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IEA - Chancellor right to emphasise growth and planning reform, says IEA spokesperson

 Matthew Lesh, Director of Public Policy and Communications at the Institute of Economic Affairs comments on Rachel Reeves first speech as Chancellor of the Exchequer

“Rachel Reeves is right to emphasise the importance of growth in tackling Britain’s challenges. Everything from funding public services to a higher quality of life is possible with more growth.

“Undoubtedly, the most exciting part of the agenda is the government’s immediate plans to reform the planning system, including restoring housing targets, cutting red tape for major projects and ending the de facto ban on the on-shore wind. The emphasis on using powers to promote growth could unlock major opportunities. But this must be the floor, not the ceiling, of the government’s ambitions. Far more reform will necessary to be done to solve the housing crisis.

“The focus on stability is necessary, but not sufficient, though rejecting calls to change approach by borrowing and spending sends the right signal. The state investment agenda, including the national wealth fund, should raise eyebrows. It’s unclear how relatively small amounts of money, dolled out by bureaucrats to whichever businesses have the best lobbyists, will stimulate growth. Industrial policy has failed in the past, including under Conservative governments, and it’s hard to see it working this time.”

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