Labour sets out to get the U.K. to grow the fastest in the G7

Here’s the main aim of the Labour Manifesto. I fully support it. So did Liz Truss.It just shows how varied and wide an appeal it has.

Growth needs to be per capita growth. It needs to be productivity raising, wage increasing growth. We do not want GDP growth based on inviting in more and more people  to take low skilled jobs for low wages.That way lies further demands for more homes, more hospitals, more schools, more public spending.

Labour is less clear over how it will bring this about. They  want the private sector to build more homes. They suggest that simply setting top down house building targets in revised planning guidance will release extra plots for building and will resolve the matter. This is unlikely. The Conservatives used to set these targets but did not get building up to the 300,000 a year Labour wants, though they did increase the rate.,

Last year in England there were 1.1 million plots with housing permission available but the builders did not hit the 300,000 target. That had little to do with planning permissions and much to do with the Bank of England. The Bank deliberately sold bonds to drive mortgage rates up and kept short term rates high to reinforce the dear mortgages policy. They thought it necessary to drive rates up to stop people building and buying homes. That was a key part of their policy to correct the bad mistakes they had made with money and inflation in 2021-2.

Insufficient homes were built because they are dear, mortgages are scarce and interest rates too high to be easily affordable for many.  Labour needs to address the cost of homes, made higher by Stamp Duty and other taxes, and above all by the cost of credit.

Meanwhile more planning permissions take time to filter through as it takes years to get all Councils  to change their local plans in response to new guidance.

If the. priority is more affordable housing for rent or slae then it will need substantial uplifts in state spending on capital investment and subsidies.To avoid this being inflationary there needs to be expansion of the trained domestic building workforce  and more capacity in leading building  materials and components.

I will comment on other parts of the Growth plan in later blogs.


  1. Lifelogic
    July 6, 2024

    Labour say they want growth but almost every policy they espouse is against growth. Net zero and the appointment of the dire ED Miliband (PPE yet again), rip of renewable energy, higher taxes, less fossil fuels, more red tape, more government…

    What an appalling Cabinet Lammy, Miliband, Dodds, Benn, Rayner… but they will it seems have to “respect” everyone in the country. Murderers, rapists, stabbers, muggers, fraudsters… even Tory Scum it seems.

    I see that Starmer is continuing with his hugely tedious ‘I am talking slowly to dim 6 year olds approach to public speaking’ I am sick of him already. But at least he has not lied that the Vaccines are unequivocally safe. Has Sunak book his flights to California yet? Just go man. What on earth possessed Sunak to have the election 6 months early?

    1. Lifelogic
      July 6, 2024

      So Boris Johnson has warned the Conservatives not to merge with Reform UK as he laid out his vision for how they can revive their electoral fortunes.

      Well you need to ditch the Boris wife’s insanity of net zero for a start mate. Of the 121 Tory MPs you have left how many want this? Two or three perhaps? Almost none of them are real Tories who want far less but high skilled only immigration, lower taxes, far less government, a bonfire of red tape, to scrap the ECHR, take real advantage of Brexit, cheap reliable on demand energy, tax breaks for private healthcare and schools…

      It was of course the Tories who took Stamp Duty top rates (now SDLT) to 15% from 4% it was only 1% under Thatcher. IPT insurance tax now 12% it was nothing under Thatcher. Plus she had tax breaks for health insurance and better tax breaks for pension investment too. VAT was 0%, 8% or 15%. not 20% as now and no VAT on electricity or gas and not green levies either.

      We pay all this extra money in taxes and yet public services are a sick joke.

      1. Lifelogic
        July 6, 2024

        Plus Capital Gains tax was indexed to inflation as it should be and rates were lower too. Landlord are even taxes on money they have not made. The level of tax increase under Blair, Brown, Cameron, Osborne, May, Boris, Sunak, Hunt is truly appalling and now there is even worse to come from Starmer & Reeves.

