Managing Director of Forman & Son Lance Forman gives his budget


- Credit: Archant

There are three types of people in this world. Those that can count; and those that can’t count. Think about for a second and hopefully the penny will drop.

There are actually two types of people in this world and they can be defined by how they like to cut cakes.

The first type believe that no matter what size the cake, it should be split evenly with everyone getting the same share, as that is the fairest way to divide it. The others believe that if you can get a bigger a cake and ensure everyone has a bigger slice than they had last time, even though the slices might be different sizes, that must be a better outcome for all.

I fall into the latter category. I don’t accept that even size slices all round are necessarily the fairest option. Let’s take an example of say, well, cutting a cake. Assume it’s your birthday and you have friends round and cake cutting time arrives, you hold the knife over the top of the cake ready to slice and Susan says “that’s far too big, I’m trying to start my diet”. Bob stays silent, as he’s happy with the large chunk. Everyone gets the slice they want and that must be a better and fairer outcome than Susan leaving half hers on the plate and Bob still hungry because you divvied it up evenly.

And so it is with the economy. In Gordon Brown’s last term in office, he increased the higher rate of tax from 40 per cent to 50pc, in the name of fairness. But when George Osborne later reduced the rate to 45pc, the amount of tax paid by the highest earners increased. We ended up with a bigger cake even though the slices were less evenly cut.

Although I write this column before the budget has been delivered and the last budget of this government, if I were George Osborne I would take a very bold step and reduce the top rate of tax to 30pc to make Britain one of the most attractive places in the world to create wealth. We’d end up with a cake so large, everyone would have their fill and I don’t know about you but I don’t really care who gets the cherry on the top. More from Lance Forman

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