How free enterprise and innovation cut austerity

Allowing people to borrow sensibly, enouraging them to work, and giving them a tax system which treats them like adults, all come together to create a recipe for growth and an end to austerity. That's the reality, whatever Left-populists think

After the crash, innovation will get us moving
Sir John Redwood MP
On 6 April 2015 08:17

Free enterprise capitalism is the parent of higher living standards and better lives for the many. The luxuries of the few of the previous generation can become the norm for most in the next.

Today we can enjoy service and facilities that we could not even dream about twenty years ago.

In the 1950s, many homes  had no tv, no fridge, no car, no telephone. These middle class luxuries arrived gradually in the 1960s as people got pay rises and as these luxury products became cheaper relative to wages. The financial system also found new ways to help people of modest means to buy them.

Many tvs were rented. Car finance took some of the waiting out of wanting. More mortgages became available, so  many could buy their first home.

The progress of many in the UK from blue collar to white collar work, from working for someone else to running your own business, from renting to owning a home,from living without phone or tv or fridge to having those former luxuries which became necessities reminds us just how much free enterprise has delivered.

It also reminds us that sensible borrowing by individuals and families was an important part of the road to owning property and having better equipped homes.

Today many take for granted the fridge and tv. Most expect a mobile phone and a home or hand held computer with more power than many company computers enjoyed in the last century. These advances are good news.

As technology expands, so our idea of the good life and of what is possible expands. The world I wish to live in recognises that allowing sensible borrowing in the private sector,cutting taxes to allow people to spend more of what they earn, and always making it worthwhile to work are the central policies to banish austerity.

There is a new generation to help into home  and car ownership. There has been too much private austerity thanks to the banking crash.

We now need a stable banking system capable of allowing and financing growth, and a tax system which leaves people with enough money to buy goods and services from each other in a growing economy.

Mr. Redwood's writing is re-posted here by his kind permission. This and other articles are available at

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