How The Housing Shortage Wrecks The UK Economy

Nobody denies there is a shortage, but what is its extent? Research, conducted in 2018 by Heriot-Watt University, showed a shortfall of 4 million homes. Government targets suggest that 300,000 homes need to be created annually in order to fix the problem (The pro rata Heriot-Watt figure is 340,000). Drilling down into various estimates reveals…

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The Case For a UK National Investment Bank

There is a problem. A serious one. A recent ONS study notes that ‘Between Quarter 1 1997 and Quarter 2 (Apr to June) 2017, the UK had the lowest average value of GFCF (Gross Fixed Capital Formation) as a percentage of GDP of any OECD nation.’ And further ‘The UK has the lowest average non-government…

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The Case for a UK Sovereign Wealth Fund

Read Aditya Chakrabortty’s piece on the fate of North Sea oil revenues and weep. He compares and contrasts British and Norwegian approaches to this spectacular windfall. Norway used the money to create a Sovereign Wealth Fund while Britain used the money to finance ‘tax cuts’. Except they weren’t really tax cuts at all. On the…

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Left, Right and the Proper Role of the Modern State

There is a perennially unproductive political debate in the UK about the role of the state in owning and controlling infrastructure and the means of production. In general terms the political right espouses a minimisation of the role of the state, while the left has a bias towards maximising the role of the state. The…

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Four Things UK Politicians Should Have Told Us But Didn’t

First Thing: The UK economy is addicted to immigration. ‘Addicted’, because we can’t do without it. The UK economy has been predicated on immigration as a remedy for economic ills for two hundred years. At first cheap labour was imported from Ireland to build railways, ships, and to work in new factories. The ‘economic ills’…

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