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Friday, 13 January 2012

The Need for Growth

The Con Dem government has seen its enire economic strategy fail, with the public sector cuts widening the deficit rather than reducing it, as was predicted.

I suspect that Labour has failed to capitalise this Cameron's political failure, because we don't yet have a convincing economic alternative.  Thinking about this, which is the main theme of the Fabian Society's New Year Conference this year, I thought the following areas might give scope for broad themes:

  • The "Green" economy theme: This has been touted widely, but without many specifics.  However, locally we have examples of (for instance) retraining people to install the kind of green technologies that will help to adapt or reduce climate change.
  • Using welfare as a means of supporting people in their wider social committments, and keeping them in work.  For instance, supporting working parents.
  • In some cases, changes to regulations could stimulate growth.  For instance better air quality regulation can encourage investment in technology, at the same time as improving health outcomes.
  • Pretty much anything to help the housing market.
  • In the shorter term, there is plenty of infrastructure einvestment _ in roads, schools and so on _ that would stimulate the economy at the same time as improving long term economic growth.
All of these could contribute to a broader economic narrative for Labour.

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