Thursday, 8 March 2018

Sensible suggestions v government blah blah waffle

From the BBC:

Brexit should not overshadow plans to boost growth, a business lobby group conference will be told on Thursday. The biggest challenges facing businesses in the UK are to do with "fundamentals" rather than Brexit, the British Chambers of Commerce says.

"Government can do more than one thing at once," Adam Marshall, the director general of the British Chambers of Commerce (BCC) told BBC 5 live's Wake Up To Money...

Go on, and what sort of stuff does he say that businesses would like to see?

"The best possible Brexit deal will not matter to the UK's competitiveness if the roads remain potholed and congested, if you can't get mobile phone coverage around the UK, if business broadband is poor and companies can't get the people they need because the training system isn't working to deliver for them."

The BCC will call on the government to fund repairs on local roads, improve the capacity of railways and airports, build more houses, get rid of of mobile phone "not-spots", make the apprenticeship system stable and come up with a clear and easy-to-use immigration system.

Those all seem like eminently fair and sensible things that will benefit everybody, not just 'businesses'. And you can quantify them all to some extent, achieved/not achieved.

How does the government respond?

A Department for Business, Energy and Industry Strategy spokesperson said: "The government's commitment to boosting the productivity and earning power of people and places across the UK remains steadfast. Through our industrial strategy, we are building a Britain fit for the future, with a plan to help businesses create better, higher-paying jobs in every part of the UK."

It said its £1.7bn Transforming Cities Fund will "address weaknesses in city transport systems while improving connectivity, reducing congestion and introducing new mobility services and technology". The spokesperson added that the government had committed to raising research and development investment to 2.4% of GDP by 2027 "ensuring our world-class research and innovation base continues to thrive".

WTF does any of that mean? How will we be able to judge afterwards whether the government achieved these things or not?


jack ketch said...

Several years ago, standing outside a railway station with the rest of the Legion Of The Damned (ie Smokers), I met a German 'spotter' (someone who investigates possible UK sites for German Industry....this was obviously before BrexSShite was on the cards).

He'd just been looking at sites here in Norfolk and when I asked him what he thought of the chances of Norfolk getting some major Teutonic industry his reply was : "Just let me check my mobile. Nope, no 3G. Standing outside the main train station in a city.Does that answer your question?"

Oh well, come the revolution I shall decree FREE 5G coverage across this Septic Isle, no sod left without.

Mark Wadsworth said...

Jk, good mobile reception is another one of those things we need to get sorted out. It was probably on BCC's longer list.

Bayard said...

What is bizarre is that there are still not-spots in places like Brighton. As a resident of the sticks I am resigned to getting either no reception or reception from only one provider (isn't competition great?), but the middle of a city?

DBC Reed said...

Adam Smith said in 1776 that the way you could tell the guv was improving things was that land values would go up ,so the guv should be provided with LVT revenue so they could do more improvement.

Mark Wadsworth said...

B, that is strange.

DBC, BenJamin has come to the same conclusion and I agree.

Lola said...

Or much more simply and even better, massively cut and reform taxes and equally massively cut regulationism and just basically bugger off and let us get on with it.

Lola said...

JK, Nah. He was just being polite. He'd seen the locals and had just texted NFN to his bosses...

L fairfax said...

I think the government likes it, if we cannot tell if they have succeeded or not, that way we cannot tell if they fail!

paulc156 said...

MW''s manor (Buckhurst Hill) has one of the worst cases of pot holes I've come across 2nd only to Birds of a Feather territory: Chigwell.
J'accuse! Epping Forest Council. ...and mobile coverage in Chigwell is a joke. Nimbyism re mobile masts presumably the culprit. Cleary almost all impediments to businesses are unrelated to brexit. As for 'regulationism' that's almost irrelevant to since we are one of the least regulated of the advanced economies.

jack ketch said...

had just texted NFN to his bosses..-Lola

You jest I know but as it happens he said something similar and I actually explained to him about the whole 'NFN' thing !

Lola said...

On the subject of pot holed roads, the single track lane on which my gaff stands gets very pot holed. There are various springs that issue under it and into it. When these waters freeze it destroys the surface very quickly and the road starts to return to gravel and Macadam without the tar.

All this I consider excellent as it is a great discouragement to other drivers to use 'my' lane as a rat run. As it deteriorates it's only me and tractors and dust cart that come down it.

Hence pot holes aren't all bad news. In some locations they serve well as negative sleeping policemen. Pot hole phobia is an urban fist world gripe. Us yokels form the Styx just deal with it.

Mark Wadsworth said...

L, agreed.

LF, exactly!

PC, lots of potholes. I use half my concentration on dodging them. Mobile reception is ok.

L, good points, but I live on the high street!