the main issues as I see it: £1 trillion in debt and an annual budget that defies belief of £700 billion.

Sure, the only way to deal with either of these issues will involve cutting huge amounts from public spending and that will result in job losses. But, surely it must be possible to enforce a cost efficiency drive that cuts out the ‘luxuries’ in public spending. Here’s some thoughts:
  • Cut salaries of MP’s and senior civil servants first and the hardest!
  • Identify exactly where we are spending money and allow the public to decide if we really want to continue doing so.
  • Are we wasting money on arts, or dare I say it, IT projects?
  • Could we cull some consultancy fees?
  • Could we limit travel expenses?
There must be hundreds of billions that could be trimmed from our annual expenditure. Yes, it would result in some job losses, but if we could start paying off that £1 trillion in debt, maybe we could eventually be debt free and just think much we could reduce tax by then…

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