    2. Ian wragg
      July 6, 2024

      It will be interesting to watch when reality meets aspirations
      Starmergeddon will fail on all fronts just as fishy failed with his 5 pledges. Regardless of a stonking majority he won’t stop the boats or increase GDP to the highest in the G7. Wait for the results of tomorrow’s election in France to get an idea which way things are going.
      Well done Nige and the 4 others
      Spectacular from a standing start

      1. Hope
        July 6, 2024

        Growth- Building houses will never keep pace with the Uni party mass immigration policy. Birmingham has seen pro Gaza independent MPs voted in! This appears lost on the Uni party. Balkanisation is happening as sure as night and day.

        Uni party equates mass immigration to growth because the OBR says so! Idiots. If you import millions of welfare claimants they might spend their welfare money given by the British taxpayer but it will not create wealth prosperity. It will destroy our nation state, culture and way of life.

    3. Original Richard
      July 6, 2024

      LL : “What on earth possessed Sunak to have the election 6 months early?”

      Two possibilities :

      Either because those who control Conservative Party policy are keen for high immigration, both legal and illegal, even if it means a transition to a Labour government who have promised to cancel their Rwanda plan. This cancellation will be easier if it was never tested, especially if it was found to work!

      Or, because they knew their Rwanda plan would fail, they would have to call an early election before it could be tested and use the plan as an election bribe even if it was playing with the security of the country.

      1. Lynn Atkinson
        July 6, 2024

        Everyone knew the Rwanda plan would fail. Sunak was told the legislation would be challenged in the Courts.
        Imagine having to apologise to the British nation for the damage yoh have done whilst in Government. Most people would be mortified and crawl into a hole, never to be seen again.

      2. Berkshire Alan
        July 6, 2024

        Also suggested that 200,000 people per month were having their fixed rate mortgages ending, leaving them at the mercy of market rates which are sometimes double or more than the original payments. thus another half a million by November unlikely to vote conservative.

  2. Peter Gardner
    July 6, 2024

    A welcome, positive and constructive approach, Sir John. What should Labour do about the Bank and about the OBR?

  3. Peter Wood
    July 6, 2024

    Good Morning,
    When there are no exchange controls, interest rates are set by markets, mostly international, based on demand for products and services. If we were a competitive exporter, a generator of trade and balance surpluses, we would have lower interest costs. We need to have high interest costs to maintain demand for our currency from foreigners. As we lose more foreign confidence in our economy, inevitable under Labour mismanagement, interest rates will rise. Will the IMF help us again?


    1. Mitchel
      July 6, 2024

      I see the IMF’s two largest debtors are Argentina and Ukraine(the latter has just overtaken Egypt).Will the IMF have anything left when we present the begging bowl?!

      I also note that BRICS share of global GDP in 2023 hit a record 35.7%(up from 25.5% when it was founded in 2006) whilst the G7’s share has fallen from 38.7% to 29% over the same period.

  4. David Andrews
    July 6, 2024

    An objective, stated in isolation from its context, is meaningless. So is an objective without a coherent strategy and action plan to achieve it. Waffle and warm words might help get you elected but will not get the job done. That is how I perceived the public statements of the main parties and why they did not get my vote. I distrust them all.

  5. agricola
    July 6, 2024

    Are Labour about to steal your clothes, and if that is the case do they have the business acumen to pull it off.

    They first need cheap money which if inflation remains around 2% they might achieve. They then need to create the factory manufacture of housing to free themselves from a building industry driven by less altruistic goals. They need to concentrate on the creation of a state/local government rental market, purchase being too onerous for a vast number of the people needing housing. They then need to free up the land bank in the areas of greatest need.

    Before starting, they must get a grip on immigration, legal and illegal. You will never solve the housing crisis while at the same time back feeding the demand side with economic migrants from the third world. This is the point at which empty talk ends and positive action is required. Are the new arrivals in Westminster up to the job or are they just rhetoric, time will tell.

    1. Wanderer
      July 6, 2024

      +1 Agricola. Very good points.

      I agree more rental is needed in the housing mix. None of the major Parties are landlord-friendly, so I think they’ll only achieve more in the social sector (which might not even balance losses from the private rental sector).

