Monday 3rd August: This week the business of governing Britain winds down for the August break. MPs have left Westminster and many ministers are taking leave of Whitehall. However for most people the bread and butter of life must be paid for. What matters are the economic prospects they and the country face. Should we be hopeful about the future? In Politeia’s summer debate, two economists consider the outlook from two different perspectives.
Dr Ruth Lea CBE, Economic Adviser, Arbuthnot Banking Group sees room for improvements, noting signs for optimism. John Mills, chairman of JML, and former Labour councillor for Camden, suggests that austerity has few answers for Britain’s economy.
John Mills writes... The support for Jeremy Corbyn in the current Labour leadership election is yet another manifestation among many others in Europe of the resentment generated by austerity economic policies which are widely perceived to be both damaging and ineffective. Who can deny that they impoverish the public sector; that they heap hardship on those least able to bear it; that they stunt growth in living standards while failing to produce a sound foundation for future economic growth; and that they tend to favour the rich – and especially lenders rather than borrowers – at the expense of everyone else?
Dr Ruth Lea writes... UK GDP growth in 2015Q2 was a respectable 0.7 per cent, suggesting a return to more robust activity after some weakening at the start of the year. GDP was estimated to be 5.2 per cent higher than the pre-recession peak (2008Q1) and so, on this measure, it can fairly be said the economy is recovering well.
July: Look Before You Leap!, Prof David Abulafia, 24 July on English Votes for Enlish Laws
June: Mind over Muddle, Dr Sheila Lawlor, 26th June reflects on the life and work of Chris Woodhead
Respected and Admired - A Rare Politician, Greg Hurst of The Times and Charles Kennedy biographer on the Lib Dem leader
May: Opportunity Knocks: Scotland's Vote must be England's Opportunity, Professor Robert Tombs, 8 May
April: All at Sea on EU Immigration Policy, Prof John Marenbon, 24th April on the implication of African migrants taking to sea
March: Your Good Health! Competition and Contribution for better Healthcare and Pensions, Matthias Dauns, 27 March
February: Yes to Ever Closer Union - For Euro Zone not EU, Dr Gerard Lons,Chief Economic Adviser to Boris Johnson,13 Feb
January: Back to Business - We need a bonfire of regulation, Anthony Coombs, Chairman, S&U PLC 30 January