Getting the growth rate up to 2.5% a year is a bold ambition. It must be about increasing average income per head by that amount, not about inviting even more people to swell GDP but not average incomes. The right kind of growth means more better paid jobs for people already settled here. That means working smarter with more investment per employee to generate the higher incomes. It may well entail more people of working age being in employment. Getting it up to 2.5% is not going to be easy. Stopping some tax rises is a good start but there now needs to be a concerted effort to make, grow and produce more at home to replace imports. It will take all of the below
1. More self employed. Rolling back IR 35 as set out on friday will help. Buttressing training courses for everything from plumbing to baking and from building to gardening will help. Teaching self employment as a careers option would help. Benefits that are more flexible when someone out of work tries to start a business would help.
2. More small businesses. More generous rates relief, exemption from more regulations, break out of public sector contracts to manageable sizes for smaller firms to bid, mentoring, finance for growth. More generous enterprise investment relief.
3. National resilience policies to support self sufficiency in energy, a greater U.K. presence in strategic minerals, more support for domestic fishing and farming
4. Attracting more overseas investment. The new top rate of income tax of 40% helps as it is more internationally competitive. The return to 19% corporation tax rates helps, to be allied to generous investment allowances.
5. Encouraging more home grown entrepreneurs. Extend the CGT allowance for creating a successful business. Offer favourable terms on start up properties in the new Enterprise zones. Work with them over workforce recruitment and training.
6. Faster improvements in infrastructure to provide broadband, affordable energy and water. Remove the carbon tax on high energy using industries as this leads to UK closures and more imports, not less global CO2. Have sufficient gas powered generating capacity for the transition whilst awaiting battery and or hydrogen storage solutions to intermittent wind. Put in new reservoirs.
7. Cut the traffic jams to allow easier and safer deliveries and work journeys. A national strategic motorway network and strategic local networks of A roads where action is taken to improve flows and vehicle safety by junction changes, road widening, by passes and other improvements. We need more capacity which will lead to less wasted time and less CO2 from sitting in traffic jams.
8. Faster decisions on licences and planning permissions to reduce the costs of both successful and unsuccessful applications, with simpler limited criteria for rejection based mainly on safety or on local community compatibility.
9. Encouraging more people into the workforce. The government has announced some plans to do this. They need to include assistance with training, mentoring and demonstrating to people how they will be better off in work rather than on benefits.
Follow this news feed: John Redwood MP