    2. graham1946
      July 6, 2024

      Agree. Round here thousands of new houses built round a small market town and hundreds remain unsold and I’ve been told some are going at a discount – should have been priced properly in the first place, based on cost plus profit not the greed of the ‘market value’. I have no sympathy whatever with the builders and hope they remain unsold for a long time until prices come to a more realistic level. They want ‘market prices’ , so let them have market forces against them, they’ve had too much greed for far too long as evidenced by one CEO a couple of years ago being awarded a 100 million bonus for one year. They are supposed to build some flood plain defences and a new relief road, but of course they have not been done – they can’t afford’ it they say. Perhaps cancelling all their other planning permissions might concentrate their minds. Labour have no chance of 1.5 million homes this parliament, nor stopping the boats, having cancelled Rwanda (another mere half a billion down the drain), with no plans. A record year is in store with a very short honeymoon period.

  6. Lifelogic
    July 6, 2024

    What a dire & dreary speech from Starmer as he takes office. I am bored with him already. He thinks Sunak’s main achievement to become PM while being “Asian”. Why does Starmer think, in some racist way I assume, that “Asians” are somehow inferior & so not usually capable of being PM?

    The. he appoint race baiter, Trump and Brexit hater Lammy (and university Challenge Star) to the Foreign Office. God help up!

    1. Lynn Atkinson
      July 6, 2024

      Imagine India voting Starmer in as PM …. What would happen if India and Britain went to war? And as India is a very close ally of Russia, that possibility is not out of the question.
      Starmer and Sunak have a lit in common, they are both trainable. Neither are thinkers.
      We need to do their thinking for them.

  7. agricola
    July 6, 2024

    Your go for growth title and first two paragraphs puts you in a position of agreement with Labour’s manifesto while doubting their ability to carry it off. It being the only way to create the wealth to spend on the society Labour would create. I too agree with it but have a mental blockage on the society Labour would in fact create. Penalising the best education in the country for a kick off. This is pure communism, the politics of envy rather than aspiration. It lops the sunflowers rather than destroying the weed bed.

    Your natural political home is with Reform, assuming you want one. Practically everything you say and write is Reform. Certainly not the rats in a bag conservatives you say you no longer belong to. So why not get in the tent and add to its professionalism, rather than being a voice outside. A voice outside necessitates a permanent one hour slot on GBNews. I hope that Jacob’s defeat does not mean we lose him.

    1. Lynn Atkinson
      July 6, 2024

      Are you against growth because it’s in the Labour manifesto?

  8. Stred
    July 6, 2024

    How not to drive growth and build more houses.
    Drive self employed out by IR35.
    Increase Capital Gains tax without indexation.
    Tax Internet entrepreneurs by putting VAT on goods payable in the country of customers.
    Fine manufacturers for not selling enough cars that customers don’t want so that they make cars elsewhere.
    Make building regulations very difficult and expensive.
    Let quangos like English Heritage and the rest slow down planning permission.
    Freeze income tax allowances.
    Put up energy prices by building more wind and solar and closing gas while taxing oil.
    Increase civil service and health administration costs by not working at home and DEI.
    Put deluded socialists in charge of the country.

    1. Lifelogic
      July 6, 2024


  9. Bloke
    July 6, 2024

    A target should be set according to what is needed. The ‘fastest-growing’ is a strange measure. Building just one house in year one and five houses in year two would be a growth rate of 400%.
    What others in the G7 do is a matter for them. We in the UK need solutions fit for our own people, not some government pursuing solely competitive change that they think sounds good in debate.

    1. Sir Joe Soap
      July 6, 2024

      Indeed. Just building and selling overpriced houses at the unwarranted low interest rates about to be delivered by the so-called independent B of E is not real growth.

  10. DOM
    July 6, 2024

    If John believes Marxist Labour’s aim is what Starmer calls ‘economic growth’ then he’s on the wrong path to enlightenment, more a path towards madness and delusion.

