I’ve been following the growth debate more closely for a few weeks. The people who usually caution against all consuming growth strategies are environmentalists and sociologists, so this is a particularly interesting development. Lord Adair Turner, head of the FSA, said this on Radio 4 this week:
I am not in the group of people who say we can’t have any growth, but I am also convinced that if you spend your time thinking that the most important objective of public policy is to get growth up by 1.9% or 2% or even better 2.1%, then we’re pursuing a sort of false God… All the evidence shows that beyond the sort of standard of living that Britain has now acheived, extra growth does not automatically translate into human welfare and happiness.
Lord Turner was speaking to Andrew Simms for Radio 4’s World Tonight. Turner is one of the most senior economists in the country, so it’s exciting to hear such good sense from him.
Undeterred, Gordon Brown remains in hot pursuit of said false god, unequivocally declaring his worship this week in a speech called Going for Growth:
Going for growth is the government’s number one priority this year.