By 2002/3 New Labour were breaking new records for economic cronyism and incompetence – it was a period in which they pushed supercasinos, 24 hour pub opening and broke free from Tory spending plans. I recall routinely bumping into public sector managers trying to find ways to spend unnecessary budget increases - the period that followed left Labour seeking new ways to disguise falls in public sector productivity. Meanwhile, economic researchers were already wondering aloud whether the productive part of the economy was operating on borrowed time.
UK Personal Lending 2003 – Published December 2002 by Datamonitor
With the UK’s troubled manufacturing sector continuing to underperform, a full blown recession is only being avoided by exceptionally strong consumer credit and soaring house prices, which, in turn, are only possible due to low interest rates and low inflation. However, if consumer confidence fails there is a distinct possibility that the UK economy could slip into recession once again.
UK Personal Lending 2004 – Published December 2003 by Datamonitor
The consumer credit market has defied expectations and produced another record year in 2003, helped on by low base rates, low levels of unemployment and a strong housing market… leaving many to wonder whether the current levels of personal debt are sustainable.
ISN’T IT NOW CLEAR WHAT LABOUR DID?
Labour decided to “avoid recession” by stoking unsustainable levels of personal debt. In the long term, you can only create economic success by improved productivity. This is underpinned by building a cohesive society where work and enterprise is rewarded. Anything else is a mirage. Labour’s policies amount to the same as ever – pure protectionism – the main difference this time is how long they sustained the heresy. Eventually, Labour always wrecks the economy.