Onward recently held a roundtable with Social Enterprise UK to discuss how to kickstart a revival in economic thinking in the UK.
This session considered what economic policies the centre right should prioritise in the recovery and where the balance of tax reform, regulatory change, jobs growth and public investment might lie as we emerge from the crisis.
At the centre of the discussion was the Government’s ambition to ‘level up’ regional growth and the need to ensure policy is pragmatic and practical rather than ideological or ineffective. The pandemic will likely compound the structural weaknesses in the economy – from low productivity to weak investment and skills gaps – so it was also clear that policymakers and thinkers should be prepared to be radical.
The discussion accepted that debates about tax and spend were largely settled for the foreseeable future, with little appetite for fiscal retrenchment and growing support for a larger state. In responding to this, there was acceptance that policymakers need to move beyond the orthodoxies of the 1980s and think about how to best use public spending, simplify, rather than necessarily reduce, taxes and regulation, and remove long-standing barriers to growth.
Strategies for achieving the Government’s economic and social goals included decentralisation of power, a renewed emphasis on domestic manufacturing, policy certainty and utilizing the potential of the Net Zero transition for economic growth.
The event was held under Chatham House Rule
For media inquiries please contact Will Tanner at [email protected]