The best boost the Chancellor could give to the UK economy would be cheaper energy.
Uk energy is too dear for much of industry. As a result more goods are made abroad where it is cheaper, rather than here. More energy intensive industry is contemplating closing plants, or putting its new investment elsewhere. The government says it wants more manufacturing in the UK. It needs cheaper energy to encourage it.
UK energy is also too dear for consumers. As we experience a succession of cold winters, people need some relief from dear energy so they can keep warm at home and still have some money left over for discretionary spending. Cheaper energy would provide a boost to spending and therefore to jobs. It would come as welcome relief especially to people on lower incomes who see too much of their money gobbled up by energy bills.
The Chancellor needs to persuade the Energy secretary, Mr Davey. We want more exploitation of the UK’s gas and oil reserves. It will take more gas fired power stations. It means allowing shale gas recovery. it means a tax regime for our energy reserves that promotes more production.
Maybe Mr Osborne is now able and willing to do this. He should say “Drill Davey, drill”.