An economic policy for the whole country

The first thing we need to spread growth and prosperity more widely around our country is a Central Bank in tune with current worldwide Central Bank thinking and concerned to promote growth.

From India to the USA, from Australia to Brazil, from Turkey to Mexico Central Banks have been cutting interest rates to stimulate more growth against a backdrop of world manufacturing recession.

In the last month the Fed has put $150bn into markets to facilitate more productive bank lending, whilst the ECB is now creating Euro20bn extra each month to boost money growth. The Bank of Japan remains on full throttle Quantitative easing.

The UK has the slowest rate of money growth in the advanced world thanks to the Bank of England’s do nothing policy. Time for the Bank to get with the mood of the country which wants more prosperity.

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84 Comments

  1. Martin in Cardiff
    Posted December 14, 2019 at 12:06 pm | Permalink

    Yes, let’s have effectively negative interest rates, and inflate away people’s savings and pension funds.

    That should go down well.

    At least it will keep the property bubble inflated, and home ownership out of reach for the young.

    • Edward2
      Posted December 14, 2019 at 4:54 pm | Permalink

      Your usual misinterpretation of the actual post Martin.
      Where did it say anything about negative interest rates?

    • Hope
      Posted December 14, 2019 at 5:08 pm | Permalink

      JR, how about all the level playing field clauses Johnson has stupidly agreed with the EU not be more competitive! The EU great and good are all demanding it even stronger in the papers today.

      How about accepting hundreds of billions in liabilities for decades from the EIB while giving away all our billions cash assets!

      How about energy for business to flourish? How about energy for homes? The northern industrial heartlands visited by Johnson today will want to know and expect action on his promises. Not the EU mayoral structure offered by EU fanatics Heseltine and Osborne a couple of years ago.

      I trust Johnson realises his mistake of voting for Ken Clarke as leader a few years ago. Both these EU snakes could not be trusted as far as you could throw them.

      Then we have the massive cost of your govts mass immigration policy, good article in Con Woman today. 75 percent of the public across all demographics want action. Including 60 percent of Scott’s, not that you would know that from the SNP.

    • APL
      Posted December 14, 2019 at 8:52 pm | Permalink

      Martin in Cardiff: “Yes, let’s have effectively negative interest rates, and inflate away people’s savings and pension funds.”

      You’ve got that now. 1.5% rate of interest on your savings. 3% rate of inflation (government target) on everything you own.

      Been like that for at least fifteen – twenty years.

      Martin in Cardiff: “and home ownership out of reach for the young.”

      Well, yes.

      • Edward2
        Posted December 15, 2019 at 6:58 am | Permalink

        Home ownership is not out of reach near to Martin in Cardiff.
        A quick look on a well known property website shows hundreds of houses and flats for sale starting at £60,000 and some very nice houses for sale around £100,000.
        Very affordable by two people on average wages.

      • Martin in Cardiff
        Posted December 15, 2019 at 7:34 am | Permalink

        I never said the contrary, but John proposes an intensification and prolongation if anything.

      • Alison
        Posted December 15, 2019 at 10:32 am | Permalink

        Martin, pop along to Germany, where the banks have had negative interest for many months, and are now passing on those negative interest rates to German savers.

    • Peter Wood
      Posted December 14, 2019 at 11:31 pm | Permalink

      M of C,

      WOW! For once you’ve got it right… Interest rates are so low it won’t matter how much you cut.

      First, Sir John, we need to make stuff people want to buy! You have complained many times that we import much of what we consume, this is what needs to change. That means entrepreneurs that can figure out how to make stuff for a price that is competitive. Eg, vacuum cleaners…
      Second, its about demographics; we have an aging population, so naturally we’ll consume less, except care/health services, and resorts. Perhaps GDP is not a good indicator of ‘happiness’.
      Third, are we not being told by St. Greta and other ‘influencers’/world institutions to consume less? How does that figure?

      Last, PLEASE can we get Richard Burgon to replace (Corbyn. ed) That would be HILARIOUS..

