I think the government has done enough to warn people that they inherited a mess in the public finances, and that tough decisions have to be taken.
As readers of this site know, the deficit reduction programme hinges on collecting large extra sums on tax revenue, which in turn requires reasonable levels of sustained growth. The government needs to turn more of its attention to creating the conditions for that to happen.
Yesterday evening I was discussing how the UK could enjoy the manufacturing revivial Mr Osborne says he seeks. It will take urgent action to allow and assist the banks in financing more industrial investment, expansion and new ideas. It will require a strong Freedom Bill which includes sufficient cost reduction through the removal of less desirable or ineffective regulations. It requires a more competitive tax regime on company and personal income. I will be talking about that this morning at the Policy Exchange event.
We need to hear more of the plans to involve, engage and assist the public sector workforce. The government is about to embark on large reforms in a wide range of public service areas. It needs to take its staff with it, and to harness their energies and talents to the task of delivering more for less.
We need a policy for wider ownership, for enterprise, for savers. We know the bad news – now let’s hear the good news. Let’s see how the government can help create a society were working is rewarded, where savers are no longer penalised, where more come to own and participate in the economic life of the nation. Let’s build more bridges between public and private sectors, and let more people work for the public service through small business, employee buy outs and other means of encouraging employee participation in the success and quality of the service.
I hope to catch up with the website later today – it has been a hectic 36 hours at Conference.