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How Not To Improve Living Standards

John Rentoul

Roger Bootle1 200x300 How Not To Improve Living StandardsRoger Bootle, managing director of Capital Economics, on the politics of pointing at things and saying how expensive they are:

If a government really wants to do something to improve the long-term income prospects of its citizens, including the poor, it should concentrate on five difficult things: managing the macro-economy conservatively so as to ensure stability and continued full employment; investing fully in infrastructure and encouraging private investment; minimising the barriers and costs in the way of starting businesses and employing people; reforming the welfare system so that people are not tempted by a life of idleness; and ensuring that young people have educational attainments adequate to enable them to acquire decent skills so that they have something valuable to offer in today’s demanding world.

The Government has made a promising start on this agenda – although there is a long way to go. By comparison, trying to improve living standards by directly suppressing the price of things that people buy will achieve nothing.

Nicely done.

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  • greggf

    Yes Pacific, I’m sure such arrangements you refer to can be made which is why I quoted the Example of BG.

    And I’m sure you’ve seen all the adverts for private healthcare in Britain.
    The French plans to nationalize one of the steel plants of Arcelor-Mittal have been dropped; the European Union treaties do not exactly prohibit nationalization, the European competition commissioner has said that the rules required only that the state act as a private enterprise would in the market, paying the owner the full value of the nationalized property and seeking to make a profit.

    I don’t mean anything by rip off. I am merely referring you to a blog using that description by our host JR.
    It would be an insult to my dogs to call the UK energy market a dog’s breakfast, but then again I’m biased since I used to work in it in the halcyon days of the CEGB, SSEB et al.
    As for parliament …well I think we’ve discussed that before.

  • greggf

    “…… but it was Polish Coal that kept the lights on.”

    And Nuclear, and Oil, and Hydro…

  • greggf

    If it’s not before your time John, you may remember the reply Mandy Rice-Davies gave about Lord Astor’s association with her….!


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