Thursday, 20 March 2014

2014 Government Budget: Taxing Your Future?

Helpful starting points/further reading: BBC Beginner's Guide to the Budget
The Gov.UK guide to government spending is more technical 
My previous blog post has many graphics, links and a short video

An unfortunate comparison, but this useful guide gives a quick summary of local gov. spending on p.12; I've also blogged on this before with many more resources!
older people vote – 76% last time. What is the point of easing the housing, jobs and debt crises of the young when only 44% bothered to vote? Low

earners don't vote much either, so the young/poor vote least of all. The IPPR shows how, since 2010, average voters lost 12% in service cuts, but those who didn't vote lost 20%, or £2,135 a year. So, Russell Brand, young people are badly treated if they don't vote. [Polly Toynbee, Guardian, 21.3.14 - lots of facts and figures on how decisions by both major major parties in recent years have hit young people]
Toynbee, above, criticises Brand; videos on Brand's controversial views here.

This can seem very abstract, and alien to teenagers who might not think this impacts upon them, but government budgets, and so their public spending plans, include how much more or less they will spend on schools for example, and how this money is divided up.

This Guardian article claimed that the budget targeted pensioners votes
There is an increasingly common point of view that this government - like its predecessors - puts the interests of pensioners above those of young people, basically because they are much more likely to vote. All of the broadsheet or 'quality' papers from March 20th 2014 (except the Telegraph) specifically mention the 'grey vote' on their front pages. We'll explore the press in more detail in another lesson.

Read what press expert Roy Greenslade made of the press coverage here.

If you skip to 2:12 in, this BBC radio guide to the economy and public spending explains how it works if we imagine that the whole UK economy amounted to just 100 pennies ... from which more and more is going towards paying out pensions, putting pressure on spending on other areas, such as education.
Skip to 2:13 in, and this is a very user-friendly guide!
The Guardian reports that the 2014 budget, from 19th March 2014, was quite obviously pro-pensioner and unfavourable to youth (or 'Generation Y'), as the sample quote below illustrates:
It can be useful to have a grasp of the demographics of the UK; the map below (click here for the full-size image, here to read analysis of how the size of a youth population influences a country's politics) puts the UK into global context:
There are lots of reports on this year's budget; for example, you can find a 100 second video summary here from the Daily Telegraph, a right-wing paper, or select from a range of articles here from The Guardian, a more left-wing paper.

As well as any of the above, you will have the following main resources to use for this task:

Interactive Telegraph guide to public spending - you can click (or just hover) on any of the circles, or the Department names, for further details.

Guardian pie chart graphic of public spending.

This guide is not so user-friendly, but allows you to access some more detailed breakdowns.

This guide to the main elements of the 2013 spending review highlights some of the key trends in government spending.

NB: the images below are only screenshots: click on the blue, bold underlined hyperlinks above to visit these sites/resources!
Telegraph guide: click/hover on bubbles or Department names for more detail

Guardian guide; zoom in to read the fine print!

The guide: click on the + for more details guide - welfare is a key target for cuts; what is your view?

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