Opinion – 8 must-read economics stories of the week – Agenda – The World Economic Forum

According to the WEF, the UK’s ‘high-growth small businesses’ are world news this week. WEF provides a curated list of some of this week’s most interesting stories on economic growth and social inclusion.

Source: 8 must-read economics stories of the week – Agenda – The World Economic Forum

Personally, I think that the UK’s small businesses could do with some serious help from Chancellor, George Osborne and his government colleagues.

Dr Alf’s Seven Point Plan

  1. The UK’s big-businesses have powerful industry lobbies and can employ tax experts to reduce their tax bills. Small businesses often don’t get the tax breaks  – So there’s an urgent need to level the playing fields. For example, I would like to see small businesses get triple tax credits for investment in research and development. Also small businesses should get triple tax credits for professional development (there’s room for a whole new industry here).

2. The UK’s banking system favors those who work in big banks and their chums in big-business. Since 2008, small businesses have often struggled with mainstream finance from banks. More government guarantees are required to help ratchet up small business finance.

3. Local authorities should be encouraged to give small businesses, a three-year holiday from local taxation. This can be recouped from big-businesses operating in the local authority area, including shops.

Remember small business are better than big businesses for creating new jobs. Graduates are tired of stacking super-market shelves!

4. All UK public services in both central and local should give priority to small businesses.

5. The Brexit  debate must major on cutting red-tape and bureaucracy for small businesses.

6. The media should be given incentives for sponsoring public appetite for small businesses. We need more people like Lord Sugar to step forward.

7. Finally, central and local government departments should get special fiscal incentives to replace big consulting firms with independent executives and consultants. This would create more competition, increase public value-for-money, enhance small business development and possibly create a new export opportunity. I know that my good friend John Gelmini has leveraged his UK public sector experience and is looking to major export opportunities.

These are a just strawman proposals. My personal brainstorm.

Why don’t you brainstorm this with your friends? Then tell George Osborne. Here’s his Twitter handle @George_Osborne

Please feel free to chip in with your own ideas below. If we get a bit of debate, perhaps we’ll share it with George!

Germany’s Destructive Anger – Jacob Soll – The New York Times

This is an insightful, must-read, op-ed article by Jacob Soll, published in the NYT. Check it out!

Germany’s Destructive Anger – The New York Times.

The article provides some light on the professional German economists who underpin German Finance Minister, Wolfgang Schauble. Schauble is a tax lawyer by background, although his university education was a mix of economics and law. Schauble’s austerity policies have received widespread criticism by the world’s top macro-economists.

The article highlights how the use of terms like ‘Nazi‘ and ‘terrorist’ went too far and triggered ‘Germany‘s destructive anger’.  One normally thinks of Southern Europeans as passionate and emotional in their culture – by contrast the concept of ‘Germany’s destructive anger’ is quite unusual.

Perhaps the ‘destructive anger’ described explains the severity of Schauble’s response this week?



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