There is a budget this week, there will most likely be no blue sky thinking pots or as I’ve mentioned before about the so called ‘Star-wars’ projects. These mission oriented pots are one the best ways to solve the problems of tomorrow. This will be yet another budget where ideological blinkers lead to cut taxes for the rich, cuts to benefits for those who need the support and nothing for the next advancement in Nano or Green Tech. I wrote a piece a while back about taxes that are not being used that would allow the projects to go ahead with no additional borrowing (though borrowing for these gets more anathema than they need).
There is a value judgement when looking at the areas to advance and to invest, the problems that the UK needs solving most or first. However the lack of support full stop for any area is a waste – If I could advise the government – there would be many things I’d suggest.
- Spend not cut to mitigate the negative headwinds and fight off negative rates
- Raising the top rate back to 50p
- Flat rate pension relief
- Direct or cooperative ownership of rail franchises
- Create and back a crowdfunding platform in the areas with match-funding.
- But above all: Do not turn our backs on would be advancement, we need more not less long term investment.
On this last point the generation of one off pools of money, available for the emergence of new or risky blue sky ventures in Green Tech for example, could revolutionise the market. While through the use of procurement there could also be well financed calls (where problems can be solved for sums of money).
I would also push for the creation of more ‘clusters’ such as the ‘Green Tech South’ cluster I’ve recently had the pleasure of being in contact with or the Orthopaedic cluster that’s come into being in Bournemouth. I’d also push for the creation of a new institute created for the ‘zero average cost’ sector to promote the post-capitalist layer of the economy and to create a digital public realm. You can read more on this here.
It is not like there is not form here, CERN created the internet, the US ran the Star Wars project that led to the advancements in touch screen technology and just this week there has been another. Again hailing from US backed research into sustainability comes a new name; Ellen Williams. Ellen is Director of the ‘Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy’ (ARPA-E) she got to announce the exciting development that her team had beaten Musk (of Tesla) to the new battery storage and release systems of tomorrow. They are now forever in my mind among the true innovators and are leaving the money (wo)men exploiting and scaling previous advancements.
The message for George Osborne, if he is listening. Do not allow the blinkers to cloud the vision for the future, invest for tomorrow. P.S On a moral note, put into reverse the cuts to the vulnerable and support for those able to pay more.