Tag Archives: economy

New thinking on job creation

 

One of the big challenges of our time is to provide work for all those who need it, work which is useful, fulfilling and which pays enough to live on. And although the British economy is creating around half a million jobs (net) a year, many of them do not satisfy those simple criterion.

The need for good quality jobs will increase as the population increases and working careers get longer, yet hardly anyone is thinking about where these jobs are to come from.  Government departments, unions and think-tanks tend to concentrate on where jobs have been created in the past or predicting where they may come in the future, or on skills training or how to improve conditions for those already in work. The private sector seems to regard jobs as a by-product, a necessary evil in the process of making a profit, and in the public sector the government wants to cut as many jobs as possible to save tax-payers’ money.  No one is actively looking at areas where new and worthwhile jobs can be created and how to do it.

Let me be bold and suggest six sectors where this might be done, in what I call the “infinite industries” ie where there is no limit to the amount of production that can be done: education, health, energy, environment, sport and the arts.

Posted in Op-eds | Also tagged | 16 Comments

Cable: Tories and Labour have turned their backs on the economy and business

Vince Cable makes a major intervention in the election campaign today with a speech on the economy and Brexit. He is not going to mince his words.

He will

  • Accuse both Labour and the Conservatives of adopting a Brexit strategy almost designed to inflict maximum economic damage by rejecting membership of the single market and customs union, as well as other benefits of the EU
  • Warn that the economic storm clouds are already gathering once more from rising inflation, falling real wages and rising personal debt to slowing spending and growth
  • Highlight the Liberal Democrats’ positive economic plan, including boosting spending while still achieving a surplus on the current budget
  • State that “under Jeremy Corbyn, the Labour leadership’s model for economic management is the bankrupt, hyper-inflationary Venezuela.”

Here’s a flavour of what he’s going to say.

If we crash out of the single market and customs union and revert to World Trade Organisation terms, respected independent estimates suggest that our trade will slump by almost a third by 2030. Far from turning Britain into a centre for exports, the main thing we would export under Theresa May would be jobs.

Labour’s plans for a spending spree funded by taxing the rich and corporations have been described by the IFS as wholly unrealistic, and will certainly scare off the investment and talent that are fundamental to our global economy. The May-Farage extreme Brexit that Labour voted for will drive out high-earners and leading international companies, leaving lower tax receipts for public spending.

Posted in News | Also tagged , and | 18 Comments

We need to tell people about our economic policy

As an Orange Book adhering Lib Dem, a big highlight of the reign of Clegg & Cable was a very simple, yet very effective thing – that our economic policy was clear, empathised, and well known. We knew where we stood, we knew where we were going, and quite frankly, the economic policy that we pushed in the coalition, reflected that fact. The Liberal Democrats were a party that knew how to manage an economy.

So, looking back at that highlight, I fear that, something may have been rather overlooked this campaign; our economic plan. Indeed, more importantly, what exactly it is. I mean, obviously we have one. In fact, according to Oxford Economics, we have the best one. So, for me, the question is simple – why aren’t we making a big deal out of it?

It is very clear to me, and to many people up and down the country, that the Liberal plan for our economy is worlds ahead of the Labour or Conservative ones. We have a plan for proper growth, for sustainable development environmentally, for treating small businesses with the high regard they deserve, and for ensuring that our spending plans are sensible, and above all else, fair. Yet, when we are covered in the media, very little focus is put upon this. It seems insane to me that we aren’t inundating the whole nation with the fact that when push comes to shove, we could, will, and can, make people better off. In fact, those in the whole bottom half of our income demography would be faring far better if we were the government.

Posted in Op-eds | Also tagged | 78 Comments

Inflation sign of Brexit squeeze – Lib Dems

Inflation has gone up to 2.7% today.

This confirms long-held Liberal Democrat warnings about the impact of Brexit, with businesses struggling to contain rising costs and consumer demand being squeezed.

Susan Kramer said:

These worrying levels of inflation show the Brexit squeeze is hitting shopping baskets across the country.

This is the reality of Theresa May and Nigel Farage’s extreme Brexit agenda: higher prices in the shops, the cost of holidays going up and less money for our schools and NHS.