    Starmer’s primary agenda is to complete Blair’s demographic, political, constitutional and cultural agenda he started in 1997. That’s it, that’s Starmer’s only aim.

    The Left and I include the Tory party in that are deceitful to the core. They’ll conceal from view their real agenda behind positive and moral sounding labels but as ever the use of Trojan horse politics is the order of the day.

    I give up. The naivety on display and this inability to understand the danger of people like Starmer and his ilk is truly frightening or maybe commentators can see the danger but choose to remain silent to smooth their careers

    Thank god for Reform that they will not bow to threats and will work to expose the dangers of Labour and Labour’s little helpers, compliant Tory MPs

  11. Abigail
    July 6, 2024

    Tony Blair wanted everyone to be educated to graduate level, but what graduate wants to be a bricky with such high student debts? We need a British working class, rather than an educated lumpenproletariat. Where is “the state” going to get the money for spending on capital investment and subsidies? I think we are all scared of raids on our homes and our savings. If they do that, we will be at the “Dependence” stage of the Tytler cycle, the point of no return before total bondage. Maybe we are there already.

  12. Roy Grainger
    July 6, 2024

    Yes it is interesting that planning reform – whatever that means – is a Labour priority as it was for Truss but it was explicitly killed by Sunak. I expect though that NIMBY MPs of all persuasions will conspire to ensure in practice nothing will change.

    You’ve said a few times over the years that removing stamp duty will make houses more affordable – it won’t, it will simply mean house prices go up on average by the amount of the reduction. Market forces will ensure prices go as high as possible given the amount of money buyers have available.

    1. Richard II
      July 6, 2024

      Who are these ‘NIMBY MPs’, Roy, and where exactly are they? Certainly not in Sir John’s former constituency, where large parts of the countryside have been built over to house the 15% increase in population 2011-2021, and more since. As a result infrastructure at all levels is buckling under the strain. How do these NIMBY MPs manage to be so effective in other places, at keeping their areas from suffering a similar fate? Please tell us. There are a lot of people around here who would love to know.

      1. Mickey Taking
        July 6, 2024

        Wokingham has suffered a deluge of ‘little boxes’ building in spite of formerly plenty of Conservative thinkers and MP. As we failed to stop pillage of open spaces and farmland, then what manages to stop it elsewhere?
        Do the main house builders find plenty of persuasive measures to succeed in what was England’s green and pleasant land, but fail where less attractive?

        1. Berkshire Alan
          July 6, 2024

          Remember a certain MR Prescott overruled everybody with some planning decisions he imposed, certainly happened in Wokingham, and whilst some time ago it effectively broke the natural Boundaries and limits on effective control.
          Think we are still awaiting a Local Plan from the present LibDems who are now in Control, which would help in stopping such future government interference.

  13. Berkshire Alan
    July 6, 2024

    Words are cheap, sensisible action is needed, I wait with bated breath to see if it turns out to be constructive, or destructive and driven by political dogma and envy.
    They now have 5 years to prove themselves one way our another.

  14. agricola
    July 6, 2024

    Rishi must now realise his election call was a gross misjudgement. However, on a much reduced poll, Labour only convinced 35% of those who voted. A mere 1.5% more than the labour vote in 2019. Conclusion, consocialism dressed as Conservatism lost the election rather than Labour winning it decicively. There is now a Conservative void waiting to be filled. There are five tanks on labours lawn and five years to increase them.

    1. Hope
      July 6, 2024

      I think you are wrong. Starmer will continue where Sunak left off, Sunak does not want the blame for more EU he set up Starmer as the alternative who declared he wanted closer ties and the public voted for it. That will be the line to act in lock step and prevent divergence from EU. This term will see renegotiation of the EU sell out agreement, it will become worse with Blaire and Mandelson pulling the strings. So continuity Sunak has passed the baton to Starmer. Remainers working together in practice the rest a farcical show for the masses.

