Cost of inflation
[Re: High inflation is denting recovery: The Bank of England must act now, yesterday]
The idea that a weaker pound would somehow promote an export boom is absurd. Most of our exports are either specialised services, which would be purchased anyway, or specialised manufacturing, which tends to require goods to be imported in order to be finished off and sold. In any case, we should be focusing on improving the things we do well, not trying to compete with countries where production costs are lower. Of course, current policies are not making anything easier. Both the Bank of England and the Treasury are responsible for rampant increases in the cost of living, which don’t make Britain any more competitive.
[Re: Should we blame EU policy for the failure to prevent the horse meat scandal, yesterday]
All of the behaviour concerned in the horse meat scandal is illegal under EU rules, and member states have legal tools to combat, investigate and punish it. It is their role to do so and that is what the UK has been doing with regard to possible fraud on its territory. So, of course, EU regulation – which is decided by member states anyway – is not “to blame” for criminal fraud. Is the Home Office to blame for burglary? However, whether there is more the European Commission and member states together can do to put an end to uncertainty, and to reestablish and maintain consumer confidence, is a different question.
Mark English, European Commission in London
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