Magazine article The Spectator


Magazine article The Spectator


Article excerpt

Economy pack Sir: Of your ten suggested remedies for the UK economy ('Get it right, George!', 19 November), not one mentions the obvious answer: recognise that communications technology is transforming every business and social model on the planet and accelerate Britain's dozy and halfhearted commitment to invest in its communications infrastructure - broadband and mobile. Give the people the tools and they will generate the growth.

Peter Krijgsman Somerset Sir: The big ideas in your last issue will have a limited immediate impact on the one million youngsters out of work;

something more radical is required. I suggest that the government spends money created by quantitative easing directly on infrastructure projects, matched to the available labour. 'Inflation!' you cry, but this will not be a problem if the creation of money by the banks is stopped (fractional reserve lending). This solution does not increase anyone's debt.

John Schofield By email Sir: Your contributors offering solutions to kick-start the economy should be wary in case their wishes come true.

Typically, Terry Smith wants cuts in taxes and state spending. Imagine a country with even fewer libraries, more youth clubs and sports facilities closed down, public parks overgrown and piled with rubbish, an increase in accidents because there is no funding for factory inspectors, and widespread food poisoning because restaurants are not checked. Currently, if we buy a television or fridge we can be reasonably certain that it will not burst into flames because there is safety legislation and enforcement, and we can drive down the streets fairly sure that other vehicles will have brakes and tyres that have been made to decent standards.

All this would vanish if the government were to cut taxes, relinquish its powers and rescind legislation.

Laurence Kelvin London W9 Sir: I felt I must pick Michael Henderson up on his tenuous link between suicide and cricket. After a very quick search of the literature I found no evidence for this, and on the contrary, there is some scientific evidence to suggest that sport and exercise can have positive effects on both physical and mental wellbeing.

Dr Kerrie Margrove Chelmsford Poles apart Sir: I hesitate before taking issue with Tom Benyon's views on the suggested abolition of inheritance tax (Letters, 19 November) for we are shortly to spend three weeks walking together to the South Pole. However, he is 'missing something' in this instance, as those who inherit money are unlikely to put it in the bank to fester but rather to put it back into the economy where it will generate jobs, pay wages, and generally contribute to the economic engine. …

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