Posts Tagged ‘2013 predictions’

Loyalty will only take us so far

01/01/2013, 03:50:55 PM

by David Talbot

The festive period is traditionally a season of good will; the nation’s increasingly extended sabbatical into family and faith. We now stretch what in most other countries is two days off into ten. The stresses and strains of the past year are forgotten, and the only talk of politics is that of the family variety.

For a glorious week or so we forget all about politics and politicians. Ed Miliband entered 2012 seemingly forgetting what profession he was actually in, and endured a torrid start to the year as a result, not because of anything he might have said or done – indeed the perception that he had not said or done anything loomed large amongst the charges – but because his personal polling and that of the Labour party’s were far below where they ought to have been.

Now that the new year has been ushered in, it is an apt time for reflection and pause before the year ahead. Twelve months ago, the great British public tended to believe that the spending cuts were indeed necessary, that Labour was more to blame for them than the Conservatives, and that George Osborne was a bad chancellor whose policies would yet further damage their our own financial prospects. However, they didn’t trust the Labour party with the nation’s finances and were reconciled, not resigned, to accepting the Coalition’s economic medicine. A year on, by and large, the British public still think that – with astonishingly little variance.


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Sadly, neither party offers much hope for 2013

27/12/2012, 08:00:03 AM

by Peter Watt

This is my final post for 2012 and inevitably I am therefore reflecting on the year just gone.  It has been an incredible year for the country from the euphoria of the jubilee to the emotion and pride of the Olympics and Parlaympics.   Sat in the Olympic park back in early August you could feel the optimism and the pride of all who were there.  You could feel it on the trains and on the buses and in the streets as people enjoyed a sense of something shared that was good.

And it wasn’t just a London thing – I spent super Saturday watching Brazil versus Honduras in a packed St James’ Park and then watching the evening unfold on a giant screen in the heart of Newcastle.  The mood was the same, and it felt great.

Once again across the country, families will have struggled to make sure that they had a good Christmas.  They will have done all that they can to have a good time, to enjoy their time together, to party and to be optimistic.  The queues at the Boxing day sales show that people want to spend if they can and no doubt we will all be hopeful as the clocks countdown to midnight on the 31st.

But sadly, reality will soon kick in.  Because sitting behind all of the hope and optimism of the year are the hard economic truths of a flat-lining economy, flaky export markets, huge economic uncertainty in Europe, a weak financial services sector, and austerity in the public sector.

From early January families on modest incomes will lose child benefit, from April many will see their taxes rise as more are dragged into the 40% bracket.  Other families will see their levels of tax credits fall relative to prices, or the amount of support that they get to help with their disability fall.  Others will lose their jobs or have to reduce their hours.  If you are young and unemployed then your chance of finding work will be slim, not much better if you are over 50.  Fuel prices will continue to rise, food won’t become cheaper.


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