Government must move faster on economic reform, says IEA policy expert

Commenting on Chancellor Jeremy Hunt’s speech outlining the government’s economic priorities, Matthew Lesh, Head of Public Policy at the Institute of Economic Affairs, said:

“The Chancellor is right to reject the doomsters and the gloomsters by promoting economic growth. It is also essential to take advantage of Brexit opportunities, to liberalise our approach to regulation, unlock the UK’s finance sector, and reduce burdens on innovative businesses. But the government needs to move much faster and harder on economic reform. Getting Britain out of its low-growth rut will take more than just optimism and tinkering around the edges.

“The UK will not attract global talent and business investment with the highest taxes in 70 years, ever-growing regulatory burdens, and a cumbersome planning system that prevents building houses, commercial lab space, and essential infrastructure.

“The government has talked for years about cutting red tape, yet continues to pursue legislation like the Online Safety Bill or the Digital Markets Unit, which seriously undermine digital enterprises. The government has said it wants investment, yet is introducing windfall taxes in the energy sector and putting up the corporate tax rate from April. The Chancellor’s pro-growth rhetoric is welcome, but a wholesale change in the government’s approach is needed to deliver.”


Notes to editors

Contact: [email protected] / 07763 365520

In July 2022, the IEA published Cutting Through, a report outlining areas of regulation that could be reformed to address the cost of living crisis and promote growth. The report can be read here:

Matthew Lesh co-authored An Unsafe Billwhich outlines how the Online Safety Bill threatens free speech, privacy, and tech innovation. A copy can be read here:


Notes to editors

Contact: [email protected] / 07763 365520

IEA spokespeople are available for interview and further comment.

The mission of the Institute of Economic Affairs is to improve understanding of the fundamental institutions of a free society by analysing and expounding the role of markets in solving economic and social problems. The IEA is a registered educational charity and independent of all political parties.