As Britain's chancellor, Gordon Brown, prepares to deliver his tenth – and probably last - Budget, Jeff Randall in the Daily Telegraph lambasts the yawning gap between government spending and income and the seemingly inexorable increase in the numbers of "non-productive types who are busy consuming the country's resources".
As you might expect, businesses at the bottom of the food chain have been hardest hit. The corporation tax bill of Britain's small companies has more than doubled in five years, from £4.4bn to £9.5bn. This strips bare Brown's nonsense about turning Britain into a competitive, productive, entrepreneurial economy.
He appears not to accept that the private sector works most efficiently when it's left alone. Indeed, the Chancellor wouldn't recognise real enterprise if it sat on his face. His idea of a well-functioning machine is something on which he can push the buttons and pull the levers.
As Randall points out: "An enterprise economy requires a mindset of self-reliance. You cannot expect Britain to become a nation of bold risk-takers if you foster a culture of dependency on government. "
What's more, as any entrepreneur would agree: " Enterprise flourishes when people think that extra effort will earn rewards which they'll be able to keep. Very few want to work like pit ponies, knowing that the Treasury will scoop off the cream."