The UK economy is not delivering. On the surface it has some impressive strengths: employment levels are high, fewer older people are living in poverty than in the past, and we have a number of globally successful sectors. But there aren’t enough such sectors and too few people have been sharing in their successes. In recent years our economy has been growing, but most people are no better off than a decade ago. For many people the economy does not appear to be working at all.
Policy responses to structural changes in the global economy have also failed to deliver a just economy. Previous waves of technological change have enabled greater offshoring and changed the shape of the labour market, with differential effects on groups in society. Inaction on climate change will have the greatest impact on those who are most vulnerable and are least to blame.
This time must be different. The political response is and must be ours to determine; we must choose a way forward that points to both prosperity and justice. Policymakers who value the goal of a stronger and fairer economy must be ready with a bold and coherent policy programme in response to crisis and change.