Business is the wealth generator of the UK, and small and family businesses are the often neglected heart of the UK economy, with family businesses alone employing nearly four in ten of the UK’s workforce. We propose ways to make the UK an economy all businesses can thrive in.
I seek common ground today in pursuit of a common objective: a substantial and lasting improvement in the bleak prospects for employment. Members of all parties demand an improvement. But rhetoric and sympathy will not help to create jobs or generate growth.
This study was written at a time when the economy was making a half-hearted recovery from a deep recession. The Government appeared in 1976 to have abandoned post-war neo-Keynesian economic policies, in that official policy was not directed primarily to resorting full employment in the short term, but rather to regaining internal and external equilibrium and particularly to curbing further the rate of price inflation, which was still running at about 15 per cent.
It was said of Hegel that he set out his philosophy with such obscurity that people finished by thinking it profound. A similar accusation could well be levelled at John Kenneth Galbraith
Short Measure From Whitehall: How SCO Statistics understate the British Tax Burden Barry Bracewell-Milnes
Since 1969 the Central Statistical Office’s publication, Economic Trends, has included a series of annual articles entitled ‘International comparisons of taxes and social security contributions’.
British politicians have become increasingly unpredictable over the past generation. It now seems scarcely conceivable that the post-war Attlee administration did not lose a single by-election.
There is one outstanding difference, of which most Britons are unaware, between the ways in which they and all other European Countries educate their young.
Those familiar with Dr Zweig’s work will find his new book perhaps one of the most fascinating that he has ever written, and certainly it will contribute enormously to the discussion of where present society finds itself and where it might be going.
Britain is an overtaxed country – true or false? Published statistics give a conflicting message. In 1972 total UK taxation, including social security contributions as a proportion of gross national product, came in about halfway down a list of OECD countries. Yet, as Dr Bracewell-Milnes shows in this timely paper, even in that year the UK tax burden on high earners was high, and on savers intolerably high.
A year has passed since I spoke last here on the same subject: inflation and unemployment. A the time, you may remember, my speech stirred up not only a fair amount of attention, comment and expressions of agreement, but also a hostile reaction from politicians and commentators. That was one year ago. What has happened since has largely confirmed what I then predicted
The House of Commons Expenditure Committee was conceived under the 1969 Labour Government, and brought to birth under the 1970 Conservative one. It took the place of the long standing Estimates Committee; and its formation represented a compromise between the wishes of those on both sides of the Commons who wanted to have an Economic Policy Committee, and the determination of the Treasury to avert the prospect of politicians cross-examining civil servants about the formulation of economic policy.
It is now widely realised that many of our present economic ills stem from a cardinal error, the belief that inflation and unemployment presented a choice of evils. We have learned to our cost that inflationary measures designed in good faith to abate unemployment have eventually intensified it, leaving us with the worst of both worlds.
Since the war, rising prosperity and increased leisure have enabled the mass of the British people to enjoy their individual freedoms on a scale never previously realised. Bit it is a paradox that, just when personal liberty is beginning to characterise the life-style of a whole generation, that generation has produced so many articulate members who have failed to perceive that their life-style depends crucially on a socio-economic system which they claim to abhor. There is a need to demonstrate to these people that freedom is indivisible, and to explain to them the underlying contradiction between extreme egalitarianism and freedom; the role of prices, profits and competition in creating wealth; and the intimate link between personal liberty and the diffusion of economic power.