  2. Nig l
    Posted December 14, 2019 at 1:02 pm | Permalink

    Indeed. The libertarian free market ‘ranters’ yearning for a return to the Thatcher years need to move on. There has to be a genuine One Nation approach from the Centre right but with social needs from the NHS to rough sleepers, the elderly to the disabled at the fore front as much as innovation. Infrastructure investment is vital as is understanding that London and the South East economy is not reflected across the country so the Regions need rebalancing.

    Frankly I don’t care what David Bellamy et al said about climate and the environment. We only have to look at plastics in the oceans to know we are effing this planet up and things need to change as indeed the politics have.

    We must look forward and deal with the realities of the ‘now’ rather than this constant yearning for an alleged ‘utopian past’

  3. formula57
    Posted December 14, 2019 at 1:26 pm | Permalink

    I would prefer fiscal measures, especially since monetary policy is likely ineffective now or at least very muted.

    The present Chancellor is a concern despite not doing anything as he seems to have needed much guidance.

  4. Dennis
    Posted December 14, 2019 at 1:27 pm | Permalink

    It is always said that the NHS etc. can only be financed with a strong economy. Surely a strong economy can only be ‘financed’ by a strong renewable environment/resources.

    I don’t see that happening with an increasing UK/world population which wants to be richer. What’s your solution JR? Magic trees?

    • Lifelogic
      Posted December 15, 2019 at 2:25 pm | Permalink

      The magic tree is the ingenuity and determination of the people. Just get the state off their backs and out of their way!

  5. Andy
    Posted December 14, 2019 at 1:27 pm | Permalink

    What you actually mean is that Conservatives need to abandon austerity and, instead, spend big in northern towns to try to hold on to voters who just rejected Corbyn.

    • Dave Andrews
      Posted December 14, 2019 at 4:34 pm | Permalink

      With debt increasing year on year, there doesn’t seem to be much evidence of austerity. But with all the cuts as well, it does beg the question – where is all the money going?
      I understand austerity as tightening your belt to pay down excess debts, not carrying on borrowing more.

    • Edward2
      Posted December 14, 2019 at 4:57 pm | Permalink

      No that isn’t what the post says.
      PS
      Odd “austerity” when State spending was £340 billion in 2000 and in 2020 State spending could hit £900 billion.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted December 14, 2019 at 5:31 pm | Permalink

      What is needed is a much smaller state, tax cuts and a larger productive sector. True the state sector does produce some value, but very little value for the huge amount they spend or waste. 25% of GDP is more than enough lets aim for that. Freedom and choice as to how people spend their own money please and a level playing field. In healthcare, schools, universities, TV channels, housing, energy, transport …………….

      Much of what the state does just inconveniences and hugely overtaxes the productive.

      • DavidJ
        Posted December 15, 2019 at 12:12 pm | Permalink

        Excellent points and very necessary. I might also add that we need rid of foreigners (such as we had in the BoE with Carney) who actually have an interest in the success of our country and are likely subservient to non-British organisations such as the EU (once out) and the UN etc.

    • Leaver
      Posted December 14, 2019 at 9:54 pm | Permalink

      Yes. You have it exactly, Andy.

      I believe it’s called democracy in action.

      • Edward2
        Posted December 15, 2019 at 7:01 am | Permalink

        So extra spending in areas that have been previously neglected by government is a good thing or a bad thing Leaver?
        Make your mind up.

    • Lynn Atkinson
      Posted December 14, 2019 at 10:37 pm | Permalink

      The NHS can never be financed. Brown doubled its funding thinking he would go down in history as a hero. They stopped whinging for a week! British people must have proper insurance – a national insurance so that the company cannot deny insurance to the sick. We could call it National Insurance 😂😂. Everyone else must pay full whack. That will stop health tourism.

  6. MikeP
    Posted December 14, 2019 at 1:30 pm | Permalink

    To avoid the perennial accusations from Labour about under-funding the NHS put a Bill in the Queens’s Speech mandating a certain spend per capita on NHS hospitals and GPs.
    Then future Budgets could just confirm the figure had been set aside, adjusted for any new innovations, drugs or circumstances, then concentrate on what we could then routinely call non-Health public spending. You just need to neutralise this toxic debate about our sacred cow.

