Where next for the UK economy?
Amongst all the egregious failings of the last Government, one that annoyed me more than most was the continual elision of public spending with the economy – as if somehow the two were just interchangeable constructs. In the Gospel According to Brown, £6 billion cuts in public spending was ‘taking £6 billion out of the economy’.
That’s just madness. The money is still there – it’s just in the hands of the private sector rather than in the hands of the Government.
But then Labour always used the state to create jobs in a kind of mini communism. Take the unlamented Home Information Packs (HIPs). Originally, they were intended to be used as a way of getting house price data onto Government databases and store various other things that could have been useful to the Government. Then, watered down in the face of massive protest they became a way to garner an emissions report to comply with some EU regulation or other.
Whatever. They gave rise to an entire new career path – the HIP Consultant. Thousands of people trained to become such consultants, with attendant websites, business cards and everything else. So HIPs created jobs, that much is undeniable. But those jobs had no intrinsic value. No wealth was created by their existence and no social function did they perform.
Government has excelled in such jobs. Rare indeed is the council, quango or department that doesn’t have diversity officers (and yes, they are real, not merely a figment of the Daily Mail’s imagination) and so on. Meanwhile, tens of thousands of highly skilled people (such as my cousin) are taking up jobs in the Middle East, the USA, China and anywhere else there is real economic growth based on solid economic foundations.
Of course, the cuts that are coming will mean that jobs are lost in the public sector. Many, many thousands of jobs. But the private sector will grow as the pressures of tax and regulation are lifted. Cameron’s analysis is, ultimately, spot on. Watch below.