  15. MPC
    July 6, 2024

    Sustained economic growth is simply not possible with overarching Net Zero which will lead to degrowth, espoused by many on the Left. Housing is important and , as you imply, arbitrary target setting achieves nothing. The one firm commitment from Labour came from Angela Rayner promising new social housing for asylum seekers. That surely means massive subsidy as social housing has always been built the private sector.

    1. Donna
      July 6, 2024

      Yes, just what we need. Social housing ghettos for young, male, Muslim economic migrants ….. so they can easily ship over their extended families.

      1. Lynn Atkinson
        July 6, 2024

        Jess Phillips wants them all in Yardley!

    2. Hope
      July 6, 2024

      We will pay for it through community charge hikes!

  16. Sir Joe Soap
    July 6, 2024

    Hang on. Building houses as homes for new entrants to the country, unless they’re generating higher than the pre existing per capita gdp, will drag down growth. Real growth is NOT generated by cutting interest rates to push more overpriced hutches onto unsuspecting 30 somethings. It’s about exploiting and exporting products and services which can be financed WITHOUT zombie rates.

    reply Which is why I have always supported an end to low wage legal migration!

  17. Narrow Shoulders
    July 6, 2024

    Targets, how very Stalinist? Command economy, that always works doesn’t it.

    Rent controls will make housing even more expensive as there will not be the rental properties to damp down demand for purchasing.

    The only way to bring down housing prices is to reduce demand or to provide houses through Councils. House price correction is a long term project which needs a functioning rental market, realistic exchange rates, no government subsidy for first time buyers and reduced demand.

    If there is a case for anything being nationalised as profits are all but guaranteed it would be a national housebuilder.

    1. Mitchel
      July 6, 2024

      Actually,the Stalinist command economy did work in the 30s and 40s-the large scale programme of accelerated industrialisation put the Soviet Union in a position whereby it could take on and defeat the Nazis-albeit at enormous human cost.

      1. Mark
        July 7, 2024

        The Communists had completely wrecked the economy via their purges, including the Kholodomor before they built some of it back again. Without that Russia would have been much stronger as a country. The lack of strength was precisely why Molotov was dispatched to negotiate the von Ribbentrop pact, and why Russian losses were so huge when the Germans welched on it.

        1. Mitchel
          July 8, 2024

          The wreckage to industrial productive capacity (which had been expanding at a rapid rate prior to WWI)came from the effects of the civil war and the flight of western capital post the revolution.

          It was Hitler who dispatched Ribbentrop to Moscow not the other way round.It came as a total surprise to Stalin.

  18. Donna
    July 6, 2024

    I suspect the only growth they’ll generate will be in the bullsh1t department and in the proliferation of environmentally-wrecking, economy-destroying windmills, solar panels and electricity pylons.

    I’m rather looking forward to my LibDem-voting sister’s outrage when plans for a windmill farm are revised in her “special” part of Hampshire, having fought it off last time.

  19. glen cullen
    July 6, 2024

    You know the way the tories, with the support of labour, made it law that car manufacturers had to make a certain amount of EV cars or face heavy fines ….this new labour government could impose the same laws on house builders, build xxx amount or get a heavy fine ….its the new world politic

  20. Sakara Gold
    July 6, 2024

    Whatever Labour have as their priorities, it will depend on the Treasury. At all costs, they must avoid another Truss-like financial crisis.

    Many think they should try and tackle the shamefully high levels of child poverty first and secondly, make sure the foodbanks have enough food to feed everybody who is hungry in our country

    Reform of the planning system so that we can upgrade the national grid – and improve our energy security by building more onshore wind and solar would be next. Miliband has interesting medium term plans for grid-scale energy storage facilities.

    Plus, Labour want to end the cruel shooting of badgers, which has failed to “control” bTB in the national herd. Spot on!

    1. IanT
      July 6, 2024

      SG to avoid a “Truss-like” disaster they will need to stop the BoE printing more money and ban Pension Funds from gambling with LDI derivatives (that they can’t meet margin calls on). With the value of hindsight they might already be working on these issues but the Bond Market will be watching them like a hawk – so they better not put a foot wrong or we will get a “Starmer-like” disaster instead…

    2. Lifelogic
      July 6, 2024

      It was a made by Chancellor Sunak and QE Bailey/BoE crisis Trust just tripped on the trip wire!