    • Anonymous
      Posted December 14, 2019 at 6:05 pm | Permalink

      Start by charging drunks in A&E. Then move on to the obese. It is cowardly taxing everyone with sugar taxes. Being obese should be stigmatised as much as smoking and drink driving. It places deliberate pressures on the NHS and therefore kills other people too.

      As a result of such cowardice being obese is becoming the new normal.

      30 years ago you just did not see it. Go see Les Dawson on YouTube. He is barely overweight by today’s standards yet traded on his roly-poly image.

      As for the aged being a drain on the NHS I hope there is carefully regulated euthanasia for myself. For debilitating illness or loneliness. As a visitor of aged neighbours I know there is great heartache and depression in extreme old age – loss of friends, senses and abilities.

      • Anonymous
        Posted December 14, 2019 at 6:09 pm | Permalink

        Being obese is also a strain on the environment. Over eating during a time of environmental emergency. This has to be stigmatised.

  7. Dominic
    Posted December 14, 2019 at 1:35 pm | Permalink

    McDonnell’s stepping down.

    It is time for the Tories to turn away from Socialism and One Nation spinelessness

    The party’s job is to destroy Labour and turn voting Labour into an act of social shame

    • Hope
      Posted December 14, 2019 at 4:55 pm | Permalink

      Dominic,
      Tory socialism will continue rather than it being a Conservative party. 29 years of socialism needs to be unwound from all public services, quangos, civil service, judiciary.

      Cameron took his Tory socialism further left by uniting with the anti Democratic Party and centralising control at CCHQ not trusting local associations. Johnson promised change on this front, let us wait and see if he devolves selection back to associations.

    • Starlight
      Posted December 14, 2019 at 5:29 pm | Permalink

      Many will not appreciate how difficult it was for Labour voters to kick a century of Labour habit. Deep historical beholdingness in a-dread of some attack of old

    • Leaver
      Posted December 14, 2019 at 9:53 pm | Permalink

      I totally disagree.

      Let’s be less tribal here. Both the labour party and conservative party have done excellent things (and not so excellent things). The Liberals too (albeit a long time ago).

      However, it’s very sad when they start pandering to their base – as labour are doing at present. I long for the labour party to return to being a viable opposition again.

      I like adversarial politics. That way each side can hold the other to account. Surely you don’t want a one party state?

  8. The Prangwizard
    Posted December 14, 2019 at 1:53 pm | Permalink

    I don’t understand this top of the pyramid stuff about central banks, the economics which interested me and which I studied was nearer the ground and concerned trade.

    What we should do here I think is prioritise self reliance and self sufficiency both amongst individuals and business. Get away from thoughts that ‘we can always import it’, and the idea that foreign goods are much better than our own. This has begun to change but the emphasis has been on local, not national.

    Government must also stop encouraging foreign businesses to buy our own, or to come here, rent a big shed somewhere and bring their own stuff to sell, usually aggessively at the expense of ours making the same products. And stop being so chummy with The City.

    • Narrow Shoulders
      Posted December 14, 2019 at 9:37 pm | Permalink

      +1

  9. BillM
    Posted December 14, 2019 at 2:08 pm | Permalink

    A good start for the BoE would have a new Governor who is a suitably qualified British citizen. It was an outrage that this Country should need a non-Brit as head of our own Central Bank. Also, one foreigner who actually interfered in our domestic politics using his position. Such a key person must be a British citizen and non-political or not qualify for the job.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted December 14, 2019 at 5:36 pm | Permalink

      Another huge mistake by Osborne and then kept on my the socialist, remainer dope Philip Hammond and not by Javid. Why of why is he still in post. JR could do a better job in an hour at day – and would probably do it for almost nothing, as could many other people. A working compass it what is needed.

      • BillM
        Posted December 15, 2019 at 2:04 pm | Permalink

        LL I believe you meant “now” not “not” with reference to Javid. If so I believe that Carney’s 2018 contract allows him to stay until 2020. Yet another disastrous decision by the hapless and incompetent, Mrs May.

