Like fading powers of the past, Britain shows signs of being in terminal decline | Will Hutton

The case for reform is plain to see but it won’t happen because too many at the top have stakes in the old order

It was a glorious September morning. But I was in a ruminative mood, walking towards Westminster’s Church House for the unveiling of another damning account of Britain’s economy. It was the launch of the interim report from the Institute of Public Policy’s (IPPR) economic commission. Time for Change is one of the best I’ve read and yet I was wondering how its unanswerable assessment of our economy and the need for systemic reform has so little purchase on the national debate.

I made similar arguments in my book The State We’re In 20 years ago and have attended many such launches ever since, often graced by bishops and some daring business executives prepared to break cover and speak out. It’s the same story of underinvestment; a woeful track record on R&D; overemphasis on high, short-term profits; an incredibly poor record on productivity and stagnating real wages. On almost every international comparison, Britain fares badly, with a desperately weak export sector overfocused on financial services and a few manufacturing industries.

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Tax cuts for the rich don’t help the rest. Don’t take my word for it, ask the IMF | Greg Jericho

IMF study finds that the type of tax cuts introduced last year are too weak to raise the welfare of most of the population and never pay for themselves

A new study by the IMF examining the impacts of tax cuts has found that while lowering tax rates for the rich will stimulate the economy, it does so at the great cost of increased inequality.

Most damningly, it finds the benefits of tax cuts targeted at the wealthiest 25% – such as the one the Turnbull government brought in last year – are far too weak to raise the welfare of the majority of the population and also never pay for themselves.

Related: Beware tax cuts for ‘Middle Australia’. Above-average earners benefit most

Related: Company tax cut cost reaches $65.4bn over 10 years

Related: Is it time to make the Medicare levy progressive? High income earners can afford it | Greg Jericho

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NHS cuts and public sector pay: will there be a ‘winter of discontent’?

The chancellor’s options in the autumn budget to allay voters’ frustrations over austerity are diminishing by the day

In the weeks that followed their disastrous election result, a delegation of Tory MPs marched to Downing Street with a clear message for the prime minister and her team. After years of austerity, voters’ patience was running out, and some positivity was needed.

The MPs went away from the meeting convinced they had secured an end to the public sector pay cap that would mark a loosening of spending cuts that they could use to show their constituents that the government was listening.

NHS Providers sai the service was on course for disaster unless an extra £350m was found for beds and staff

It all adds up to a very long queue outside the chancellor’s door

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