Martin Bright

What Would a Budget for Innovation, Enterprise and Aspiration Look Like?

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The papers make pretty depressing reading this morning, whether you are Alistair Darling, a Spactator reader facing the prospect of a 50p top tax rate or a member of the mythological "hardworking" family.

Growth at its lowest rate since the war, stratospheric debt, unemployment over two million: the end of the first decade of the 21st century is turning into a living nightmare. And I don't buy the prediction that this will be over by the end of the year. 

I agree with those who say that the government which takes us out of recession will harness the hard work, enterprise and aspiration of the nation. But I really don't the 50p tax "bombshell" is the real issue here. The micro-entrepreneurs and innovators that we need so dearly at the moment are not people earning the top salaries. Indeed, many of that group are the very people who led us into this mess. 

None of the wise-after-the-event voices on the right now carping about  this Budget predicted this crisis. But if we can agree that it is Britain's talent for innovation that will pull us out of this mess, then let's start to imagine what might be done to encourage a culture of creative entrepreneurship.