progress is not the elimination of struggle, but rather a change in its terms’ - Aneurin Bevan

things to make and do

The news that there has been a sharp fall in exports, as recorded by the Office of National Statistics, appears quite worrying. Hopi Sen has pointed out that there's difficulty in accurately measuring economic activity, but though as Tony Dolphin notes, the growth in the trade gap has much to do with the weak demand in Europe, the UK's main export market.

Chris Dillow has rightly taken issue with George Osbourne's attitude towards export-led growth, pointing out that for economic growth to return to pre-crisis levels, consumer demand will have to increase.

The Tories have been insisting - despite all evidence to the contrary - that an immediate Age of Austerity would be in the best interests of the UK economy. This would not only make it impossible to have a just transition to a more sustainable economy and further depress consumer demand, it would result in a weakening of the UK's export capacity.

The Tories have committed to cutting tax for all corporations paid for by abolishing incentives for manufacturing firms to invest in the UK. The Tories are showing as much disregard for the growth of new industries that create jobs for workers here in the UK as they did for declining industries in the 80s.

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