As 2010 draws to a close some of us are busy thinking about New Year resolutions and hoping that we stick with them this time around. For my part, I am going to pass on the resolution thing for the simple reason that, even at the best of times, it falls by the way side after only two weeks.
What’s more, it will also be difficult for me to focus on keeping a resolution whilst thinking of the possible surprises the Nick Clegg and David Cameron show may spring on us Britons in 2011.
I agree Britain is not alone in this voyage to the doldrums of economic austerity. Recent public demonstrations-turned-riots in Spain, Belgium, Italy and Greece are testament to the far-reaching effects of this harsh wind of change. I also acknowledge that the citizens of some African countries (Nigeria, Ghana, and Zambia) have only ever known a life of austerity measures. And yet they have gone on living, living and partly living.
Seemingly, some Economists believe that austerity measures run the risk of slowing down the stimulus needed for growth. Others are of the view that drastic measures are needed to curb the excessive public spending that has resulted in the huge national debts. I don’t intend to get into this debate as I am more concerned about how bad things are going to get before they begin to get better.
So what has 2011 got in store for us?
With VAT expected to raise from 17.5 to 20% in January 2011, rising rail fares, rising fuel costs and further job loses expected in 2011, it is hard to see anything but gloom on the horizons for many Britons.
Who knows what will happen to the NHS in 2011? Will citizens now be required to contribute towards treatment costs? Will the Bank of England put up interest rates? Will there be more policy U-turns from Mr. Clegg or even Mr. Cameron? Have we heard the last of the University students? Would it be the Clinicians, Nurses and Teachers marching on London next? As if this is not enough worry, we are constantly reminded of the ever-present threat of al-Qaeda, cyber-terrorism and pedophilia.
How will all this gloom impact upon our health over the coming months? Whether it is in our forgoing healthy food for cheaper junk substitutes in our attempt to spread that pound a bit further, or the stress of all this negativity on our cardiovascular health, the bottom line is that something may just have to give in the end. Hopefully, it won’t be our poor hearts.
What about the survival of our marriages during these hard economic times? So far, there has been good news on this front. Contrary to predictions, the divorce rates for 2008 were the lowest in 29 years, according to the Office of National Statistics. Hopefully, the 2009 figures will echo the same theme when released in early 2011.
Are some people immune to the recession? Find out in part two of this article, which also provides tips for getting value for money from expenditure during these hard economic times.