Based on information available in the public domain, the Economic Planning Board and the Ismaili Council for the United Kingdom have issued the following statement summarising the current economic situation in the UK. Members of the Jamat are urged to consider economic circumstances when making decisions with respect to their specific situations.
In February, the Economic Planning Board (EPB) and the Ismaili Council for the United Kingdom advised the Jamat that the next few years were expected to be tough. While the UK was officially out of recession and a tentative recovery was indicated, it was expected to be slow and uneven. However, since February, many economists have come to agree that the risks to the economy have increased and growth expectations for 2010 and 2011 will be even lower.
The key factor driving this sentiment is the high level of government debt in many European countries. In its emergency budget of June 2010, the new coalition government in the UK announced what it calls “unavoidable” deep and swift cuts to public spending and higher taxes until 2016 in order to reduce the national deficit and make Britain “open for business”. These measures will affect everyone, including businesses, the employed and those on social security benefits. The provisions are intended to be “tough but fair”, but as they are complex, their impact will depend on each individual’s circumstances
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