    • Shirley
      Posted December 14, 2019 at 7:01 pm | Permalink

      +1

  10. Bob
    Posted December 14, 2019 at 2:09 pm | Permalink

    The base rate is already next to nothing, so cutting it will achieve next to nothing, it would just prolong the asset bubble. The govt then have to step in with punitive SDLT and complex exemptions in their attempts control who can buy property. Jeremy Corbyn would approve.

    When you need to keep making exceptions it’s an indication that the system is flawed.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted December 14, 2019 at 5:37 pm | Permalink

      It is banks margin, lending appetite and banking red tape that is the main problem. Plus a lack of much real & fair competition in the sector.

  11. Dominic
    Posted December 14, 2019 at 2:19 pm | Permalink

    Material prosperity must be produced from material means. This prosperity can’t be magically procured simply as a consequence of policy design making by either the BOE or the UK government. Politicians do not create wealth. In fact they are hindrance to that simple process

    What is far more important is the ingenuity, business sense entrepreneurialism, attitude to risk, character and sheer physical graft. It is the encouragement of these human instincts that should be at the centre of public policy not obsessions with Keynesian nonsense about velocity of money and such rubbish

    I doubt the Victorians consider such monetary theory when they elevated this nation to the global industrial power.

    Politicians do not create wealth, profitable, risk-taking business creates wealth.

    Apple. Microsoft. Dell. McDonalds. Walmart. Ford. Amazon. Alphabet. Facebook. None of these companies owe their existence to politicians

    Government’s job is to step back and remove barriers to entrepreneurs and business expansion. Create a wealth creating culture and let the people do the rest

  12. Ian
    Posted December 14, 2019 at 2:25 pm | Permalink

    You must get rid of Mark Carny, he is holding up Boris, and the rest of us.
    It suited the last Government to have Carny as part of the Establishment and there scare stories.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted December 14, 2019 at 7:35 pm | Permalink

      Indeed he has been a disaster. Why on earth was he appointed and why on earth was he retained and ever extended?

    • Lynn Atkinson
      Posted December 14, 2019 at 10:39 pm | Permalink

      Absolutely, and we want a proper Chancellor too, maybe a cool unflappable man who will balance Boris’s ‘fluster’ act. People were telling me on the doorsteps they were not keen on the fluster. But if he had had a competent Chancellor to wheel out … that would have been a good team.

  13. Graham Wheatley
    Posted December 14, 2019 at 3:02 pm | Permalink

    Sir,

    Mark Carney should have had his P.45 at 09:01hrs on 24th June 2016, escorted to his desk by Security, given 15 minutes to clear it, relieved of his Security Pass, denied access to the I.T. systems and then escorted to the front door.

    Why the hell he is still in the job confounds me. Every time he opens his mouth, Sterling takes a dip on the International Money Markets.

    We need a new head of the BoE.

    • L Jones
      Posted December 14, 2019 at 3:55 pm | Permalink

      As a Canadophile, I never saw a Canadian I didn’t like…. however…..

      • Fred H
        Posted December 15, 2019 at 9:18 am | Permalink

        and you’ve been to Quebec?

    • robert valence
      Posted December 14, 2019 at 4:32 pm | Permalink

      Took the words right out of my keyboard.
      Apart from his policies, his very appearance puts a damper on everything. Imagine him as the belle-of-the-ball at a party – hopefully his leaving party

    • Glenn Vaughan
      Posted December 14, 2019 at 4:54 pm | Permalink

      Graham Wheatley

      An excellent post.

      Whatever time is left on Carney’s contract he should be paid off and booted out of the front door forthwith!

    • Where to go?
      Posted December 14, 2019 at 5:22 pm | Permalink

      One senses Mr Carney is disappointed Lagarde got the ECB job.

      • Lifelogic
        Posted December 15, 2019 at 2:23 pm | Permalink

        So am I.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted December 14, 2019 at 5:24 pm | Permalink

      Why indeed, it seem he is now going to paid to push green crap and exaggerated climate alarmism in his new job. These deluded Oxford PPE dopes! Ann Widdecombe excepted of course!

      Richard Littlejohn is a must read today he is spot on.

