There is an alternative: Why the government needs a growth policy

Monday 3rd September 2012

Read the speech here. 

Former foreign office minister and Conservative party leadership candidate David Davis gave a key note speech at the Chartered Accountants’ Hall in conjunction with The Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales (ICAEW).

The speech was themed 'There is an alternative: why the government needs a growth policy and how to achieve it.'

Not only was the event an opportunity to hear first-hand an influential backbencher’s views on the way forward for growth policy, there was also an opportunity to quiz him on his proposals and to network with high levels stakeholders after the Q&A session. 

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Mr Davis invoked the boldness of Margaret Thatcher’s economic reforms, urging Mr Osborne to be similarly radical or see Britain spend decades in the doldrums. “If we fear to act because we have anxieties that the alternative policies are too ‘risky’ we should start by facing up to the real risk,” he said. “That inaction could deliver decades of decline and disappointment for a whole generation.”

The former shadow home secretary directly challenged the leadership of his party by saying there was an alternative economic strategy.

“The World at One after delivering a speech, entitled there is an alternative: why the government needs a growth policy, at an event hosted by the Thatcherite Centre for Policy Studies”.

“In a speech to the Centre for Policy Studies think tank in London, he said the economy needed "shock therapy to jolt it out of the torpor".

“A welcome call to arms which the Government would be well advised to heed”

“Britain is not condemned to inevitable economic decline but it requires much more radical action than we have seen to date if such an outcome is to be avoided”.

“David Davis was at his most lucid today in arguing the case for a smaller state and a much bolder deregulatory agenda”

“David Davis, the former Conservative leadership contender, chose a pointedly appropriate venue for his speech yesterday setting out an alternative growth strategy for a becalmed Government. The Centre for Policy Studies was established in the mid-Seventies by Sir Keith Joseph and Margaret Thatcher to chart a course out of the economic doldrums into which the country had drifted”.

However, he faces an immediate challenge from the Tory right, with David Davis - who fought him for the party leadership in 2005 - setting out his alternative strategy for growth.

Before proceedings in the Commons have even started, Mr Davis will use a lunchtime speech to the Centre for Policy Studies think-tank to call for a radical programme of cuts to taxes, regulation and public spending to kick-start the economy.

Mr Osborne is under fire from some in his party for failing to act decisively to stimulate growth, with David Davis – a flag-bearer for the Tory right – calling for “an alternative economic policy” of big cuts in public spending and lower taxes.

“Senior Tory MP David Davis has launched a not-so-coded attack on George Osborne's growth strategy, saying that the UK was at the "eleventh hour" in terms of avoiding decades of economic stagnation and unemployment”.

“As MPs return to Westminster he will use a major speech on behalf of Tory right-wingers to call for tax cuts and other measures to beat the recession”.

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