IEA - Support for ‘Corbynomics’ could see damaging policy mistakes repeated

6 Oct 2015 10:53 AM

An outline of Britain’s 13 biggest economic policy mistakes of the last century

Future UK governments have much to learn from the destructive economic policies implemented during the 20thcentury. Repeated attempts to control the economy, ranging from the welfare state and trade union immunities to nationalisation and exchange rate controls have stunted economic growth and trapped many in poverty.

The rise of agendas such as ‘Corbynomics’ threatens to bring policies of this kind back into the political mainstream, as calls for renationalisation,  increased government spending and higher taxes gain popularity among voters. Politicians should be mindful of the detrimental effect of such policies, to avoid repeating the mistakes of the past.

In a new paper, Peter Clarke and Robert Miller outline Britain’s 13 biggest economic policy mistakes of the last century. Key mistakes include:

Commenting on the paper, Professor Philip Booth, Editorial and Programme Director at the Institute of Economic Affairs, said:

“At a time when there is increasing support for Corbynomics and high profile politicians are being elected on a mandate to repeat the mistakes of the last century, it is crucial to highlight the negative consequences that previously came about from the adoption of economic policies similar to those being championed today.”

“Nationalisation, high taxes and generous welfare payments do not bring resources under public control for the benefit of all, but instead create a whole host of inefficiencies and perverse incentives that ultimately harm society’s least well off.”

Notes to editors:

To arrange an interview about the report please contact Chloe Mingay, Communications and Outreach or 0207 799 8900 or Camilla Goodwin, Communications Officer: or 07821 971 443.

Britain’s Baker’s Dozen of Disasters: The UK’s Thirteen Worst Economic Policy Mistakes since 1900 can be downloaded here.

The mission of the Institute of Economic Affairs is to improve understanding of the fundamental institutions of a free society by analysing and expounding the role of markets in solving economic and social problems.

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