Austerity has strangled Britain
The Tories don’t have a coherent economic policy. While we wait for them to agree terms with the DUP, the truth about our economy is beginning to trickle out into the press. The economic news didn’t get much of a mention during the election campaign. The Bank of England’s warning that British households would face “a challenging time” as inflation rises due to the lower value of the pound since the referendum, was not given much airtime.
Indeed, even in the week since the election, whilst the BBC did report lower growth and higher inflation figures for the UK, they quickly went on to say that employment continues to be high. Of course, no one wants the media to talk down the economy, but it seems ridiculous to fail to point out that as Joseph Stiglitz (Noble prize-winning economist) puts it “Austerity has strangled Britain”.
It’s interesting to note that Philip Hammond is now putting forward Labour’s approach to Brexit. His call for the negotiations to centre on the economy and jobs could have been lifted straight from our Manifesto.
But then, it was Philip Hammond in his Autumn statement in 2016 who set out a plan to borrow to invest in infrastructure, with spending focused on housing, research and development. Another sound Labour commitment. So can we expect, in the weeks ahead, to be hearing more about Labour’s approach to the economy in the news?
In the years preceding the EU referendum, the BBC interviewed Nigel Farage endlessly, because, as they explained, they needed to be sure to be even-handed and represent all sides of an argument. Now that we can all agree that the core questions around Brexit are economic ones, perhaps we will see more of Stiglitz and John McDonnell on the BBC. It’s time our economic policy was given a fair hearing.