  14. Lynn Atkinson
    Posted December 14, 2019 at 3:04 pm | Permalink

    That would secure prosperity in the enterprising but cash starved north and keep it blue for a very long time.
    JR for nr. 11

  15. Lifelogic
    Posted December 14, 2019 at 3:04 pm | Permalink

    Indeed plus the lack of competition in banking that allows them to get away with paying less than 0.5 % on deposits yet and yet they rip off even solid customers with 40% or 78% on overdraft borrowing! If that does not show a lack of real competition what on earth does!

    Plus we have misguided artificial rules and red tape deterring lending on property, cars and similar. Ŵ

    • Lifelogic
      Posted December 14, 2019 at 3:05 pm | Permalink

      I have passed on several perfectly sensible developments due to the costs and hassle of obtaining bank finance at sensible rates and terms.

      • Derek Henry
        Posted December 14, 2019 at 4:14 pm | Permalink

        If you want real competition introduce a job guarentee.

        Productivity would soar.

        Replace the automatic stabilizers with a job guarentee and we would be off to the races. We are carrying way too much dead wood companies pretending to be doing well.

        All they contribute is cheap unskilled labour. Introduce a job guarentee the private sector will have to up their game and forget about forming monopolies.

      • Martin in Cardiff
        Posted December 14, 2019 at 4:57 pm | Permalink

        What you advocate isn’t really capitalism in my view.

        Capitalism is financed by, er, capital, not by debt.

        In that sense I’m more of one than you are, it appears.

        • Lifelogic
          Posted December 15, 2019 at 4:22 am | Permalink

          If you lend to a company or buy shares in a company it is still a form of debt of the company due to you. You are expecting the company to repay you in interest or dividends or in capital gains from a later onward sale!

        • libertarian
          Posted December 15, 2019 at 6:00 pm | Permalink

          MiC

          How many times, you do not know what you are talking about

          Investment in a company is DEBT you uninformed marxist

          • Martin in Cardiff
            Posted December 16, 2019 at 7:42 am | Permalink

            Not always.

            Depends on the terms.

            And if I have a sum of money of my own, and use it to set up a business, then there is no debt.

            That is what the early English and other capitalists did.

            Japanese companies have been run on a similar basis quite recently.

          • Edward2
            Posted December 16, 2019 at 12:39 pm | Permalink

            Nothing wrong with that, but most businesses use other people’s money to help capitalise their businesses, particularly in the early stages.
            It speeds up growth and enables owners to meet the customer demand for their products and services.
            The Dragons Den shows the kind of venture capitalists that can lend money and expertise in return for a share holding in the company.

      • Nig l
        Posted December 14, 2019 at 5:06 pm | Permalink

        your ‘Sensible’ I guess not their ‘sensible’ in terms of risk and subsequent pricing

    • agricola
      Posted December 14, 2019 at 7:05 pm | Permalink

      If the intension is to spread growth to those parts of the country that need it, all the government has to do is act as a traffic cop. Then make sure the infrastructure exists to service that growth. That will ensure that the tentative conservative vote become permanent support.

      Cutting interest rates further does nothing for the man in the street but make use of his money for nothing. The banks feed on those who borrow. I am not going to advise on what to do with money except to keep it out of the hands of banks.

    • Jack Falstaff
      Posted December 14, 2019 at 7:20 pm | Permalink

      Extremely valid comment Lifelogic.
      As you state, there is one rule for some and another for others as far as interest rates are concerned.
      Double standards and representative of a lack of contact with the real world for the consumer.
      Whereas, as far as the wider economy is concerned, they seek to pretend that quarter percentage changes in interest rates matter.
      I can’t see any evidence of this other than reaction to the forecasts the central banks put out, which are invariably food and drink for the media and the sort of meaningless nonsense in real terms that just confuses markets.
      Governments should think fiscal instead of meddling with this rubbish.
      Okay if, central banks really wish to do something let’s talk 1 or 2 percent or so instead of jittery fuddle.

    • Mike Wilson
      Posted December 14, 2019 at 9:21 pm | Permalink

      After the election I thought we might get some new thinking. But, no, it’s the same old cut interest nonsense. How much lower can they go? You do realise a lot of people rely on the interest on their savings. They spend it, resting demand. This obsession with more debt is very depressing.

