Following the first fully Conservative budget in twenty years, Edelman hosted over 70 guests at Southside for our Budget Breakfast. Chaired by Edelman UK Chairman Paul Myners, the panel was; former Chancellor Alistair Darling, Sky News’ Ian King and former Defence Secretary Liam Fox.
This was a budget less radical and less Conservative than anticipated, and the panel couldn’t resist pointing out that it looked distinctly similar to Alistair Darling’s proposals from five years ago. Ian King outlined a Budget delivered by Ed Balls would have “been slayed” had he announced the same cuts and tax increases.
There was an agreement amongst all panel members on a big intergenerational problem thanks to today’s youth paying for an older generation which has managed to build up their pensions and get on the property ladder, subsequently seeing their equity grow over time. With an aging population, the costs of protected benefits for those over the working age can only grow, leaving governments less room to make budget changes.
All agreed that the success of the budget couldn’t be measured by the short term reception, but by the impact it will have over the next five years on our economy and also how looming winds in the international economy effect the UK.
The event closed with five questions from Myners to the panel, including “Will Greece exit the Euro?”, “Who will be the next Labour leader?” and “Who will be the next Conservative leader?”, although not all panelists provided us with the requested one-word answer. The most interesting response came from Liam Fox who tipped Sajid Javid, rather than himself, as being the next leader of the party.