Rapid responses

Unprepared youth

[Re: Rigour in GCSE’s is essential but we need students fit for business, Thursday]
Our nation’s future depends upon our willingness to create new educational partnerships, raising academic expectations of all children and providing them with skills. Our research on skills and future jobs shows that between 2007 and 2010 an average of almost 50 per cent of pupils in cities left the education system without A* to C grades in GCSE Maths and English. This not only has implications for young people’s futures, but also directly impacts on the UK economy because businesses do not have access to the pool of skills they need.

Gavin Aspden, director of qualifications, ICAEW


Building growth

[Re: New infrastructure cannot dig us from our economic hole, Friday]
Eamonn Butler finally raises the elephant in the room: when there is talk of huge infrastructure investment, someone has to pay. Constant, above-inflation increases in water, energy, transport costs and subsidies for green energy mean that the burden will fall on the user and the taxpayer. And guess what: it is, pretty much, the same person.

Mike Bryan

Infrastructure spending might not work, but I have not heard many other concrete ideas for getting the economy back on track.

David Crooks


Osborne announces that he does now have a plan B. It’s actually the old plan A but marked down by Gove

The economy is still in longest double-dip recession since World War Two. We need a change of course and a plan for jobs and growth.

As Marvin Gaye said: What's going on? According to GDP data: output is down, government spending and wages are exploding. Is the ONS in a parallel universe?