The White Witch of Narnia

Behold the favourite for the Conservative leadership as she surveys her icy realm.

Ms Truss has promised to deliver around £30bn in tax cuts in an emergency Budget later this month if she wins, including a reversal of April’s rise to National Insurance.

Pressed on whether richer people would benefit more from the cut, she said: “The people at the top of the income distribution pay more tax – so inevitably, when you cut taxes you tend to benefit people who are more likely to pay tax.”

But she added: “To look at everything through the lens of redistribution I believe is wrong. Because what I’m about is growing the economy – and growing the economy benefits everybody.

“The economic debate for the past 20 years has been dominated by discussions about distribution. And what’s happened is we’ve had relatively low growth”. From the Laura Kuenssberg interview Sunday www.bbc.co.uk

Psst: Increasing productivity is the key to growth. Owl believes that we need to change fundamentally our short-term business and financing culture. Not until companies and financiers stop looking for quick gains but take the long term view, ploughing profits back into investment in the “tools of the trade”: plant, machinery, training and human capital, will we start to improve.

In crude terms: stop asset stripping, seeking to make a quick buck and paying directors obscene multiples of the average wage.

Increasing productivity means getting more output for each hour worked. A happy and motivated staff are key.

It’s not going to happen is it? 

5 thoughts on “The White Witch of Narnia

  1. I’d be very happy to accept that as the beginning, and given half a chance I would add my own period faves of similar ilk, but before our eyes blur in nostalgic recollection of the radicalism of the 1970s, we must work out what progress or lack of, we have made since then. Might be depressing…

    Nice to talk to you though Owl.

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  2. Definitely an improvement.

    But there’s still an issue with the ‘growth’ bit of it, when understood in the context of a single finite planet and the limitations that imposes. There are sure to be economists looking at ways for ‘advanced’ economies to adjust successfully to economic stasis rather than growth (your readers will shortly advise me I hope). This is after all, the way that indigenous Australians, Americans, Canadians, Northern Europeans and others lived prior to disturbance by Industrialised Europeans – and before you say it – yes of course that equilibrium is no longer available to us because of the sheer numbers of people on the planet. But even the suggestion of a new economics that refutes the premise that economic growth is always good, is a heresy today. Perhaps it will soon be an imprisonable offence – cultural terrorism! If you consider this overly fanciful, let’s agree to keep an eye on what happens to Extinction Rebellion activists over the coming months and years.

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    • Would you consider the formation of “The Club of Rome” in 1968 followed by the publication of “The Limits to Growth” in 1972, fifty years ago, the beginning? (Owl used to read such stuff)
      The whole concept would be regarded by our new PM as highly “distributive” as you suggest.

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  3. I’m not sure I heard you correctly Owl (my ears rotted and fell off years ago) but the word ‘productivity’ always sends shivers down by main stick, it being the term much used in ‘Britain Unchained’ to castigate the British workforce for idleness. Although the point you make about work is sound, in the context of sclerotic capitalism, increasing productivity just means promotion and justification of a sweatshop economy. Accompanied by further restrictions on the activities of trade unions (also a Truss plan), the ability of people who actually do the work to negotiate fair pay and conditions, will be largely eliminated.

    There must surely be a better word for what you mean.

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