Not a surprise really.

The TaxPayers\’ Alliance claimed the RDAs had contributed "nothing" since they were established in 1999 but had cost almost £600 per household over the past nine years.

The analysis claims that gross value added rose faster before the RDAs were created than after. Given that this is the government\’s preferred measure of success, they seem to have a point.

But then, handing over oodles of cash to civil servants in order to develop business….who really thought that would work?

Sure, business does require some things from the State: an infrastructure, a legal system, there would certainly be benefits from a decent education system if we actually had one. But beyond these the best thing for the State to do is bugger off.

And no, having people who know nothing about business fire-hosing tax money around doesn\’t help.

6 thoughts on “Not a surprise really.”

  1. I’m not going to quibble about the general point of what is the point of RDAs. But, the main attack line that economic growth has been slower post-RDA creation is facile.

    The only economic figures present available for regional economic output are nominal, that is not adjusted for inflation. The ONS is working at producing deflated figures which. Given inflation has (up until now) been significantly lower on average since the creation of RDAs, you would expect that nominal economic growth would also slow.

  2. why is it “less than honest”? At first glance, to compare 1999-2006 with the preceding period of 7 years appears to be like-for-like. Another thing, didn’t the former Chancellor make a point of bragging about the uninterrupted sequence of growth experienced “wholly” under his beneficent reign?

  3. Err, because 1992 was right at the depths of a recession perhaps? And also, no he didn’t.

    Tim adds: True, but then given that the 2006 figures are the latest available this is just a happy circumstance that the two seven year periods match this way. I’m sure, really.

  4. Quote from the 2006 Budget speech:

    “As we enter the tenth year of growth under this Government – the only Government in British history to be entering the tenth consecutive year of uninterrupted economic growth.”

    The way he expresses himself certainly implies that the growth of the last 10 years is down to him.

  5. My judgment is perhaps clouded by the fact that I knew one of the TPA’s leading lights for a couple of years and found him to be an abject prick, but I would put their credibility somewhere below that of, oooooooo, say, the Discovery Institute. I haven’t looked for quite a while at anything they’ve done but the stuff I looked at a while ago was pretty shambolic: all government spending is essentially considered to have been wasted, particularly if such spending occurs under the aegis of an agency. I don’t doubt that somewhere between “some” and “a hell of a lot” of government spending is wasted, but any attempt to actually place it somewhere in this spectrum by the TPA is approximately non-existent. I can’t be bothered to go through another report of theirs but the problems pointed out by john b and Balham Bugle are not untypical and not surprising.

    The TPA aren’t even libertarians either; they’re social conservatives. I think we can consider this point being generally missed as being due to Galbraith’s First Law of Conservatism.

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