Plans for growth
[Re: It’s time for some genuine radicalism from George Osborne, yesterday]
This article is spot on, but we need more emphasis on one of the main reasons for this country’s inability to quickly and efficiently increase its economic growth. National insurance is a tax on jobs that punishes owners and workers alike. It penalises wealth creation, while distorting the economy to the benefit of those who sit on royalties and investment income.
George Osborne has a serious problem. He can’t refute Ed Balls’s claim that he is cutting “too deep and too fast” because he isn’t. Austerity has barely happened.
I agree we need more supply-side reforms, but employment should not be their focus. Although we still have problems with unions (notably public sector unions), that battle has already largely been won. Reform should be focused on banks and land. Retail banking is dominated by a small group of large banks, seemingly closely wedded to our political elite. We’re overreliant on them, and they are overreliant on the taxpayer. It must be made easier for challenger banks to arise. Similarly, land is so expensive because of the constraints of the 1941 Planning Act, combined with high population growth. Land should be freed up to remove constraints on mobility, and to allow the construction industry to thrive.