A brighter future is possible. We will give people a choice over their future through a referendum, so they can reject a bad Brexit deal and choose to remain in Europe.

Willie Rennie underlined this point:

Posted in News | Also tagged , , and | 14 Comments

Vince Cable predicts second economic storm

Remember back in 2003, when Vince Cable was saying that at some point the economy would collapse because of the amount of consumer credit?

Well, he was right then and he’s now saying that we could be up for another Brexit fuelled crash.

The former Business Secretary, who hopes to win back his former seat of Twickenham, says that a combination of declining consumer confidence, job losses and inflation has the potential to outstrip the economic storm of the previous decade. That, if you remember, was the direst economic crash since the Depression in the 30s.

Vince said:

For Britain, the economic weather is arguably worse than it was before the credit crunch. The pound has plummeted, which is driving up prices and trapping consumers in a vicious Brexit squeeze.

Consumer confidence was all that kept the storm clouds away. But with job losses at everywhere from Deutsche Bank to Nestlé, that confidence is going to drain away further.

The Chancellor clearly has no confidence in the economic strategy of the government, because he knows that leaving the single market and customs union has the potential to devastate the UK economy.

Posted in News | Also tagged , , and | 29 Comments

Talk about economics, or we’ll be back to the party of the 8%    

 

I was delighted by Tim Farron’s performance at Spring Conference this year; his eloquence and passionate words show a good leader moulding into a great one. Yet, there is one thing that Tim’s speech missed: a distinct view upon the economy. The need for a Liberal Democrat policy on the economy is clear, with Tim himself saying in the speech ‘Britain needs a progressive party… a plan for an economy that makes the most of the opportunities in front of us’.

To put it short the Liberal Democrats need a clear economic policy so that when we get back into government (whether that’s in 2020 or 40 years away) that our voters know what they voted for. To my mind, we must focus upon investment. That investment starts with taking money creation away from high street banks and making it a government-influenced mechanism, as I called for in a previous article. Only then can we invest in our economy without extending the web of debt Britons and Britain find themselves in.

Posted in Op-eds | Also tagged | 54 Comments

Why politicians should tread carefully before using Quantitative Easing to build infrastructure

At a time when politicians grapple with how to use the tools at their disposal to reduce inequality of opportunity and outcome, quantitative easing {QE) can seem like an easy option.

To those blessedly unversed in the intricacies of the monetary policy tool that has dominated more than anything else the economy of the UK since the financial crisis, QE sounds like, ‘printing money and spending it on infrastructure.’

If only it were that simple. QE is a policy of central banks to buy the bonds  issued by their own governments, the aim being to push interest rates down and drive capital into assets more likely to make the economy grow.

So the first problem with any idea of using QE to increase government spending is that, well, the government doesn’t have the power to do it, Politicians can issue the bonds, the Bank of England can choose not to buy them, and the Bank of England is independent of government. 

Posted in News | 16 Comments
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Recent Comments

  • User AvatarLorenzo Cherin 28th Jul - 1:48am
    Thank you to David Evershed and Nonconformistradical The areas you both mention are as yet untapped, but it is an odd situation, I really need...
  • User AvatarLorenzo Cherin 28th Jul - 1:34am
    Catherine You said it , like it should be said, in fact the only carte blanche acceptable is those few conscience matters, so yes, worth...
  • User AvatarAndrew McCaig 28th Jul - 1:15am
    I agree with Paul Barker in many ways, Vince cannot only make policy announcements every 6 months , and he has to react to events....
  • User AvatarAndrew McCaig 28th Jul - 12:58am
    Katharine, It is a worthy aim to think that conference should decide policy. However there are many practical and some moral problems with this. Firstly,...
  • User AvatarAndrew McCaig 28th Jul - 12:44am
    CJC "With a general election, we may regret the result, but we would never suggest that the newly elected MPs should not be allowed to...
  • User AvatarTorrin Wilkins 28th Jul - 12:18am
    Glenn: There is a small group who want full EU integration but in my experience it is just that, a small group. I am willing...
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