In the budget debate on Tuesday, I spoke in Parliament about how a substantial section of the Chancellor’s Budget speech last Wednesday focused on the productivity crisis, and rightly so.
Labour analysis has shown that you have to go back to 1820 when George the fourth ascended the throne, just after the Napoleonic wars, before you can find a time where productivity increased less than this over a ten year period.
The result is catastrophic….people are earning less now than they were ten years ago and as the Institute for Fiscal Studies state, by 2021 average earnings look set to be nearly £1,400 lower than forecast last year.
Now despite the Chancellor’s jovial attempts at talking up our ability to harness the 4th industrial revolution, the Office for Budget Responsibility, looked at his future investment plans and cut its forecast for growth in productivity.
But he still had one last chance… The Industrial Strategy.
It started well, but sadly, having looked into the detail, it seems little more than a repackaging of existing policies.