The new government in the United Kingdom has done what needed to be done. It cut spending. Some social welfare benefits are being frozen, others capped, some given conditions. It adjusted taxes, raising taxes in some places and easing the blow with tax cuts elsewhere. A great many governmental benefits and taxes will both be indexed to inflation. Even the Queen gets to feel the pinch.
It will be unpopular with British taxpayers and voters. It will hurt; good people who work hard and try to do a good job at what they do in either the public or the private sectors, will experience setbacks; for some, they will be significant. The new budget will severely strain the political coalition that formed the new government. It is, in short, an austerity budget for the UK.
And it is precisely what Britain needs in both the short and long runs. It is precisely the sort of thing that ought to be happening in the U.S. and any other industrialized nation whose central government’s primary mission has become writing checks to its own nonproductive citizens.
Congratulations to Prime Minister David Cameron and his coalition partner, Deputy PM Nick Clegg. It must have sucked to do, gentlemen, but it needed doing. You have rendered Her Majesty’s government and the United Kingdom a great service and set an example for the rest of the world to follow.