Jam tomorrow & emergency Budget support

Jam tomorrow & emergency Budget support“The rule is, jam to-morrow and jam yesterday – but never jam to-day.”

So said the White Queen to Alice in Lewis Carroll’s 1871 book Through the Looking Glass and What Alice Found There.

Comparisons could be drawn between this belief it can’t come to jam today, which Alice found terribly confusing, and public support for measures in the emergency Budget taking place next week.

According to research by SunLife, the public would cut state support for older people, including pensions, by more than £48bn (32%) while increasing the size of tax cuts by 156% to £17.9bn.

More than 10,000 people from across the country took part in SunLife’s research, which gave them to opportunity to allocate £600bn of the UK’s budget in 10 key spending priorities.

The research found that (on average) people are happy to receive less financial support from the Government in their golden years in favour of more financial freedom and lower taxes today.

Those surveyed said they would cut state support for older people, including pensions, by over £48bn while increasing the size of tax cuts by 156% to £17.9bn.

With George Osborne expected to announce his controversial £12bn cut to the welfare bill in the Budget next week, the research found that the UK public would actually like to see him go further and cut benefits by a further £15bn.

This would take overall spending on welfare down by almost 25% from £110bn to £82.7bn.

It’s human nature to want financial benefits today, often at the expense of financial security in the future.

People tend to like quick wins and are biased in favour of the short-term, which can often make it difficult to work towards long-term gains.

Financial Planning can be a lot like this.

Sometimes you need to accept a little financial discomfort, dare I say ‘sacrifice’, in the short-term in order to achieve your long-term financial goals.

Because we as irrational humans are often not very good at doing this, engaging a Financial Planner has the value of some behavioural coaching to help with long-term thinking.

In his position as Chancellor, we would expect George Osborne to favour the long-term, for the benefit of the UK economy.

As a politician, however, Osborne also needs to balance his long-term planning with more popular short-term measures, ensuring broad public support for Conservative economic policies.


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About Martin Bamford

Martin Bamford is a Chartered Financial Planner, Certified Financial Planner (CFP) professional and published personal finance author. He works with elderly clients to provide advice on funding residential care fees, hosts the Informed Choice Podcast and is a keen ultra runner.
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