    3. Lynn Atkinson
      July 6, 2024

      Easy to avoid a Truss mess – announce spending cuts to match tax cuts.

    4. Mark
      July 7, 2024

      It is going to be interesting to watch how Miliband reacts when he finds out that his plans are far more costly than he has been assuming, and that the capacity to implement them simply doesn’t exist. The consequences of shutting down our oil and gas industry will be import dependence and risk of shortages, and higher prices. He will help drive the economy into a brick wall, except that with high cost energy we won’t be making any bricks with which to build houses.

      1. IanT
        July 7, 2024

        I’m pretty sure that they know how costly this is going to be but it certainly wouldn’t garner any votes if the public started to understand that simple fact too. That’s why Milliband was kept well out of the way during the election campaign. There will be one group that Labour are going to have to listen to though – the Unions. They are not as easily fooled as Joe Public and are already pushing back on Net Zero – which they know is costing them jobs.

  21. Ian B
    July 6, 2024

    “They want the private sector to build more homes” – they like the Conservatives need to understand the market. Yes, the private sector is required, then look past that. All private sector building companies have large ‘land banks’ and land banks with actual building approved. It is a good business practise to have the next 10 years all in hand.
    The however, is how those builders get to sell all production at top dollar prices. Government continues to feed the market in a bad way, they take on the well-meaning sound-bites of incentivising house purchases in a belief it is enabling people to get in the market. As we no longer ‘means test’ people so all that does is fund those with money at the expense of those without money, and in so doing inflate house prices and create a circular situation of houses that first timers can’t afford. In effect governments finish up subsidising private sector house building and everyone pays.

    1. Ian B
      July 6, 2024

      Sir John – you are also right, the BoE is working not for the UK but themselves. They are hiding big time mistakes and causing the UK Taxpayer to bail them out. You cant be called independent and rely on the taxpayer to cover mistakes. If that is to be the case and those we empower and pay keep refusing to manage, we need an alternative central bank to create competition.

    2. Mark
      July 7, 2024

      Mortgages for house price inflation have been funded by selling mortgage backed securities to overseas investors. That is, we are mortgaging the country. Executor and downsizing sales provide net money for spending, which gives an appearance of economic health that is not real. Increasingly, the spending is on BOMAD – financing the next generation. Taxing this will be catastrophic for the economy. It is also likely to lead to sharply falling house prices, which may precipitate the next financial crisis. We will be back at 2008/9.

  22. Ian B
    July 6, 2024

    “made higher by Stamp Duty and other taxes” it punishes those that reach the time in their life that they may want to ‘downsize’

  23. Ian B
    July 6, 2024

    Giorgia Meloni, the Italian PM – “The more wealth that is produced, the more the state can use its share of that wealth to provide the solutions citizens are waiting for,” she said. “The purpose of a tax system is not to stifle society, but rather to help it prosper.”

    Those that don’t like the idea that things are worked for, earn’t, but think material things should be awarded by taking from those that have something, don’t like the thinking from people like Giorgia or Sir John even, to that end they label them right wing in a derogatory way. There is no Right Wing particularly in the UK there is just common sense and logic.

    For a long-term future for society money is the commodity that ensures and allows it to advance. That money has to be earn’t from the production of things that are needed.

    1. Ian B
      July 6, 2024

      I would go as far as suggesting that had the not so bright T May and her Socialist Government, that was then compounded by BJ then Sunak introduced punitive Laws (that our competitor nation do not have) and punishment Taxes just to be on a ‘lovey fest’ message, with obscure maniacs. We would not only be in a better place right now and in all probability have made the 2050 targets, needed or not.