      If Labour had had the sense not to field a candidate, maybe Lee would have won.

      • Lifelogic
        Posted December 15, 2019 at 4:23 am | Permalink

        Very unlikely that he would have won!

        • Mike Wilson
          Posted December 16, 2019 at 12:02 pm | Permalink

          If Labour had not stood and those that voted Labour had voted Lib Dem instead, it would have been very close.

      • Fred H
        Posted December 15, 2019 at 9:16 am | Permalink

        not a chance – Lee’s only attraction was the Remain stand. A busted flush and seen off in Wokingham where policies, integrity and honesty matter.
        Look what happened to those who in a fit of pique crossed the floor….

  16. Derek Henry
    Posted December 14, 2019 at 4:07 pm | Permalink

    Cutting interest rates does not increase productive bank lending.

    Better improved fiscal policy does. Trump has smashed The previous record and Japan has spent quadrillions.

    The interest rate should be set at zero for other reasons

    http://bilbo.economicoutlook.net/blog/?p=1961

  17. Richard1
    Posted December 14, 2019 at 4:25 pm | Permalink

    I think we should try to normalise monetary policy when we can. The US has gone some way to normalise interest rates. QE, negative rates etc risk distortions in investment and propping up zombie businesses. Better to focus on supply side measures such as tax reform and simplification, selected tax cuts and try to stem the avalanche of inane regulation which is, inter alia, killing the public equity markets certainly for smaller companies.

    By all means let’s have infrastructure programmes but let’s avoid massively expensive grands projets like HS2. Why not cancel HS2 and spend say 1/2 the £88bn on smaller regional projects? Improving commuters routes into northern cities, a Leeds-Manchester connection, improving crowded dangerous roads like the A14 where trade comes from the port at Felixstowe – these are the kinds of things to focus on.

  18. Referendum Dice Cast
    Posted December 14, 2019 at 5:11 pm | Permalink

    Planet BBC still hasn’t got it.
    They are having their customary discussion with invited journalists , German, American, Remoaner, and completely ignoring in real terms two referendums in Scotland and the UK as a whole.
    Scotland voted to stay with the UK. The UK as a whole voted to leave the EU.

    They speak of domestic politics, SNP,Labour, Tory and soft and hard referendum results.
    It was Yes or No times two. Simple to understand by those not on Planet BBC

    Planet BBC do not know the difference between two referendum results and party politics.
    The referendum dice have been cast. The party politics is ongoing cute ornamentation only.
    Should there be a fairy atop Scotland’s Christmas tree or a Star? Mrs Sturgeon or the Starheart of Scotland? The Starheart has underlying referendum result. The Fairydoll not.

  19. acorn
    Posted December 14, 2019 at 5:19 pm | Permalink

    Central Banks can’t create prosperity in a sovereign fiat currency economy, only the currency issuing Government Treasury can do that (fiscal policy).

    The last ten years have proven that Central Bank monetary policies don’t work. QE, that is the swapping of government savings bonds, back into the cash that bought them originally, has done nothing for any economy. That savings cash just got transferred into savings in equity shares in Corporations, very little got spent to boost the economy.

    The UK is way down the list of Central Bank overnight reserves interest rates. 1% lower than the US. The difference is the US is running a near 5% budget deficit, compared to austerity UK’s 1.7%.

    For those that understand the difference between government created “money” and non-government banking created “credit”, have a look at https://www.bankofengland.co.uk/statistics/visual-summaries/household-credit.

    The UK is going to need a major injection of government “money” and very soon!

  20. jerry
    Posted December 14, 2019 at 5:41 pm | Permalink

    Economic (interest rates etc) policy is not of the highest, immediate, policy importance, we need to get our trade ambassadors/negotiators on planes off around the world in the first weeks of January, given the post election response from Brussels telling us that it is still BRINO or ‘no deal’…

    • Hope
      Posted December 15, 2019 at 1:06 pm | Permalink

      Well said.

