IEA responds to Prime Minister’s Conference speech
IEA open letter featured in City AM
Professor Philip Booth writes for The Tablet
“There was some sound free market rhetoric in the Prime Minister’s speech but little in the way of concrete free market policy.
“Faced with the prospect of millions of job losses, the government needs to commit to reducing the tax burden, cutting red tape for businesses, and reducing the cost of employment.
“While the Prime Minister indicated that the current level of public spending is too high (forecast to be upwards of 50 per cent of GDP this year), he has failed to set a specific target for reducing this figure.
“Getting government expenditure down to around 30 per cent of GDP would allow the private sector to flourish with a lower tax burden.”
On the Prime Minister’s pledge to use wind farms to power every home within a decade, IEA Director General Mark Littlewood said:
“To compare wind power in this country to Saudi Arabia’s oil wealth is fantasy. The value of the UK wind industry is about £7.5bn a year; the Saudi petroleum sector is worth roughly £223bn a year.
“While 60,000 jobs would certainly be welcome, the Prime Minister is not best placed to predict what the future of energy is going to look like. He has in his mind an arbitrary target the nation is going to reach, but this is not the way to sensibly run the energy industry.
“While the Prime Minister said the private sector will drive our economic recovery, investing £160m of public money into wind power is far from encouraging.”
Notes to editors
For media enquiries, please contact Annabel Denham, Director of Communications, on 07540770774.
Mark Littlewood is 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.