Election 2017 and the economy
Britain goes to the polls on Thursday 8 June in what has already been dubbed the ‘Brexit election’. Theresa May argued that an election was necessary to ensure she had a strong majority when going into the negotiations with the EU. She has already stated that the UK will leave the Single Market and the customs union, with implications for the cost and freedom of trade if alternative arrangements can’t be agreed.
But arguably, Brexit is not the biggest issue facing the UK economy. While a return to tariff and non-tariff barriers to trade would be painful, there are underlying issues that also need to be dealt with. UK productivity remains well below that of other mature economies. Real incomes, allowing for inflation, took years to recover from the 2008 crisis and look to be heading down once more. While unemployment is low by recent standards, household debt is rising, millions of jobs are part-time and/or insecure and cuts in public sector spending are hitting many areas of life.
What have the main political parties got to say about these things? What should they be proposing? What kind of economy do we want and how can we get it?
Just two days before the country goes to the polls, this is a great opportunity to discuss the future of the UK economy.
science and technology director, Institute of Ideas; convenor, IoI Economy Forum; columnist, spiked
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