News Bulletin, 10th June 2011


“The decline in Britain’s competitiveness – recently flagged up by the Centre for Policy Studies – long predates the crash, but if it is to be reversed, there needs to be a game-changing package of supply side measures to liberate the economy.” Daily Telegraph leader.

In How to reverse the UK’s declining competitiveness, Ryan Bourne and Jon Wilson show that since 1997:

  • The UK has fallen from 7th to 12th in the Global Competitiveness Report published by the World Economic Forum (WEF).
  • The UK has fallen from 9th to 22nd (out of 59) in the World Competitiveness Yearbook published by the Institute for Management Development.
  • The UK has fallen from 5th to 16th in the Index of World Economic Freedom published by the Heritage Foundation.

The conclusion from these reports is that, over the past 14 years, our competitiveness has been undermined by excessive regulation, high taxes and mismanagement of government finances.

Tim Knox, Acting Director of the CPS, commented:

“If growth is the key which will release us from our economic and fiscal predicament, then re-establishing competitiveness is crucial. The Coalition is trying to improve the government finances by eliminating the budget deficit over the course of this Parliament. It is also making business investment more attractive by lowering corporation tax. But in order to return the UK to its competitive position achieved in the late 1990s, the Coalition will also need to open up public services to competitive pressures, deregulate enterprise and lower the tax burden. Our fall down the league tables shows that these are steps we cannot afford not to take.”

The factsheet can be downloaded from here.


Media Impact



Acting Director Tim Knox wrote for the Commentator about the difficulties of policy implementation in One of us, or one of them?

CPS Research fellow Tony Lodge explained why we cannot afford to follow the example of Germany’s energy policy in a Yorkshire Post column.

Kathy Gyngell, CPS Research Fellow, wrote a letter to The Independent in response to increased calls for drug liberalisation.

Acting Director Tim Knox and CPS Board member Niall Ferguson wrote to the Daily Telegraph in reaction to the weekend letter by 52 ‘economists’ attacking the government’s deficit reduction plan.

Tony Lodge discussed the legacy of Tony Blair’s energy policy, and its implications for fuel poverty, in a letter to the Daily Telegraph.  



Following on from the support of John Redwood MP and David Davis MP for the campaign, the CPS and the authors of the paper attended a high-profile working lunch at the Centre for the Study of Financial Innovation (CSFI).

The lunch was attended by over 50 leading banking analysts, city players and financial journalists. Michael O’Connor and James Conway explained the policy in an environment of robust and rigorous questioning, persuading an expert audience to move from being sceptical to extremely positive in its reaction to the proposals.

In addition, since our last update:

  • The authors of the paper have produced a comprehensive Q&A paper.
  • An implementation document is being finalised for Treasury.
  • The case for the ‘I want my share’ policy has been heightened by the disastrous loss suffered by the US government in the conventional sale of some of its stake in AIG.

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The Centre for Policy Studies is in the process of putting together a range of economic factsheets which can be regularly updated.

The completed factsheets so far:

Factsheet 1: The Official Deficit and Debt

Factsheet 2: The Hidden Debt Bombshell

Factsheet 3: Government Spending – How Deep Is Your Cut?

Factsheet 4: Government Revenues – Taxing Times

Factsheet 5: Recent History of Treasury Growth Forecasts

Factsheet 6: Recent History of MPC Inflation Forecasts

Factsheet 7: The UK’s Declining International Competitiveness


Lewis Brown examines the significance and similarities of this period 28 years ago in ‘This day in history – 9th June 1983, Margaret Thatcher’s Conservative Party wins second landslide victory’

Ryan Bourne explains that ‘Competition, not privatisation, is the key to public service reforms’


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Date Added: Monday 13th June 2011