The talk in the Observer and Sunday Times today is of the need for a Plan B for the UK's economy.
It is now abundantly clear that Osborne's economics aren't working: we're going to have the slowest ever recorded recovery from a recession, and that's because Osborne deliberately abandoned Labour's plans which were working, even if not perfect themselves.
Some of us have, of course, been saying this for sometime: the Green New Deal group of which I am a member (and a principal author) have been saying that an alternative strategy has been needed since July 2008 - before Lehman crashed.
And, of course I've been arguing that the tax gap needs to be closed for a long time now. Indeed, my work for the TUC put this issue onto the UK economic agenda.
As a result I was delighted with the following letter in the Observer today, which I did not draft but of which I was a signatory:
Recent economic figures have shown that the government urgently needs to adopt a Plan B for the economy. As economists and academics, we know the breakneck deficit-reduction plan, based largely on spending cuts, is self-defeating even on its own terms. It will probably not manage to close the deficit in the planned time frame and the government's strategy is likely to result in a lot more pain and a lot less gain.
We believe a more effective strategy for sustainable growth would be achieved:
- through a green new deal and a focus on targeted industrial policy.
- by clamping down on tax avoidance and evasion, as well as by raising taxes on those best able to pay
- through real financial reform, job creation, "unsqueezing" the incomes of the majority, the empowerment of workers and a better work-life balance.
These are the foundation of a real alternative and it is time the government adopted it.
Prof Richard Grayson, Goldsmiths, University of London; lan O'Shea, emeritus prof of cultural studies, UEL; Henning Meyer, senior visiting fellow, LSE Global Governance; Howard Reed, director, Landman Economics; Prof Geoffrey M Hodgson, University of Hertfordshire Business School and 47 others (see observer.co.uk/letters)
Professor Jonathan Rutherford Middlesex University
Professor Natalie Fenton, Goldsmiths, University of London
Professor Stefano Harney, Queen Mary, University of London
Andrew Watt, Senior Researcher, European Trade Union Institute
Professor Mariana Mazzucato, (Chair in the Economics of Innovation), Open University
Professor Gregor Gall, University of Hertfordshire
Prof George Irvin, Univ of London, SOAS
Prof Peter Case, Bristol Business School
Michael Burke, Economic Consultant
Professor Marcus Miller, University of Warwick
Professor Susan Himmelweit, Open University
James Meadway, Senior economist, new economics foundation
Professor Dennis Leech, University of Warwick
Jonathan Glennie, Research Fellow, Overseas Development Institute
Stewart Lansley, Research Fellow, Bristol University
Alan Finlayson, Reader, Dept. of Political and Cultural Studies, Swansea University
Robin Murray, Senior Visiting Fellow, Global Governance, LSE
Richard Murphy, Director, Tax Research LLP
Prof. Giuseppe Fontana, Leeds University Business School
Pat Devine, University of Manchester
Prof Malcolm Sawyer, University of Leeds
Dr Paul Segal, University of Sussex
Professor Stephen Haseler, Director, Global Policy Institute
Andrew Simms, nef fellow and Green New Deal Group Member
Ruth Potts, Campaign Manager, the Great Transition
Valerie Bryson, Emerita Professor of Politics, University of Huddersfield
Mark Fisher, University of London
Dr Jonathan Perraton, University of Sheffield
Nick Isles, Managing Director of Corporate Agenda
David Purdy, Social economist now retired, formerly Head of the Department of Applied Social Science, University of Manchester
Dr. Douglas Chalmers, Glasgow Caledonian University
Sheila Dow, Emeritus Professor of Economics, University of Stirling
Barbara MacLennan, retired academic economist: Universities of York and Manchester
David Donald, Glasgow Caledonian University
Ismail Erturk, Senior Lecturer in Banking, University of Manchester
Ian Gough, Emeritus Professor, University of Bath
Colin Crouch, University of Warwick
Professor David Marquand, Oxford University
Stuart White, Jesus College, Oxford University
Professor Diane Elson, University of Essex, Chair UK Women's Budget Group
Professor Andy Danford, Bristol Business School
Professor Simon Lilley, Head of University of Leicester School of Management
Professor Stephen Linstead, University of York
Professor Adrian Sinfield, University of Edinburgh
Professor Sir Tony Atkinson, Nuffield College, Oxford
Professor Matthew Watson, University of Warwick
Professor David Bailey, Coventry University Business School
Dr Damian O'Doherty, University of Manchester
Professor Derek Braddon, Emeritus Professor of Economics, University of the West of England, Bristol
Dr. Olivier Ratle, University of the West of England, Bristol
Professor Alison Pullen, Swansea University
Professor David Knights, Bristol Business School
Dr Gregory Schwartz, University of Bath
The time for change has arrived: I'm delighted to have helped draft part of the alternative.