I’ve never really been a fan of Lord Heseltine, even when I was still engaged by conventional politics. I couldn’t quite explain it, it was visceral. But you might have hoped that the epithet ‘older and wiser’ could be applied to the nearly eighty year old peer of the realm.
Having scanned some of the recommendations in his report on growth “No stone unturned” one can only conclude that it would be a vane hope. http://www.bis.gov.uk/assets/biscore/corporate/docs/n/12-1213-no-stone-unturned-in-pursuit-of-growth.pdf
From what I can see, it seems we will be transformed if Whitehall stops dolling out money to companies centrally and gives the dosh to another layer of local bureaucracy to pony-up regionally.
Seriously, that’s it. Continue to coercively extract money from business and give some back in a slightly different, more convoluted way.
The report even fails on its own logic. If it follows that regional centres will have a better idea what a local business needs (better than Whitehall anyway) does it not follow that the MD of the company being looted/taxed will have a better idea yet what they need? Thus we can cut out the pointless government middleman and simply abolish corporation tax. Really m’lord, where do you imagine the money comes from in the first place?
If you want to end involuntary unemployment, abolish said tax and you would be back to full employment before you could say “regional growth fund” It’s yet another take on the same tired, failed stimulus nonsense and how only the government can help us all.
The media coverage was desperate. I caught some Radio 5 and one presenter seemed to take exception to the regions being called, er regions. There was simply no thought to whether this approach was right on a conceptual level. And if you want the final proof this is nonsense on stilts?
The TUC like it.