The Pursuit of Economic Dynamism

  • David Coates


From the outset, the New Labour government put economic growth at the centre of its concerns, and rightly so. For leading ministers knew well enough that the sustained growth of the economy as a whole, and the enhanced international competitiveness of its leading companies, were vital prerequisites to the successful implementation of the full sweep of the party’s manifesto commitments. Certainly they were well aware as they entered office that, without sustained economic growth, they would be unable to put clear water between themselves and the Conservatives. They would be unable to ‘switch spending from economic failure to investment’,1 as they liked to put it. They knew too that they would not be able to increase the volume of social expenditure, while freezing personal tax rates as they had promised, unless they could somehow trigger a rising tide of economic output. They were presumably also aware that, down the line, they would not even be able to guarantee New Labour’s own re-election unless they had by then produced an economic ‘feel-good factor’ in the party’s voting base, of the kind that had so cruelly eluded John Major. Since that re-election was indeed a dominant policy concern of the New Labour leadership from the outset, it was no surprise that once in office, the Chancellor, Gordon Brown, regularly described ‘the Government’s central objectives’ as the achievement of ‘high and stable levels of growth and employment, and sustainable public services, built from a platform of long-term stability’.2


Public Spending Child Poverty European Monetary Union Labour Government Lone Parent 
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Copyright information

© David Coates 2005

Authors and Affiliations

  • David Coates
    • 1
  1. 1.Wake Forest UniversityUSA

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