The National Debt pre coronavirus was of great concern to us all but post the pandemic it will have ballooned to never seen before levels. The UK government has traditionally funded a level of welfare for individuals that is unsurpassed in the western world.
The burden of funding is one that is constantly increasing and even more so now. The State will have to look at more innovative ideas, balancing the interests of the general public and business with those of our long term national solvency.
Increasing taxes, cutting benefits and amenities, making means tested compulsory payments for state funded services etc would be terribly unpopular but may be inevitable to avoid the economic and social consequences of this financial maelstrom.
The amazing success of Captain Tom‚’s initiative motivated people to donate during the early stages of the pandemic. The funds were time critical and this clarity of purpose motivated ordinary people to make donations at short notice. Fundamentally this was because it and other similar initiatives touched our hearts.
Key to the success was the fact that the contributions were voluntary, which enabled ordinary people as well as businesses to donate directly to the NHS . The most note worthy fact being that it was not necessarily about the individual amounts given but, more about the sheer number of people motivated to gift.
At present there is no effective method by which an individual or company can directly and voluntarily give money to the Government to help support State funded services. Following the pandemic how could the Government harness the present philanthropic enthusiasm to obtain significant amounts of voluntary contributions on an increasing and ongoing basis to aid in the funding of State provided services, principally the NHS, thereby mitigating the need for huge tax increases or mean testing?