UKIP has today completed a mini reshuffle, with Mark Reckless being confirmed as the Party’s Economic Spokesman.
The former MP was a City Economist, and his past publications include ‘The Euro: Bad for Business’, ‘The Drivers of Regulation’ and Euromoney ‘Guide to the London financial markets’.
Mr Reckless said, “I am delighted to take up the economics role for the party. It is an exciting time with the European referendum now firmly on the horizon. One of the most important roles in that campaign will be to show to the British public the economic opportunities and advantages for British business and the wider economy when we leave the European Union.”
UKIP Leader Nigel Farage said, “This brings real world experience into our top team. Mark is an expert in his field and will be able to explain how the UK economy will benefit from EU exit.
“His appointment shows how the UKIP story has many more chapters to run”.
Marks priorities in his new role are set out below.
As UKIP’s economy spokesman I will make the non-socialist economic case against this Conservative government and put forward a better alternative.
Today’s employment data show the jobs market has been up and down in the past few months. But for the past five years there has been one major and consistent trend. The number of hours worked in the UK economy has greatly increased, but the output for each hour worked has barely changed.
It is that stagnant productivity that needs to change. Productivity growth of over 2% per year used to be the norm, but under Cameron and Osborne it has been near zero.
The non-socialist economic case I will be making against the government is that Britain needs three big changes:
- Deregulation. Not ‘better regulation’ or bureaucratic tweaks to add yet more complexity, but lifting the heavy and cumulative burden the state puts on business and enterprise. Taxes should also be simpler as well as lower. To set enterprise free we need to leave the European Union. We also need a government that backs markets, competition and enterprise, not big business corporatism.
- Banking and capital markets that work. Eight years after interbank markets froze in August 2007 we still haven’t dealt with the problems. Interest rates still at 0.5% and a quarter of government debt is owned by the government itself through the Bank of England. This means savers are not rewarded and capital fails to flow to more productive firms. Hence productivity still stagnates.
- Control immigration: an economic issue. An unlimited supply of cheap labour from overseas weighs on productivity. We need instead to train and invest in our own workforce to improve skills and productivity and hence wages. We also have to deal with our current deficit, at 6% the joint highest in the OECD. This means tackling not only our trade performance, but an investment balance skewed by printing too much money, and runaway ‘transfer’ payments e.g. overseas aid, EU contributions and migrant worker remittances.