Save, make, understand money


BLOG: The Budget is all a load of gobbledygook

Joanna Faith
Written By:
Joanna Faith

Politicians would have a much easier time getting through to consumers if they spoke plain English, writes Joanna Faith

Breaking news: the majority of UK adults don’t have a clue what the Budget is let alone what it means for their everyday finances.

This was the headline-grabbing item from a report out today into Britons’ understanding of tax and finances.

I don’t know about you, but in my opinion this was hardly a surprise.

Walk down any local high street during next week’s Budget statement and I bet it’ll be business as usual.

For as much as the politicos in the ‘Westminster Village’ like to believe that the country comes to a standstill as worried Brits gather around TVs to listen to George Osborne deliver his annual Budget statement, this just doesn’t happen.

And this year will be no exception.

Why? Well, firstly there is very little our esteemed Chancellor can do to get the country out of this financial rut.

The prime minister has already talked about the lack of magic money trees in his economic forest and has been careful to dampen down public expectations about big tax giveaways in the Budget.

In summary, experts are predicting very little ‘real news’ next Wednesday.

The second – and arguably more important – reason though is the sheer amount of confusing jargon (or to be more blunt, gobbledygook) that comes out of the Chancellor’s mouth.

While politicians, journalists, commentators and a few other interested parties listen intently to the statement, preparing their carefully concocted reactions, the man on the street is left more confused than ever.

Look back at the Chancellor’s 2012 Budget statement and you’ll find a whole range of technical words and phrases.

Here are just a few examples: ‘fiscal mandate’, ‘Treasury bond’, ‘gilts’, ‘redemption dates’, ‘growth-enhancing infrastructure’, ‘decommissioning tax relief’.

Of course this isn’t just a problem on Budget day. Every week politicians spend hours talking to the public in their own special language, talking about GDP this and deficit that.

I know it seems like a far out suggestion but what if these politicians began talking in a language everyone understood?

Just think Brits may start taking more of an interest in what the people running the country actually have to say which in turn could even make them take more control of their personal finances.

Who knows…it might even help people respect politicians and their opinions a little bit more.