Out of shape: Taking the pulse of the UK economy
Britain is a successful country. But although our economy is succeeding at the top, it faces deep troubles below the surface. The evidence presented in the report challenges the repeated view of chancellors of the Exchequer that, since the EU referendum, Britain is ‘the strongest major advanced economy in the world’. In fact, it reveals fundamental problems that can no longer be left unaddressed.
The UK’s economy is not working for the majority of the population. The geographical divide in this country is emphasised by the fact that GDP per head has not recovered to its pre-crisis peak anywhere but within London and the South East. Growth is not being fairly shared, and average household disposable income has not increased since 2005. In addition, the economy is made vulnerable by low productivity, too little investment, and the unknown risk from capital markets that have not been fully re-regulated.
“The UK buys far more from the rest of the world than it sells to it… This persistent imbalance indicates that the UK economy lacks competitiveness relative to those of other countries.”
Brexit forces us to face up to this diagnosis, and work towards an economy that delivers what it should for the British people. It is for this reason that IPPR launched its major new programme: the IPPR Commission on Economic Justice. Over the next two years, the Commission will conduct a comprehensive examination of the British economy.
“The very legitimacy of an economy that distributes its rewards disproportionately and increasingly towards those at the very top of the income distribution – and in which the living standards of the majority have essentially stagnated for a decade – is clearly in question.”