Robbing Peter to pay Paul? Go figure

Cameron: At the Sci Tech Enterprise Zone, Daresbury

Cameron: At the Sci Tech Enterprise Zone, Daresbury

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ONE plus one is two. Two plus two are four.

The good old times tables.

Remember sitting there and reciting them over and over and over?

It paid off.

To some extent.

My mind has hung on to quite a few of the mantra-like permutations which took me from the aforementioned 1 times 1 all the way up to 12 times 12.

I was always especially fond, for some reason, of the fact that seven times seven make 49,

It is just one of those numbers which pleased me for some reason.

But, to be frankly honest, I am not too good with numbers.

So that may explain my befuddlement over latest news that the Government is going to create 30,000 jobs with their new enterprise zones, which Prime Minister David Cameron and Chancellor George Osborne announced earlier this week.

These will stretch from the Humber Estuary to Newquay and are going to be the powerhouse of the new economy which will lift Britain out of recession.

In fact Mr Osborne boasted: “Enterprise zones are a critical part of our plan for growth and will support economic development and create more than 30,000 new jobs by 2015.

Note to Diary: Pick a day in 2015 – any day will do – as a reminder to drop a line to the Chancellor asking him to tot up the number of new jobs.

You see, I just don’t believe it. Any of it!

I know that enterprise zones encourage businesses which may otherwise be wallowing in stagnation to make the great leap of faith needed to kickstart their recovery.

All tax breaks and planning rule relaxations.

It’s a developer’s dream and good news for the construction industry, if you call the Meccano buildng methods of today’s shed-like factories ‘construction’.

But what then?

Well, from where I sit it seems that we don’t get so much ‘new’ businesses as old ones shifting a couple of miles along the motorway.

Now I have already admitted that I am no good at sums.

And I am prepared to be corrected. Actually welcome it. But do we really see ‘new’ jobs created?

Or are these ‘old’ jobs just shifted to a ‘new’ location?

And during the move, it gives employers a chance to downsize and modernise their businesses so more can be done with fewer.

I can’t help but think that this is all some kind of on-going con to pretend that the Government actually has a plan – or can bring any influence to bear in order to reinvigorate our economy.

It also reminds me of the glee – or its opposite emotion – which is publicly proclaimed when jobs are brought/lost to/from our area/city.

In particular, I have always thought it unseemly for politicians to shoulder their way into the limelight when a new enterprise sets down roots on their doorstep, more often than not having closed down an enterprise in some part of the country.

They don’t seem to care a jot about the poor souls who lost their jobs or are forced to uproot their families to move to a brand new location.

I know there are some who will simply say that is the way of the economic world. But it just smacks of hypocrisy to me.

And I have to admit that I have never bought into the argument that Peter has to be robbed to pay Paul.

It doesn’t add up!

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