      Instead, the laws punished, that was then compounded by a policy of off-shoring and importing. All leading to the UK’s money tank (its future) being removed, seemingly maliciously removed, that has led us to today’s conversation. We have to replace those forced loses by the Conservative Government– do I think Labour can do that? I doubt it, as of now they are cut from the same cloth.

  24. Bryan Harris
    July 6, 2024

    So wishful thinking is what drives labours economic plans, and we shouldn’t forget the money tree of course.

    From past experience the only thing labour will achieve is a more unfair society, and an economy in the doldrums.

    Does anybody remember the 1970’s?
    Many huge factories stood idle because we were uncompetitive due to Labour’s incompetence. Our car exports were laughed at as we were a nation on strike and features were well below what was available on the continent. To say I have no faith in Labour is to put it mildly.

    With the Tories reduced in numbers, we cannot expect them to form a real opposition – but in any case they will likely agree with any action or policy that is socialist by nature, because they are of One Nation Toryism.

    Who will save us this time from Labour’s misrule? Is there another Mrs Thatcher lurking in the wings, or will it be too late by then with netzero in full swing, and the UK fully attached to the EU by the side door?

  25. Original Richard
    July 6, 2024

    “Growth needs to be per capita growth.”

    Growth will be everything but per capita growth. There is no Far Left country in the world with a high per capita income/wealth as a wealthy middle class is not conducive to hanging onto power.

    Hence the false CAGW and its “solution”, Net Zero, is designed to de-industrialise and impoverish with expensive, intermittent energy and force restrictions onto the population’s life style in order to “save the planet” just as we told to “save the NHS”.

    There is no need for CAGW/Net Zero to apply to China as it has an authoritarian government already.

    The UN/Met Office/BBC declared that 2023 was the hottest year on record because of anthropogenic CO2 emissions from burning hydrocarbon fuels. Well, they may like to inform us how their anthropogenic global warming theory explains how melting glaciers in Western Canada are revealing tree stumps up to 7,000 years old:

  26. Rod Evans
    July 6, 2024

    The growth strategy much talked about by the new Labour government, has been very discrete and almost sect=ret other than their plan to build 1.5 million homes over five years.
    That to me does not sound like an expansive growth plan, it looks more like, steady as she goes.
    The massive majority Labour has been given via extremely fortuitous polling events none of which was their doing, gives them a huge difficulty. They do not have any excuse not to deliver the core Labour voters wishes.
    Unfortunately for the promise everything to everyone for free mentality of the left, the economic reality still exists and they now have to work within it.
    More migrants anyone?

  27. Denis Cooper
    July 6, 2024

    Sir John, the crucial chart is here:

    “UK GDP per capita 1955 to date with trend growth of 2.3% from 1955-2010”

    Rejoiners like to claim that our growth rate was hit by the EU referendum, but not only do various economists date the problem further back, to the 2008 financial crisis, even Starmer has said that:

    I don’t necessarily agree with all the analysis in the Global Britain article but the chart is very clear.

    Reply I set out the slowing growth rate from ONS figures for the EU referendum. 1952-72 faster than 1972-1992 (Common market) which was faster than 1991-2013 ( single market). Last decade with lockdown and Ukraine worst of all just as EU growth has been poor since Financial crash of 2008.

    1. Denis Cooper
      July 7, 2024

      For geopolitical reasons all Tory leaders back to Macmillan have consistently over-emphasised the importance of European trade to our economy, even though they must have known perfectly well that any effects on that trade would be greatly diluted in the overall picture. So, to use my favoured word, the economic impact of EEC/EC/EU membership has always been “marginal”, but that break in the per capita GDP graph shows that the impact of the financial crash has been enduring and anything but “marginal”. I suspect that Starmer has already understood this, and knows that in reality there will be little economic gain from his “easing trade friction” and “moving closer to the EU” policy. If not, he will be disappointed and will have to cover it up with words, in the same way that Boris Johnson blathered on about his “fantastic” trade deal and Kemi Badenoch pretended that her other trade deals around the world would make a huge difference. But if we could work out why the crash cut our long term growth potential and correct that structural damage it would really make a big difference.