  21. NickW
    Posted December 14, 2019 at 6:19 pm | Permalink

    What is now needed is a discussion in the public domain regarding the realities of Scotland leaving the UK and applying to rejoin the EU in its own right.

    What subsidies would Scotland lose?
    How would the Scottish economy have to adapt to the loss of those subsidies?
    Under what terms would the EU allow Scotland to join as an Independent Country?
    How would Scotland’s destiny best be controlled by its own people; with no effective representation of any kind as an EU Member, or as part of the United Kingdom outside the EU but with full representation in the UK Parliament.?
    Would Scotland have to join the Euro, and what would be the implications of that to its economy?

    The SNP as a Party would cease to have any influence on Scotland’s governance and would cease to exist if Scotland leaves the Union and joins the EU as an Independent Country; Scotland as a Country would cease to exist.

    The SNP’s purpose and existence can only be protected by Scotland remaining in the UK.

    Scotland’s heritage and character can only be preserved outside of the EU and within the UK; that is why England voted to leave.

    The cliff edge that Sturgeon is attempting to march the Scottish people over is a very real one. The debate over Scotland’s future needs to be an informed one.

  22. Mark B
    Posted December 14, 2019 at 6:34 pm | Permalink

    Good evening.

    Let’s hope this missive does not get stuck in moderation like all the rest ? 😉

    Yes, let us print more money and cut interest rates further. Like that is going to work – NOT !

    Can we have an economic policy that does not involve following all the other Lemmings, please ?

  23. miami.mode
    Posted December 14, 2019 at 6:36 pm | Permalink

    Interest rates at near zero ensure that pension schemes run by companies require more investment to cover their liabilities which places a greater strain on their finances and the necessity of increasing prices so that they continue to make profits.

  24. Leaver
    Posted December 14, 2019 at 9:48 pm | Permalink

    Maybe. But, assuming we won’t see mass-immigration anytime soon then the demographics will lead to an aging population, and less workers for every pensioner.

    I worry it’s all going to go Japan. In which case we have a lot of borrowing ahead of us. Maybe best to keep our powder dry and not go too crazy.

    • Lynn Atkinson
      Posted December 14, 2019 at 10:42 pm | Permalink

      Funded pensions fund pensioners, so demographics are irrelevant. It is everyone’s duty to ensure that they save and invest enough to enjoy the same income when they retire (inflation proofed) as when they worked. I did (65 – no pension coming in yet either).

    • Edward2
      Posted December 14, 2019 at 10:58 pm | Permalink

      You assume no increase in births from the near 70 million already in the UK
      Why is a reducing population a problem?
      Look at GDP per head figures.

  25. Iain Gill
    Posted December 14, 2019 at 10:08 pm | Permalink

    I regard Dom Cummings blog over the last few years as the real Conservative manifesto.

    I think we should have a chat about the many things he has got correct, and the very much smaller number of things (but important) that he has got completely wrong. Those things he has got wrong are going to be the biggest problems for this country over the next decade if wiser more experienced heads dont get listened to.

  26. Iain Gill
    Posted December 14, 2019 at 10:28 pm | Permalink

    when will the chairs of the commons committees be announced?

  27. Gareth Warren
    Posted December 15, 2019 at 12:16 am | Permalink

    I personally do not rate interest rate cuts today as very helpful since they are so low already. The money from QE too seems to go mostly into encouraging share buybacks in a world where we produce a little too much.

    But government can do so much to spur prosperity, getting brexit done where we can lower the cost of trade worldwide really can help.

    Taking charge of our regulations and reducing the cost to business will help, but I think one of the biggest boosts would be cutting government staff thus flooding the private sector with qualified workers. Lastly the government can boost hitech and construction industry by investing in infrastructure in the north of England where it will be desperately needed due to brexit growth there. Controlling immigration can help reduce our welfare bill while still keeping highly paid jobs open to immigrants.

    And restoring our armed forces, to deter future wars and help keep the UK’s technical lead.

  28. Fred H
    Posted December 15, 2019 at 9:22 am | Permalink

    OFF TOPIC.

    The media has forecast Boris wielding the axe soon on Cabinet, ministers, Downing St, Civil Servants….refusal to appear on Today.

