I have an idea here for the Government when it comes to their mini-budget at the end of March or early April.
We all saw the ructions over the over-70s medical cards in the October Budget, and the subsequent embarassing climb down by the government.
This idea will mean that the government might get their wishes (though over a longer period of time), but they could make more cuts in one fell swoop in this way if they wanted, with not even close to the amount of opposition you’d think.
Instead of cutting benefits for everyone in one go, why not cut the benefits for anyone who doesn’t have them at the moment? Remove the entitlements to benefits for anyone may in the future who expects to get something rather than taking it from someone who has it already.
So, cut child benefit, or means test it, or whatever is being talked about, for anyone who has a child after April 2nd plus 9 months. After that, you chose to have a child in the full knowledge that you’re not automatically getting childrens allowance.
If the over-70’s medical card controversy was handled in this way, I don’t believe the uproar would have been as big. If you’re over 70, carry on. If you’re under 70, you know you’re not getting the card automatically so you make alternative plans.
Note: I’m not advocating any cuts in either of these areas – I don’t know enough about them. What I am advocating is a way for our government to think about how they go about making any decisions that they tell us they need to make.
To my mind, this is a simple way to get something accepted by the government without so much opposition, but I obviously accept that it’s a longer term thing. However, with less opposition at the time of making decisions in this way, it’s alternatively possible that they could make cuts across a wider range of areas in one go – without the piecenmeal tinkering about the edges they’ve been involved in for the past 6 months.
It would also show that they’re actually thinking properly about what their doing, and planning, rather than just reacting.