Left-behind Britain

From a review of Paul Collier’s latest book (Left Behind: A New Economics for Neglected Places) in the New Statesman

Were this not infuriating enough, Collier describes the devastation wrought by the Treasury’s preference for economic theory over accounting reality. The department’s “hermetic paranoia against expertise” allowed it to be easily outmatched by multinational oil companies, for example, which have for decades paid about three times as much tax on Norway’s oil as they do on the same resource taken from beneath Britain’s part of the North Sea. Norway’s finance ministry is far smaller, but it was prepared to hire 40 accountants rather than thousands of PPE graduates. In administering taxes on Norway’s oil properly, these accountants have helped to build the largest sovereign wealth fund in the world.

It would be nice to think things might change after Starmer’s landslide. There is infinite hope, but is any of it for us?