Analysis of Mais Lecture

Labour is the no-risk economic option as the outcome is certain: it’s disaster.

This is the message of my analysis of Rachel Reeves’ Mais Lecture delivered in March 2024.

The full, final version of this research can be downloaded here.

Now that a General Election has been called, it is of importance that the veil is pulled back on Labour’s intentions, as the Mais Lecture cloaks them in euphemism, half-truth, double-talk and faux gravitas.

Reeves’ flagship policy – and the UK’s goldmine supposedly – is a huge public ‘investment’ on the Net Zero transition, which sounds better then ‘spending’ and infers there may be some financial return. The ‘investment’ will be funded with borrowed money but inside a new version of Private Finance Initiative so that the UK’s debt does not career beyond 100% of GDP, at least not visibly.

We can also look forward to:

  • the construction of many more new homes, whilst the environment is protected;
  • increased taxes to fund extra spending on the NHS, on quangos and on the process of government;
  • extra regulation, more protection of workers’ rights, a new skills levy, and corporation tax of 25% for private industry which, magically, will prosper in the narrow space left by an expanding public sector;
  • Net Zero ‘investments’ drawing on the private pension funds that the flourishing private sector will (not) be pouring major contributions into.

Taxes up, borrowing up, a bigger public sector, a squeeze on the private sector, stronger trades unions – same old Labour, except that the UK economy is already in a parlous state. Only the delusional can imagine that Labour’s medicine – called ‘Securonomics’ – is a plausible remedy. It is a safe and secure choice, though. It contains no risk at all because the outcome is completely certain: it’s disaster.