    2. Denis Cooper
      July 8, 2024

      “The UK economy grew 2.9 per year between 1997 and 2007. Between 2010 and 2021 growth was 1.2 per cent per year. And taxes as a percent of national income are the highest in 80 years.”

      Reading on it, I find that it is all the fault of the Tory government, and:

      “The new government faces an enormous domestic restoration job. It should address the greatest mistakes of the previous government …”

      With just a nod to what happened between 2007 and 2010 under the Labour government as one factor:

      “Poor UK economic performance is partly due to outside events – the 2008 economic crisis … ”

      You have George Osborne to blame for allowing them to shift the blame on to the Tory party:

  28. Ralph Corderoy
    July 6, 2024

    ‘Labour needs to address the cost of homes, made higher by Stamp Duty and other taxes…’

    Stamp duty on property has far-reaching ripples which are ignored by HM Treasury. It causes fewer sales, house extensions which spoil neighbourhoods, people in the wrong place for their best job causing either commuting or less productive work, reluctance to downsize and free larger housing stock, … Higher transaction costs cause less consumption; so it is with property ownership.

  29. Everhopeful
    July 6, 2024

    Isn’t Labour concentrating on social housing? £1.4 m of it?
    No need for mortgages there but they will need land …and ultimately the support of the over-crowded population.
    The country is horribly in debt. The govt. has claimed that it wants to stop the boats ( Rwanda already scrapped) so would it risk tumbling GDP and recession by taking action?
    Liz T was scuppered because the B o E would not support her ( a political decision?)
    Will it ( or the IMF?) support everything that Labour proposes …if it is “green” enough?
    Democracy in debt is just servitude.

  30. outsider
    July 6, 2024

    Dear Sir John,
    Labour’s pledge to have 1.5 million “homes” built over five years is not particularly ambitious. The Conservatives’ Manifesto on page 54 describes their plan to build 1.6 million over the same period without touching Green Belts.
    Presumably, this plan was constructed by Michael Gove and would not therefore be completely pie-in-the-sky. I heard nothing about it during the election campaign, perhaps because Mr Gove had slipped out of the exit.
    If Labour does not have a proper plan of its own, it could just adopt Mr Gove’s, which Ms Rayner may find detailed in her new department . And as Labour now seems to regard the green belts introduced by the more visionary Attlee government as instruments of oppression of working people by horrid Nimbys , it would be even easier to meet their modest target.
    As you say, the vital ingredient is fiscal and monetary stability.

  31. Derek
    July 6, 2024

    So the socialists want us to grow as a nation by increasing GDP per capita. Yep that is the right way to go about it but they also wish to re-Nationalise the Railways and have not yet revealed their plan to stop illegal immigration.
    Those will be at odds to their growth plan.
    A nationalised Industry, especially under the Trade-Union funded Labour leaderships, will cost the taxpayers even more and result in an even worse performance than it has now. We should do the maths here.

  32. A-tracy
    July 6, 2024

    I’m going to watch my local area with interest. A social housing estate has taken more than three years to complete, in the last six months they came to a stop half built block of apartments, it will be interesting to see if they are quickly finished now they are in Labour’s term.

    Is there anything to stop a compulsory purchase of six homes or a take over of six council homes with large gardens that are then razed to the floor with a big block of apartments to take their place housing 10x more people. Can empty industrial areas or run down areas be closed down and built up on without new long time planning changes?

    Can housing associations be freed up to borrow against their housing stock true valuation to build a low of new homes on all the land they were gifted such as those in Rochdale?

  33. Bill Willis
    July 7, 2024

    The first thing that needs to be sorted is the planning system. The granting of planning permission is a political decision that adds hugely to the value of the land and consequently to the price of a house build. The same people (big landowners) are multiple winners in this one sided lottery. I propose that the government compulsory purchase blocks of land (at fair agricultural prices), splits it into plots and sells them on at near cost price. However landowners have a lot of representation in the commons and Lords to ensure that their interests are protected and this will never happen.

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