On Friday, the new Chancellor displayed an intellectual command which was remarkable, given how recently he had taken office. In assessing his budget, and given the need to acknowledge its significance, many commentators fell into error. They claimed that it was the most radical fiscal initiative since Margaret Thatcher. That is an understatement. For radical parallels, we would have to go back to Gladstone, the last Prime Minister who seriously considered abolishing income tax. But the reference to Lady Thatcher is relevant. The PM and the Chancellor believe that on the supply side, they are continuing with her mission.
In recent years, the UK’s growth rate and productivity rate – related of course – have both been unimpressive. The new team believe that they know why: deficiencies on the supply-side, because of too many obstructions.