Growth? Not a new idea in sight

Somewhere in Whitehall there must be a politicians’ ‘how to’ book on what to do to create growth because we’re starting to see the same old remedies trotted out. This week it’s ‘enterprise zones’. But why? Because history tells us that enterprise zones don’t work. All they do is to recycle existing jobs into smart new premises. They just don’t create new jobs – and they cost a fortune. The last bout of enterprise zones between 1987 and 03 cost £1.6 billion and created 13,000 new jobs – and even that figure is questionable.

So why more enterprise zones? There can be no other explanation other than the government has simply run out of ideas. And when you look at the experience of those in government it’s hardly surprising. There aren’t many of them who have run a scout troop, far less a business.

In the seventies Mrs Thatcher dished out a lot of nasty medicine (some of it much needed, but not all) She made the catastrophic mistake of failing to provide a tonic to help the patient recover. Unfortunately, history is repeating itself. Thatcher and her cohorts were bereft of new ideas,
Cameron and Osborne are too. And they’re all guilty of failing to understand that confidence is the emotional driver of growth – and of new ideas. If you don’t give people hope you start a slide into despondency, which creates a whole raft of social problems that takes years to recover from.

This coalition is a destructive force not a creative one. We are going to pay a heavy price for their inexperience, their over-zealous programme of cuts – and their lack of ideas.

The coalition needs help.If you’ve got some ideas of your own, let’s hear them!


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