    Well done Boris – get stuck in – there’s much to do.
    Maybe you kept your cards carefully to your chest.

    • Martin in Cardiff
      Posted December 15, 2019 at 1:28 pm | Permalink

      Oh, I think that he did very much!

  29. Lester Beedell
    Posted December 15, 2019 at 12:16 pm | Permalink

    All the usual suspects are trotting out the negativity, no surprises there then!
    Why don’t contributors wait until he’s exercised his majority?
    As I predicted the Brexit Party won no seats, without them the government would have enjoyed a three figure majority, we have Nigel Farage to thank for getting us the Referendum but he should have stood back when Boris Johnson became PM and supported him enthusiastically not sought to undermine him!
    Thank God all the Remainer MPs have lost their seats, I would have enjoyed seeing Bercow’s face as the results came in and it was hugely satisfying to watch the Blatantly Biased Corporation announcing the results, the first time that I’ve watched their output for many months

    • Martin in Cardiff
      Posted December 15, 2019 at 6:07 pm | Permalink

      What do you mean “all” the Remainer MPs?

      Parliament is still composed overall mainly of MPs who voted Remain.

      Those who crossed the floor have gone, yes, but they were just a few.

  30. Ian Pennell
    Posted December 15, 2019 at 11:29 pm | Permalink

    Dear Sir John Redwood,

    Firstly Sir, Congratulations are due on your re-election as MP for Wokingham and for Boris Johnson getting a majority to deliver Brexit.

    There is actually a HUGE amount of scope to borrow without upsetting the International Credit Rating’s Agencies too much- it’s called selling millions of Government Bonds to the UK Market. Japan actually has a National Debt of 230% of GDP but still has a strong currency and good standing with International Credit Rating’s Agencies like Moody’s.

    Britain’s National Debt is 85% of GDP, but about a third of this is Bank of England issued debt. Thus there’s scope to borrow at home to repay foreign debts (about 60% of GDP) gradually and borrow to spend a further 90% of GDP to fund massive infrastructure investments, Tax cuts and boosting the NHS, Police, Army and Education at a rate of 4.5% of GDP (£90 billion) over the next twenty years.

    Issuing millions of government bonds does not involve “printing money” and borrowing in this way to repay foreign debts would be deflationary (it is one way to take money out of the economy to prevent Inflation without provoking the wrath of Voters): Get the Bank of England to print (say) £25 billion per annum that businesses could borrow cheaply and so young first-time buyers can get cheap mortgages (should Deflation/ Recession threaten).

    In time more revenues flow to the Exchequer so that the UK Government can repay the bonds as they mature. Since the debt repayments will go to UK creditors (say the interest on the bonds was 4% a year) this will help stimulate domestic demand and growth- and more revenues to repay the maturing Govt. bonds and fund better Public Services.

    This is a fiscally credible way of ensuring the UK economy grows, Inflation stays low but the whole UK population is kept on-side for the Tories with Tax cuts, millions more homes, massive Infrastructure Spending and lots more money for Public Services for the next 20 years- all without savage downgrades from Fitch, Moody’s, Standard and Poor . If, after 20 years, the economy has grown by 40% in real terms the National Debt as a proportion of GDP would be 165% of GDP (this assuming bond repayments keep track with Inflation). So you could still borrow more to Keep the Voters Sweet!

  31. Alec
    Posted December 16, 2019 at 10:48 am | Permalink

    It seems to me that most of the boom and bust economic problems for the last 100 years have been caused by central banks. They apply exactly the wrong solution to problems- money printing and interest rate manipulation. How much value do they have to destroy in the real economy for us to realise just how destructive centralised banks (and centralised anything) are?

  • About John Redwood


    John Redwood won a free place at Kent College, Canterbury, and graduated from Magdalen College Oxford. He is a Distinguished fellow of All Souls, Oxford. A businessman by background, he has set up an investment management business, was both executive and non executive chairman of a quoted industrial PLC, and chaired a manufacturing company with factories in Birmingham, Chicago, India and China. He is the MP for Wokingham, first elected in 1987.

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