MSN News | IANS | 29/08/2010
A seven-year-old maths prodigy, who became the youngest Briton to gain the top grade in GCSE maths, now advises the government on the country’s finances, a media report said Sunday. Oscar Selby, who last week got an A* at less than half the age at which most pupils take the exam, has demonstrated a new talent – advising the Chancellor of the Exchequer on the nation’s finances, Daily Mail reported on its website. Oscar took a break from building sandcastles on holiday Saturday to urge George Osborne to cut taxpayer funding to the banks and ask for cash they have borrowed to be paid back. Asked how he would tackle Britain’s biggest maths problem – the £170.8-billion budget deficit – he advocated raising taxes and creating jobs.
In a ‘manifesto’ showing a populist touch, he also suggested more spending on care for the elderly and natural disasters such as Pakistan’s floods. Oscar, from Epsom in Surrey, who attends Stamford Green Primary School but supplemented his maths skills at Hertfordshire-based tutors Ryde Teaching Services, said: "I would stop the banks from getting so much money and maybe ask them to pay some back." Speaking from a beach on the Isle of Man, where he is on holiday with his family, he said: "Maybe (George Osborne) could spend some money in overseas countries. There are some places where people have nothing and they are very poor living without food or water. It could go to Pakistan where there are lots of floods."
Turning to the 2.4 million unemployed, he said: "I’d make some more places to go to work. I don’t know what jobs people could do, but just any jobs. Good jobs, jobs the country needs." Perhaps thinking about his own grandparents, he also suggested that more could be done to help the elderly. Oscar, who was already fascinated by numbers at the age of two, said: "When people get old they might start feeling lonely so they could get some people in to help." On the environment, he also had thoughtful advice, saying: "We could do something about global warming. We wouldn’t save money but we should spend money there.
"I think we could have better insulation in houses. It would cost money, but it could save some later." He even had a panacea for the general gloom of the nation. "I think more should be spent on music and art because it cheers people up.’ His mother, actuary Natasha Regan, 39, said he had been learning about long-term saving through his favourite computer game, Bloons Tower Defense 4. Players have to plant bananas and then pick them later, teaching them about the principles of investment. Despite his wise words for the Chancellor, Oscar has said he does not want to go into politics and hopes instead to become an inventor and design a car that does not need fuel.