So I was glad to read the tiltle, when a friend sent me a link to the Telegraph, announcing Osborne to unleash raft of policies to kick-start growth. Great, I thought, after trying everything else, the British will finally try the one thing that will work.
The byline was only a bit disappointing
The Government is to reveal a series of major new measures to boost national and regional growth ahead of the Budget to show its “pro-business” strategy is workingPro-business is usually a code word for protection and subsidy. But there are plenty of worse code words.
And then it all falls apart
The measures will include:It's not all bad. Allowing a nuclear power plant to operate is nice, and some plans to lower corporate taxes a bit. But the blossoming of free enterprise in the land of Adam Smith, alas, this is not. Keynes still rules.
• Billions of pounds of central government funding directed at boosting regional growth and a backing for Michael Heseltine’s plans for new local spending powers;
• The planning go-ahead for the Hinkley Point C nuclear power station;
• Support for housebuilders and for first-time buyers trying to get mortgages;
• A push on major infrastructure projects, including the Merseyside Gateway and the “super-sewer” in London, and more government guarantees for such projects;
... The Bank of England could also be given a broader mandate to support growth.
...billions of pounds of central government funds should be made directly available to the regions and cities such as Birmingham...
Lord Heseltine’s report made far-reaching recommendations for stimulating economic growth. The Government will unveil plans enabling Local Enterprise Partnerships and businesses to bid regionally for money that is now allocated centrally.