The focus in Westminster is the cost of living. As readers will know, the COVID pandemic used up a lot of our economic firepower. If it wasn’t sitting on the Governments balance sheet, every UK adult would now be working out how to repay the £5,000 for each one of us that was borrowed to protect jobs and the economy during that crisis. The second blow has been a war to preserve democracy in Europe that will require sacrifice from us all if freedom is to prevail. In the UK we mercifully do not face the death and destruction that Ukraine has seen, but higher energy bills.
Amidst the talk of windfall taxes, why does the media never talk of a windfall cut? To prune the non-productive part of the economy that is the ‘deadweight’ cost every working family has to carry on its shoulders. I was recently told how an entrepreneur seeking to install solar on homes faced thousands in registration fees from government mandated quangos before a single solar cell yielded its first electron. And an experienced mum seeking to become a child minder faces hundreds of pounds of compulsory learning levies and inspection fees.
Imagine if overnight we could reduce every charge and levy that the state imposes. Not the general pot of taxation that pays for public services, but all of the other fees charged by different levels of government, regulators and quango’s. From TV licences to passport application fees. This would be genuinely deflationary - providing some tension versus the higher energy prices we face if we are not to refill Putin’s coffers.
Last Friday I was delighted to celebrate World Bee Day when we cherish the profound role that bees and other pollinators make to our precious ecosystem.
This year also marked the occasion where Arundel Bee Project – led by local resident and bee-keeper Nick Field - achieved its long-held goal of getting Arundel to be awarded the special accodale of “bee-friendly town” status. Last year I joined Arundel CofE Primary School as they opened with the project’s special pollinator garden.