I have always thought the UK’s balance of payments deficit is a bigger problem than the state deficit, though the two are in part related. I have spoken about it often here and in Parliament. The reason is the longer we run a large balance of payments deficit the more money we will owe to foreigners, and the more of our industry and property will be brought up by overseas investors.
Steel crisis of the government’s own making
We know all too well how it feels when politics becomes inescapable. The rest of you are about to find out
According to the Remain campaign, if the pound falls against the dollar that shows investors have fears about Brexit. In recent days the pound has been rallying against the dollar. They have gone quiet. Is this a reappraisal by investors, who now see the substantial gain to our balance of payments from leaving? The pound fell from $1.47 to $1.38 between January and the end of February, but has since improved to $1.44.
It shouldn’t plan the economy, but it does need to plan around the economy. Its failure to do so must be addressed.
This is the use of socialist means to achieve Conservative ends in schools
Industries collapse as a result of uncontrollable economic forces. But politicians have some control over the extent of the fallout.
Introduce tariffs? Nationalise Tata Steel? Cut green taxes?
I want the government to find a means for a new owner or owners of our steel industry to keep open our current plants and to maintain a steel capacity in the UK. There are ways government can and should help bring about a new settlement that offers hope of continuing steel production. Government can and should respond to demands over business rates, energy costs, anti dumping actions and public sector steel purchases.
Our attitude to him should exactly mirror his attitude to us: we should have our cake and eat it.
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