Eight Times Tory Chancellors Promised to Promote Productivity mdi-fullscreen

Guido was struck by a strange sense of déjà vu whilst reading through the Chancellor’s speech to the CPS last night. Jeremy Hunt pledged to deliver “a dynamic, high growth future” and committed that “productivity will be at the heart of it.Now where have we heard all of this before…

Productivity decreased by 1.4% in Q1 of 2023 compared to the previous quarter and it was down 0.6% on the same period of the previous year. Productivity now is at the same level as before the pandemic in 2019. Despite the fact that almost every Chancellor since 2010 has promised to improve it…

  • In February 2022, Chancellor Rishi Sunak outlined three priorities, “capital, people and ideas” and promised “That’s how we’ll rejuvenate our national productivity”.
  • In September 2019, Chancellor Sajid Javid proclaimed “we need to raise our productivity“.
  • In November 2017, Chancellor Philip Hammond expanded the productivity investment fund to £31 billion, making the “battle to raise Britain’s productivity… the central mission of the Treasury“.
  • In June 2017, Chancellor Philip Hammond pledged his medium term focus would be productivity“.
  • In November 2016, Chancellor Phillip Hammond used his Autumn Statement to  “prioritise additional high-value investment.. that will directly contribute to raising Britain’s productivity”.
  • In July 2015, Chancellor George Osborne described productivity as “the great economic challenge we face”, before announcing the Plan for Productivity“.
  • In September 2013, Chancellor George Osborne said “the only sustainable way to raise living standards is to raise productivity“.
  • In June 2010, Chancellor George Osborne used his first emergency budget to say “We cannot afford to continue” with productivity in decline.

First year economics undergraduates know that lower corporate taxation means more investment and, therefore, higher productivity. Moreover, empirical studies indicate a positive relationship between lower corporate tax rates and higher corporate investments. So why did Rishi hike corporation taxes if the government wants, as all Tory chancellors claim, to increase productivity? 

mdi-tag-outline Economics
mdi-account-multiple-outline George Osborne Jeremy Hunt Philip Hammond Rishi Sunak
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