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Now austerity is over, let’s commit to investment—and build a national bank to do it

Investment can benefit society and help stabilise the economy. A separate capital budget, distanced from political interference, is the best way forward

Deficit fetishism has finally been defeated. As I recently wrote in these pages, this year’s Queen’s speech finally put “strengthening the economy” ahead of “the public finances.”

This is progress. But there is still no agreement on what should replace austerity. If the doctrine that a country can cut its way back to prosperity is dead, the hunt for new answers should start with the most obvious alternative—enriching ourselves by investing in valuable things.

The state must reaffirm its own role here. In the Keynesian post-war age, it was accepted that the…

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