The Conservative party conference is over and it is a good day when praise for free markets dominates the Prime Minister’s party conference speech. The freedoms and liberties we enjoy in the UK go hand-in-hand with a commitment to economic liberalism, which creates prosperity and raises living standards for everyone in society.
But Boris Johnson must pay more than just lip service to free enterprise and fiscal responsibility.
The IEA’s Mark Littlewood argued that, contrary to what the Prime Minister claimed in his speech, results for patients on the NHS are not, “amazing”, but rather woefully mediocre in international comparisons of health system performance.
Expanding house-building on brownfield sites will not remove the need to dramatically liberalise planning law, to deliver the million new homes Britain needs to tackle the housing crisis.
And his endorsement of hiking the National Living Wage only serves to further politicise wage-setting, risking the productivity growth he hopes to generate in order to increase tax revenue and boost funding for public services.
Mark ended by saying that the Prime Minister’s instincts on the merits of capitalism seem to hit the mark. What was missing from his speech were concrete policy plans to reduce the tax burden and roll back red tape, which would allow market mechanisms to flourish.
Joining Darren Grimes to discuss the policy takeaways from conference is the IEA’s Associate Director Kate Andrews and Syed Kamall, the IEA’s Academic and Research Director. You can subscribe to this podcast on Apple Podcasts.