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IPPR responds to Starmer speech: partnership approach is right for the economy, alongside greater investment

Carys Roberts, executive director of IPPR responds to the Labour leader’s first major speech of 2023

“In today’s speech, Keir Starmer was right to say that we need an entirely new way of governing, and to call for an active and strategic state. Many of our current economic challenges stem from a failure to think in the long-term about the value of investing in public services, and from an ideological aversion to the government taking the lead – in partnership with the private sector – on setting strategic priorities for our economy and industry.

“On public services we can see clearly, for example, that a decade of under-investment in the nation’s health  is now having a damaging economic impact, on top of the harm it is causing to people’s lives. Fixing it will require investing to tackle the root causes of ill health as well as transforming the NHS to be a 21st century public service.

“Meanwhile businesses are clear that they need a government willing to work hand-in-hand with them to unlock green investment opportunities towards our net zero commitments. The UK faces a worse cost of living crisis than our competitors because the government’s penny-pinching approach to resilience has left us more exposed to rising energy prices. And let's not forget that the success of developing the Covid vaccine came from the investment of business, working in alignment with the capacity of the state. 

“Only by harnessing this partnership approach can we remedy our stagnant economic growth, meet our net-zero ambitions and end the last 15 years of falling real pay. With effective policy, this boost to growth through investment and reform will help ease the fiscal constraints on spending that we currently face, and to avoid the ‘doom loop’ of stagnation that we risk being caught in.

“Starmer made clear that he sees shifting power from Whitehall to town halls as a key element of economic renewal, and set out a clear mission to deliver net zero quickly, fairly and productively. IPPR has long argued for both. Starmer’s challenge now is to set out his party’s other defining missions, and the details of how they will all be achieved.”

Carys Roberts, IPPR executive director, is available for interview

Luke Murphy, head of IPPR's Fair Transition Unit and George Dibb, head of IPPR's Centre for Economic Justice, are also available. 


  1. IPPR is the UK’s pre-eminent progressive think tank. With more than 40 staff in offices in London, Manchester, Newcastle and Edinburgh, IPPR is Britain’s only national think tank with a truly national presence:

Keir Starmer New Year's speech - The Labour Party

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