2 thoughts on “The government’s new ‘industrial strategy’ will fail”

  1. Posted 28/11/2017 at 13:43 | Permalink

    The Industrial Strategy white paper acknowledges that the skills and capabilities of people who are not in the pay of the State needs upgrading if the UK is to pay its way in the world, post-Brexit. However, there is no mention of shortcomings in people who are in the pay of the State – the other party to this Industrial Strategy, on whom its success is dependent.

    It is perfectly laudable to seek to use subsidies funded by the Public Sector to invest in public works, as part of a modern Industrial Strategy.

    Indeed, some people have argued that money can be borrowed by the Government, at a time when interest rates are a record low, and spent on infrastructure projects and regions to create jobs, invigorate the economy and boost productivity. Of course, such a move would be a great idea – if, this borrowed money was paid back over the next several years.

    However, the fact of the matter is that it will simply be added to the burgeoning national debt (currently at £1,790 billion and rising) and only paid-off during the lifetime of today’s millennials, their children and grandchildren – thereby transferring this burden onto future generations. It is morally wrong to foist debt onto citizens who are not yet born, and force them to pay the price for the irresponsible behaviour and excesses of those in charge of public policy today.

    It is not so much hesitancy on the part of elite politicians in Westminster that is stalling decisions on key infrastructure projects, but a lack of confidence in the ability of civil servants in Whitehall to agree taut commercial contracts with Private Sector players, which will secure best value for money for taxpayers’ money over the long term – no one in Government wants to even mention this in public, least they blurt out the truth.

    Notwithstanding the spin from the Government regarding the superlative capabilities of its technical and commercial staff, the reality on the ground is that they are woefully ill-equipped to deal with the Private Sector – it remains the single most important constraint which is holding back politicians from committing public funds!

    Additionally, there is concern in some quarters that Government/Industry forums, which are the formal mechanism for discussing these sorts of issues, will be hijacked by those with superior negotiating skills like big business, to swing spending decisions in their favour – at the expense of the interests of others like, small and medium-sized enterprises who are seen as the lifeblood of the UK economy, and should rightly be given equal access to publicly-funded contracts.

  2. Posted 29/11/2017 at 13:52 | Permalink

    Bureaucrats and politicians, none of whom knows anything about business (and many of whom are actively hostile to it) sit down and draw up a plan to be imposed on entrepreneurs.

    All this to be payed for by taxes on – wait for it – businesses.

    What could possibly go wrong?

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