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There is an Alternative

Despite Chancellor Osborne encouraging consumer spending with an unsustainable housing bubble, the UK economy is still desperately unbalanced and its future prospects are therefore much worse than is generally recognised.

The picture would look very different if only we could implement an economic programme that increased employment, increased wages, increased productivity, improved our trade balance, increased our investment levels and delivered growth of 4-5% per annum.

In our 'There is an Alternative' series, we examine a plan of action advocated by economist, entrepreneur and commentator John Mills. As laid out in his recent Civitas pamphlet, he argues that the Government should devalue the pound to make manufacturing more profitable and incentivise export-led growth.

Mills recently established The Pound Campaign to argue for this course of action as well as highlight the damaging effect the exchange rate is having on UK manufacturing and the wider UK economy. But is Mills right, and is his solution economically or politically feasible?

Why the UK’s economic policies will fail by 2020

The government doesn't seem to grasp that the foreign payments deficit has a direct impact on its ability to get the national budget back into surplus. Unless it changes tack it will continue to fail.

Neither Corbyn or the others will end austerity in Britain unless they unleash the growth of manufacturing

None of the Labour candidates has an economic approach that will prove viable but it is essential to oppose austerity, what is the solution?

Why the UK’s economy is still grossly out of balance

Investment is low, the trade deficit is growing, and what growth we have is largely driven by ultra-cheap money and asset inflation. This is unbalanced and unsustainable.

High-tech isn't enough: Britain needs to stop pricing its low-tech goods out of the world

The new book Progressive Capitalism in Britain encourages a narrow focus on high-tech exports. Instead, Britain must allow its medium and low tech exports flourish too.

Osborne's "long term economic plan" is neither long term, nor a plan

No matter how much he repeats it, Osborne doesn't have any proposals at all to deal with the real problems our economy faces.

Britain's dysfunctional economy cannot last - but we can fix it

Because sterling is much too strong, manufacturing as a percentage of GDP in the UK has shrunk from 32% as late as 1970 to the unviable level of barely 10% now.

Why it is much easier than most people think to fix the UK economy

We need to move investment to those areas with the highest returns for society as a whole. The best way to do that is to fix our over-valued currency.

We need more engineers, fewer bankers and estate agents

Blair's revolution failed. We now have many graduates failing to get a suitable job. All the while the UK's trade gap worsens. If we want an economy of production rather than service then the government must step in.

The 2008 crisis and the role of exchange rates and trade flows

The 2008 crash wasn't simply a financial crisis. We must also look at the wider economics imbalances which had built up and which directly contributed to the unstable state of the world's finances.

6 arguments against devaluation that don't stack up

There is nothing to stop us reviving the UK economy via resurgent performance in manufacturing, exporting and import substitution provided we get the cost base charged out to the rest of the world on a competitive basis.

Where next for the national minimum wage?

The recent rise in the minimum wage restores it to where it was in 2005. As more and more workers sit on this baseline, where next?

Is Piketty right, is growing inequality inevitable?

Reducing inequality is a complex task and will required a broad mix of reducing unemployment, increasing manufacturing jobs, lowering debt and cracking down on tax avoidance.

Response to Mills: the 1930s are the exception that proves the rule

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That Britain achieved such growth rates only once in a hundred years, in extraordinary circumstances, is telling enough. But furthermore, competitive manufacturing is by nature an area of shrinking headcount, not growing.

Holtham's response is not grounded in statistical reality

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The growth rates in question have indeed been achieved in the UK before - in the '30s, following a devauation. It is disappointing that Gerry has not engaged with the proposals more fully, nor put forward some of his own in response.

Mills' plan is not the answer

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John Mills plan is a peculiar mixture of fact, acute observation, misconception and fantasy.

John Mills may be right, but can our political system deliver his economic plan?

Logo-There is an alternativePlaid Cymru's economic adviser replies to John Mills' proposals on how to re-industrialise the British economy.

This is how we solve economic inequality

Last week, the New Economics Foundation (nef) launched a report on how to reduce inequality in Britain. Here, they outline their key proposals.

Is the government's current growth strategy unsustainable?

Logo-There is an alternativeDelve into the data and you soon find that the British economy is not in a healthy state at all...

Risk in the British economy

Logo-There is an alternativeAssess the assets and liabilities in Britain's economy, and you find a country deeply exposed to systemic risk.

There is no puzzle about Britain's low productivity

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Britain, almost uniquely, does not invest in itself.

Counting the cost of the regressive recovery

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The recession may be over, but the headline figures mask deep problems. Quantitative Easing has enriched the wealthy while wages have fallen for the rest, leading to an unequal and unstable economy.

Don't forget what the economy is for: response to Mills

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In response to John Mills, the New Economics Foundation's head of social policy argues that it's vital that economists like John Mills don't ignore that the economy is woven into society and dependent upon the planet.

There is an alternative: the British economy can thrive once more

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As things stand, the British economy faces a future of decline. But it doesn't have to be this way - there is an alternative. Here, we publish a full pamphlet from John Mills outlining his plan for the British economy after 2015. For a summary, see here.

New OurKingdom series - There is an Alternative

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Today we launch a new series on ideas for reshaping the UK's dysfunctional economy, centering on the new Civitas pamphlet from economist and businessman John Mills.

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