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How to spend it

New Labour should use the windfall from the sale of mobile telephone licences for a bold act of social engineering

By Michael Prowse   June 2000

The british government has raised more than ?22 billion by auctioning chunks of the radio spectrum to mobile phone companies-seven times more than expected. By using the latest game-theory techniques, the treasury has squeezed huge sums out of such savvy companies as Vodafone and Orange. Rarely has nerdish intelligence been put to better use. The challenge now is to find an equally imaginative way of using the windfall. True to his image as a tight-fisted son of the manse, Gordon Brown has talked only of paying off the national debt.

Yet thanks to the public spending squeeze of the early…

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