We are constantly told by the government that the UK economy is recovering, if not booming compared to most other countries both inside and outside the European Union and that there are record numbers of people employed in the UK.
But then we find that the government is borrowing more per month this year than last year and in the last 12 months has added another £100 billion or so to the UK national debt (which now stands at £1,451.3 billion – on which we pay huge amounts of interest by the way).
But a strong economy plus loads of people at work equals a healthy tax income for government doesn't it?
But the UK isn't seeing that as outlined by Martin Beck, senior economic advisor to the EY Item Club commenting on yesterday's UK debt figures: "Weak tax receipts are the main source of the problem, with income tax being a particular cause for concern. The OBR had forecast robust growth in income tax receipts this fiscal year, …".
So, where is all the tax, especially income tax, from a growing economy employing record numbers of people (or so we're told)?
As well as that, where are all the benefits of the tax take from those taking the opportunity that open door immigration with the European Union brings?
Then there's the minimum wage. If the economy is truly doing so well then surely the need for bolstering the minimum wage is not so great. So why the recent push to increase it? Doesn't a growing economy benefit everyone? That of course is if it is growing by endeavour and not on the back of more debt.
Or is it the truth that:
• The economy is floundering and only kept afloat by more government borrowing and more spending
• That the money borrowed by the government benefits the wrong people and does not find its way into the hands of the ordinary person, so companies (and government) must be forced to increase wages via legislation rather than employment market forces – or face strikes etc
• Open door immigration with the EU has not really benefitted the UK to any great extent