Posts in Public Investment
Labour’s National Investment Bank - a valuable initiative

The private financial system on its own cannot perform well to support the real economy or implement a new industrial strategy. It does not fund sufficient long-term investment in risky innovation, neglects key sectors, including both physical and social infrastructure, and fails adequately to support small and medium sized enterprises. Therefore  the National Investment Bank (NIB) will be a valuable instrument for a Labour (and other future) governments to help achieve increased investment for making the UK economy more dynamic, greener and fairer.

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National Investment Bank and small & medium businesses

The 2017 Labour Manifesto calls for a National Investment Bank (NIB) and a network of regional development banks. A ₤250 billion “National Transformation Fund” would be focused on infrastructure and housing, and NIB would provide ₤25 billion/year lending to small businesses, including coops, and to contribute to “transforming our financial system”. 

But how best to ensure that access to affordable credit is provided to the small and medium enterprises most in need of it?

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Procurement & the Third Sector

For public sector workers, outsourcing to third sector organisations of local government and NHS delivery represents as big a threat as the private sector.

A Labour government should consider returning cooperatives, mutuals, social enterprises and third sector organisations to their original function of employment provision and generation, community support and self defence. 

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Control of the Energy Sector

In its 2017 manifesto the Labour Party promised to bring energy sector back under public control through a phased approach, which is most sensible. The transition phase is likely to be challenging and will need effective management.

Public policy in the energy sector should target new capacity creation rather than taking over existing and potentially overvalued capacities. 

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Citizens’ wealth funds

Since 2008, the question of inequality has moved up the political agenda. This rising concern has yet to translate into policy action. The UK continues to sit towards the top of the global inequality league, while leading forecasters predict a deepening economic divide until 2020.

Citizens' wealth funds offer a positive opportunity to tackle the twin problems of rising inequality and under-investment.

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Innovation, Jobs & Productivity: Supporting Business R&D

Direct and indirect public support (subsidies and tax relief) for business R&D in the UK is higher than most other OECD countries, excluding the US, Korea, Canada and France. Also, the UK support regime relies on both direct grants and indirect support via tax credits with equal measures.

Nevertheless, total R&D expenditure as percentage of GDP in the UK (1.7%) is relatively low compared to OECD countries (2.43%). 

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Public InvestmentMehmet Ugur