Posted on December 24, 2017  
by Noel Guilford

“Citizens of countries that have a high economic growth rate are likely to have higher income and higher standards of living”.

It’s Christmas Eve, and when I read this I was encouraged by the news that last year Britain joined Germany to become the joint-fastest growing advanced economy in the World. Good news right? We’re all better off and have a higher standard of living.

Except we don’t.

Because 2017 is ending with two other pieces of news:

  • the gap in disposable income between Britain’s highest and lowest earners has widened; and
  • British households have become net borrowers – meaning their expenditure was greater than their income – since records began. Despite borrowing more and dipping into their savings spending is at its lowest level in years. So the reason borrowing is going up is because incomes are going down rather than expenditure going up.

Now if this doesn’t make sense to you, you’re not alone. How can Britain enjoy the fastest growth of any country in the world and yet most people are worse off? How come those in the lower 60% of income distribution, already affected by the freeze in benefit payments due to Universal Credit, have been the hardest hit?

It seems that rather than being the season of goodwill to all men, it’s the season for a minority!

​If you want to learn a bit more I recommend you watch www.facebook.com/RBReich/videos/1803065519706036/

​Perhaps, as we start a week when many of us will have time for reflection we should ask:

  • How did we allow these incompetents (on both sides of the political divide) to gain power?
  • What needs to happen to get us out this mess?
  • Will someone ‘bring good news to the poor’ tomorrow?

And reflect this Christmas that one in four children live in poverty (www.cpag.org.uk) and more people will rely on Foodbanks for their Christmas dinner than ever before.

​A start might be for entrepreneurial small business owners to say enough! There is so much we can do – far more than we are consciously aware of. I look forward to hearing your thoughts.

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Noel Guilford


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