Peter Hoskin

Brown goes for growth – fails

Brown goes for growth – fails
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So the dividing line persists.  Today, both Gordon Brown and David Cameron will talk about "going for growth" at the CBI's annual conference.  But it all, more or less, comes down to the same, dreary "investment vs cuts" line that we've heard countless times before.  According to the Times, Brown is going to say that growth is the best way of tackling the deficit, rather than those nasty Tory cuts.  And, what's more, "he hopes investment from China will drive the recovery".

Of course, growth will have a role to play in reducing the deficit.  A vibrant economy will have a better chance of tackling record deficits and debt levels than a sinking one.  But to indicate that extensive cuts will not be necessary is disingenuous in the extreme.

And that's not the only inconsistency in Brown's story.  Will foreign investment - from China or wherever - really flood into the UK when the government's best solution to the debt problem is, er, foreign investment?  "Come to our country and help fix our fiscal crisis," is hardly the best business pitch ever.  And I doubt, somehow, that a 50p tax rate, or Brown's talk of a Tobin tax, will make it much more attractive.  Bottom line is: the long, hard slog to recovery may require a few business-friendly policies.