Recession or Recovery: What Policies are Best for Britain?
4th September 2012
The UK – and other economies – can go for growth, provided they take certain proven steps.
That’s the message from Dr Ludger Schuknecht, Director General, German Ministry of Finance, in Politeia’s recent lecture in the 2012 series, which took place on Tuesday, 4th September at 6.30 p.m.
Dr Schuknecht explained how clear and proven policies can lead to growth. He focused on the structural role of the state and the size and quality of government, outlining a three-pronged strategy for rapid reform which:
Focuses on the public finances and the reduction of public spending.
Liberalises the economy and strengthens the institutional framework including the law
- Cuts dependency and tackles ‘rent-seeking’ – where people concentrate on playing the system rather than create new wealth
Dr Schuknecht illustrated his argument with examples from the recent crisis countries, including Greece, Ireland, Italy, Portugal, Spain and lessons for advanced economies including the Eurozone, the UK and the US.
The UK’s Communications and Media Industry: Developing a policy to promote and protect media plurality
Politeia's 2012 Media Conference, Wednesday 11th July
Jeremy Hunt’s Department for Culture, Media and Sport has announced that a Green Paper will no longer be published on the future of the Communications Industry. Instead, a series of summer ‘seminars’ will be followed by a White Paper and a new Communications Bill before the General Election. The aim, says HMG, is to have a 'world-beating' UK communications sector 'with high-quality content....[and ] safe and efficient services'.
For high standards of content and efficiency an effective framework to guarantee media plurality will be especially important. Politeia's conference considered how future policy can best promote such plurality.
John Hayes MP, Minister of State for Further Education and Lifelong Learning, addressed Politeia on 25th June 2012, 6.30-7.30
Too many young people drop out of school after 16 without training for the world of work or finding a job. Despite the emphases of successive governments on policy to improve further education and training, the figure today is around 16 per cent of 16-24 year olds. Yet at the same time many vacancies exist in the labour market because applicants do not have the skills needed to do the job.
What policy is needed for the future? What system is best to ensure that education and training is of the highest standard and equips young people for the world of work and for continuing professional advancement? How can this country ensure that the vacancies for skilled and motivated employees across a range of industries and business are filled? Are the right structures in place for providing rigorous and focussed courses or is a change of direction needed?
On 22nd May, Politeia launched its next pamphlet, Freecom, Responsibility and the State: Curbing Over-Mighty Government.
The authors, a group of newly elected MPs (2010 intake) discussed their proposals for the direction of policy in which the powers of government, central and local, are reined in so that small businesses, the energy supply, the justice system, and training and support for young people can respond to the demands of a changing UK.
Attending the launch were Jacob Rees-Mogg MP, Zac Goldsmith MP, David Mowat MP and Martin Vickers MP and other contributors (see below) to introduce their proposals and discuss their implications for the future of the UK.
Recession or Recovery: What Policies are Best for Business?
Politeia's 2012 economic series continued on 16th April, with Professor Vito Tanzi presenting Recession, Recovery and the State: Does a shrinking economy mean the state should grow?
Professor Tanzi’s lecture considered the role of the state in the current economic conditions, where many countries contend with high unemployment and low growth. The lecture revisited the policies of expansion proposed by some econmists and asked whether enthusiasm for Keynesian-style fiscal policy is justified by examining the key issues:
- How far are such policies likely to be effective or dangerous
- To what extent has Keynesian thinking contributed to the crisis?
The lecture considered the best course for governments given the circumstances of today's rapidly changing global economy, and examined their role in managing and promoting market efficiency.
Vito Tanzi’s recent book, Government versus Markets, the Changing
Economic Role of the State (Cambridge 2011) was published last year. He has served as Director of Fiscal Affairs at the IMF and as Undersecretary for Economy and Finance in the Italian government.