Download Austerity Politics and UK Economic Policy by Craig Berry (auth.) PDF

By Craig Berry (auth.)

Craig Berry assesses united kingdom financial coverage within the wake of the monetary difficulty in the course of the lens of the austerity schedule, concentrating on financial coverage, fiscal rebalancing, business and neighborhood coverage, the labour industry, welfare reform and budgetary administration. He argues that austerity is geared in the direction of a resurrection of financialisation and the UK’s pre-crisis monetary version, during the transformation of person behaviour and demonisation of the country. slicing public spending and debt within the brief time period is, at such a lot, a secondary problem for the united kingdom coverage elite. even if, the underlying goal of austerity is usually misunderstood as a result of its conflation with a slender deficit relief time table, no longer least via its Keynesian critics. Berry additionally demonstrates how austerity has successfully dismantled the chance of a centre-left substitute to neoliberalism.

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New production largely consists of Japanese-owned firms increasing production in the UK (ONS 2013). These firms have seemingly been attracted by falling real wages and sterling’s significant depreciation; that so few other industries have benefitted from the same dynamic is quite remarkable, and demonstrates a significant dearth of capacity in most manufacturing industries (Berry 2014d). Moreover, while in Germany 60 per cent of the content of cars assembled is actually manufactured in Germany, in the UK only around a third of the components of cars assembled are produced within the country (Stewart 2013).

The use of QE is of course not unique to the UK—it was used, for instance, in Japan in the 1990s, in the USA from 2008 onwards, and very recently, by the European Central Bank. However, there appear to be few other contexts where the ascetic imagery of austerity contrasts so sharply with profligacy in practice. The fiscal risk associated with QE is rarely acknowledged by policymakers and has attracted little critical attention. Essentially, insofar as central banks are uncomfortable owning enormous volumes of government debt, the withdrawal of QE would require gilts being sold back to the private sector.

Industrial policy is generally not focused on manufacturing in particular, but rather typically takes the form of initiatives to support regional development or small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) or forms of ‘soft’ support such as tax allowances or advisory services (Buigues and Sekkat 2009). If the coalition and Conservative approach to industrial policy can be considered a departure from tradition to any extent, its novelty probably lies in its endorsement of ‘advanced manufacturing’—yet probably insofar as this signifies a willingness to overlook manufacturing in general, rather than any particularly substantive (rather than rhetorical) reorientation towards high-value manufacturing industries or activities.

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