A NEW YEAR MESSAGE
The Somerset Guardian, 3rd January 2024
The origin of January 1st marking the New Year dates back to 46 B.C. when Julius Caesar, after the 445 day year of confusion, switched from a lunar-based calendar in favour of developing the solar-based Julian one. It is thought that it also honoured Janus — the Roman god of beginnings - who supposedly had two faces, meaning that he could go back to the past and move forward to the future.
New Year is a time for many to reflect: for people to make resolutions; learn lessons from the past and benefit from the psychological feeling of a fresh start. Even though we are in the midst of winter where the cold and dark surround us, this New Year positivity is reinforced by the promising news that the economy is picking up with inflation falling and the likelihood that interest rates will lower a distinct possibility.
This week alone, owing to the difficult, long-term decisions the Government took to halve inflation, the Chancellor will cut taxes for 27 million people, two million self-employed people and deliver the biggest business tax cut in modern British history. The forthcoming Spring Budget, it is predicted, may go even further with the possibility of inheritance tax being slashed.
This year the Government will continue its efforts to stop the boats and with over 112,000 asylum cases processed it has met its promise to clear the legacy asylum backlog. NHS waiting lists, which were lengthened by the pandemic, will be shortened and a first class education system will be provided to our children but only achievable with a Conservative government.
However, there are always unexplained events beyond the control of any politician "For I know the plans I have for you," declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future." (Jeremiah 29:11).
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