“Investing in Britain’s Future” Not so much.

I have heard some ludicrous claims by politicians in the past but the claim that this government is launching one of the biggest programmes of public investment in our history is breathtakingly ridiculous.

In the aftermath of World War II our main parties competed to pledge to build 300,000 council houses a year (more than half a million by todays population). IS there anything in the governments plans remotely similar?

According to their paper “Investing in Britain’s Future” published yesterday by Danny Alexander:

“ in recent decades, we have let this proud record [of public investment] slip. This is not the fault of any one party or any one government. It’s been the result of a collective national mindset that has privileged the short term over the long term, and has postponed difficult decisions.”

You can judge for yourselves the veracity of the above statement. I’ve compiled below our Public Sector Net Investment (PSNI) figures for the past four decades, prior to 2010, and what we know about the Coalition’s investment plans.

From 1970 to 2010 average PSNI (as a percentage of GDP) ran at 2.1%. In the 1970s, the decade when we last had a major (but smaller) fiscal crisis PSNI averaged 4.5%.

 The Coalition plans to put all this ‘right’ by spending just 1.7% a year on average.

 

 

Public Sector Net Investment (% GDP)

 

 

 

     

 

1970s

1980s

1990s

2000s

2010s

6.2

1.9

1.3

0.5

2.6

5.3

1

1.8

1.2

1.9

4.9

1.6

1.8

1.3

1.6

5.2

1.8

1.4

1.3

1.5

5.6

1.6

1.4

1.7

1.6

5.6

1.2

1.4

1.8

1.5

4.4

0.7

0.7

1.9

1.4

3

0.6

0.6

2

 

2.5

0.3

0.7

3.2

 

2.3

1.2

0.6

3.4

 

Average 

 4.5

1.2

1.2

1.8

1.7

Four decade average PSNI:

2.1

 

Source: Budget June 2010 Table C16 + IFS

 

2 thoughts on ““Investing in Britain’s Future” Not so much.

  1. Good analysis, this administration is full of knee jerk policy making (and a fair few jerks per se), always closely followed by an attempt to massage the numbers to make what it is, look like what it’s not. They should do a proper job and hire Orwell’s Winston Smith to rewrite history, at least we could then celebrate in ignorance our increased choco ration.

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