Many of us will have lost count of the number of ‘growth plans’ announced by the Conservatives over the past decade or so, but one thing is common to them all. They have made no difference whatsoever to Britain’s productivity slump. After 12 years of Conservative economic plans, strategies and frameworks, private-sector productivity is only five per cent higher than it was when the Tories took office. Come rain or shine, pandemic or no pandemic, in the EU or out of it, with low business taxes or high businesses taxes, productivity has barely budged at all.
Despite the failure of all the previous plans to revive productivity growth, probably none was as insubstantial as chancellor Jeremy Hunt’s last week. The absence of policy content was remarkable.
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