Britain’s grim combination of record indebtedness and anaemic economic growth is desperately calling out for a vigorous government response to shake up and restructure the economy. Unfortunately, the two lightweight contenders for Britain’s next Conservative Party leader and prime minister have not heeded this call.
Instead, all Rishi Sunak or Liz Truss have been able to offer is a choice between tax cuts now versus tax cuts a bit later. The media may claim that this shows an ‘enormous’ gap between the candidates’ economic policies, but that is just empty hype. Both Sunak and Truss share the same illusions about taxation’s ability to revive or depress the economy.
But recent economic history confirms that tax reductions have no determinate effect on business investment and therefore do not contribute to improved productivity performance and economic growth. If the government is serious about tackling our dismal economic situation, it needs to drop its fixation on taxation. And it needs to lead with a genuine plan for economic transformation to drive productivity growth and lift living standards. Anything else is just fiddling while the economic crisis deepens.
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