This is an excellent article from Martin Wolf, the FT‘s chief economic commentator. It’s a recommended read.
via Britain can only walk tall if productivity is reignited – FT.com.
Like this blog over the last four years, Wolf has been critical of the UK government’s prolonged austerity policy.
I was encouraged that Wolf singled out UK productivity as pivotal weakness of the UK’s economic position. This echoed my own views on Osborne’s Budget which I published before seeing the FT article.
According to this article in the Guardian, the UK productivity has long been a problem, compared to other major countries.
Of course, productivity is a complex subject. It’s a function of many things in relation to global benchmarks:
- Quality of basic education
- Training and re-skilling
- Laziness and absenteeism
- Broken business processes in industries like banks, the public sector, and regulated industries, like airports
- Absence of competition in consumers’ interests in the banking and public sectors.
Whilst there is much debate about zero hours contracts, there are still too many people coasting in banks and public sector jobs.
It’s time for radical reform, massive consolidation, increased competition, outsourcing and off-shoring. There are truly eye-watering productivity savings available from widespread consolidation of both back and front office consolidation.