A tightening of the austerity screw is the last thing Britain needsby Ann Pettifor / October 15, 2017 / Leave a comment
“Strong and stable” seems of a world so far, far away. Yesterday’s Daily Mail headline “PM slaps treacherous Chancellor down” portrays a government in political chaos. Thanks to open, unresolved intra-Brexiteer warfare, ministers are unable to agree the basics of how to exit the European Union. This state of uncertainty intensifies just as the risks to British jobs and living standards are becoming starker and more potent. Ironically, just as we teeter towards the cliff, ONS data reveals that exports of goods to the EU grew over the last three months, while those to the rest of world fell back, a fact not devoid of dark humour.
Yet while ministers appear obsessed by trade, net trade comprises only a small part of UK GDP. Surely, through the coming period of Brexit chaos, government priority must be to “take back control” and maintain and support the domestic economy. This means a commitment to support not only investment technically defined as “capital” but also public investment in the health, education, and training of the British people. In that way, Britain will have some chance of weathering the storm.