Reaction to Chancellor Philip Hammond's conference speech



Commenting on the Chancellor’s speech to Conservative Party Conference, Mark Littlewood, Director General at the Institute of Economic Affairs said: 

“The Chancellor delivered a robust defence of the role of free markets, which should be music to the ears of businesses and taxpayers across the country. It’s now crucial that the Government follow up with policies that back up this rhetoric.

“The speech was policy light, but the few details we did see were not in keeping with that of a government leaving market forces to prevail. Reaffirmation of the HS2 project and a £300mn commitment to spending on another transport project is the government yet again picking winners rather than allowing the private sector to best allocate resources.

“Philip Hammond’s criticism of the simplicity of the Labour Party’s agenda of state intervention was accurate, but with policies such as Help to Buy they are again guilty of unnecessary meddling themselves. Propping up the scheme only distorts the housing market more, which is already in a perpetual state of crisis. If the Conservatives are serious about getting young people on the housing ladder, the answer is clear: liberalise the housing market and build more homes.”

Notes to editors:

For media enquiries please contact Stephanie Lis, Director of Communications: [email protected] or 0207 799 8909 or 07766 221 268.

For more on housing policy, see IEA research here.

For more on the flaws of HS2, see IEA research here.

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 and seeks to provide analysis in order to improve the public understanding of economics.

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