Thursday, December 01, 2011

Osborne grows a spine


It may seem slightly backhanded but that is indeed a compliment. In the Autumn statement with things looking just about as bad as it could get (strikes, massive bloated borrowing figures, zero growth and the European project in flames with the Germans adding fuel to the fire) George Osborne stuck to his guns.

The proposed SEIS scheme should do more to help start ups and small businesses in media and other sectors than a thousand project Merlins or credit easing schemes. Often this sector of the market suffers because investments of under £1m are too small to offer fees to advisers and the investments are often high risk. This should bring into play high net worth individuals and give small business a realistic shot at raising finance given that at least 50% of the risk is underwritten.

Proposed plans for high speed broadband are a no-brainer and the twin 10% increase in the bank levy and taking an axe to the public sector is welcome (at the risk of going all Clarkson).

Even with the US Federal Reserve coming over the hill like Blucher at Waterloo it is still to early to say if we will escape meltdown but at least there does appear to be plan based on principle rather than focus groups and if the UK does get through this may look like a key moment with the benefit of hindsight.