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The London Institute for Contemporary Christianity

Never miss a thing!


History Beckons: What Is Our National Destiny?

As Lenin once noted, ‘There are decades where nothing happens; and there are weeks where decades happen.’

The last few weeks have felt historic. The sense that something is shifting in our country was turbo-charged last week when the new Chancellor, Kwasi Kwarteng, unveiled a ‘mini-budget’ which has few comparisons in the last half-century.

Its contents were ground-breaking in three ways. Firstly, Mr Kwarteng unambiguously made ‘economic growth’ the Government’s top priority, ramping up public borrowing and casting aside ‘Treasury orthodoxy’ about balancing the books any time soon. Secondly, he announced the biggest package of tax cuts for 50 years as his main tool for ‘growing the pie’. Thirdly, the tax cuts were designed to disproportionately benefit those on high incomes, especially those earning over £155,000.

The stakes are high, with inflation already at a 40-year high, the pound falling sharply in international markets, most real wages falling, and absolute poverty rising. As the Institute for Fiscal Studies said, ‘Mr Kwarteng is not just gambling on a new strategy, he is betting the house.’

What are Christians to make of this?

Budgets are political choices and Christians, inevitably, have different opinions about these. But underlying the politics are moral choices – and a biblical perspective provides a clear sense of direction.

It may surprise some to find that the Bible is rather positive about enterprise, risk-taking, and wealth creation; the marketplace is a gift from God. It is, however, a gift to be used wisely.

The Bible is clear that markets have limits, and that land, people, and money are too important to be traded freely as though they were just commodities. Markets operate within a broader social reality: our relationships with each other are covenantal, not just contractual; in God’s view, we have mutual obligations.

The UK remains one of the richest countries in the world, but also one of the most unequal. The number of people struggling to feed and heat themselves is rising. Winter is coming. Is prioritising tax cuts for the wealthy the best we can do? Is unfettered economic growth really our defining national destiny?

As Christians we are called to pray and work for the good of our nation. If anything here has caught your attention, then maybe God is prompting you to get more involved. Is it time to join a political party? Or support a campaign? Or get better informed?

Decisions are made by those who show up.

Tim Thorlby
Director of the Jubilee Centre


  1. Thank you Tim – this commentary shows clearly that despite Tim’s genuine desire to express a balanced view, sometimes the facts shout so loud that there is no other option than to read the character and actions of the government as fundamentally flawed.

    By Ian Roberts  -  30 Sep 2022
  2. Thanks for putting this so well, Tim. Seeing this mini-budget was shocking for the very reasons you state … the rich get richer and the already-struggling are likely to struggle more. I was challenged a few years back by a theologian stating that Christians often ‘vote like atheists’; although we claim to be Jesus-followers, instead of voting with God’s priorities in mind, we vote for those who we think will benefit us and ‘our type’ the most. I hope it’s not out of place on this site to recommend not only The Jubilee Centre (hurray for you Tim – fabulous organisation!) but also Christians in Politics, who offer such good insight and advice for Christians wanting to ‘do the right thing’ in terms of voting and/or getting involved.

    Many thanks again for your thoughtful but incisiveness commentary and all best wishes in all you do.

    By Kate Ashton  -  30 Sep 2022
  3. Thanks so much for highlighting poor politics and moral bankruptcy. We are not here by mistake though, this mini budget is build on the back of the capitalist dog which barks every louder for growth across all sectors (eg education : why do grades have to grow year on year as if each year is smarter?!). This neoliberalism is the reason we go outside our planetary boundaries earlier and earlier each year, and why we view the world as a warehouse full of stuff simply to serve us. We need a radical deep systems change, the dog needs to be at least muzzled. Capitalism that places people and planet below profit and individuality is a death sentence for us and all Gods glorious creation. May I suggest deeper responses? Change political party if this mini budget is done in your name and raise your voices along with millions who see the horizon full of the fallout of these sorts of policies . I cannot raise my hallelujah to God if I don’t raise my shout of resistance to ungodly policies. So join me, any who dare to worship God through non violent direct action, and make His name again spoken in the same breath as justice . X

    By Rachie  -  30 Sep 2022
  4. As a christian, I believe it is right to encourage people to use their talents to the full provided this is for good. As a professional engineer accountant and economist, I am aware we have too much enterprise defeating unnecessary regulation, in addition this employs many people unproductively, especially in the present tax regime. Yes wise growth which ultimately benefits all, must surely be positive.
    As I understand it this government along with its tax changes, plans to radically reduce some of this unnecessary regulation which is holding us back so much. In economics the Lafert curve which shows how reduction of tax rates whilst in the short term normally results in a government income reduction, in the long term produces much more tax revenue, which can then be used for benefit those in most need. High tax rates drive wealth creators offshore. Already we are seeing with these tax changes plans for wealth creator to come to the UK.
    This government has been very brave, we must pray that God will bless their efforts, and that any resultant wealth created may be used wisely.

    By Keith Bunker  -  30 Sep 2022
    • The Laffer curve is based on the assumption that tax take is zero when tax is 0% and when it is 100%. Therefore, the greatest tax take is somewhere in between. Research in developed countries shows that the peak varies by country but come at tax rates between 60% and 75%. Reducing a 45% tax rate will not increase tax take.

      By Robert McMaster  -  7 Oct 2022
  5. Thanks for a fine analysis!!

    If we are destined ‘to bring good news to the poor’ as commanded by our Saviour – how can this possibly happen by massive hand-outs to the fabulously wealthy whilst the poor and vulnerable get peanuts, if anything?

    Yours in Jesus Name

    By DR ANTHONY GREENWAY  -  30 Sep 2022
  6. I’m not saying you’re wrong, but in an article that asserts that the bible is ‘positive about enterprise, risk taking and wealth creation’ it would be good to see some bible references. I’m not much of a bible scholar myself, and I don’t recall reading the word ‘enterprise’ in any translation of the bible I’ve seen. I checked your link too. And although I could bring Proverbs 31 to mind, I’m not sure the point of that passage is to be positive about enterprise. What other verses are you thinking of?

    (I work in a very enterprising, but traditionally very conservative business, that is currently taking large risks and has made lots and lots of money!)

    By Tim Holton  -  30 Sep 2022
    • Matthew 25:14-30

      By J R  -  8 Oct 2022
  7. The cuts are for everyone irrespective of earrings. Just cautionary note to leave – let us not get caught up in envy politics !

    By Arthur & Kathleen Bates  -  30 Sep 2022
  8. Thanks for this, well said. (from a paid up member of the Green Party…)

    By Bruce Gulland  -  30 Sep 2022
  9. A good article but Biblical principals should be referenced so we can read them ourselves.
    This is an important time in our stewardship of GB,we need to look after the poor,infirm, those on the fringes. We can no longer run our countries on the tax regime ,it needs to be expanded with a view to protecting our nhs and the environment. What sbout a tourist tax ?
    Over to you.

    By Victor magowan  -  30 Sep 2022
  10. Surely a way to help the lower paid is to have lower tax rates, starting at 5%, then 10%, 20% 25% etc. with the maximum 40%. Another way might be to apply tax to gross income but at a lower rate. No doubt this shows I’m not an economist, simply a pensioner with many concerns.

    By George Hughes  -  30 Sep 2022

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