Letters: Don't talk down economic success

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The Independent Online
Sir: Alan Milburn's letter (16 October) tries to talk down the British economy's recovery. This is flogging a very tired horse. Out in the real world the British economy is racing ahead. Business investment is now second only to Japan in the G7 and accounts for a higher percentage of national income than it did in 1979.

Labour's obsession with league tables cannot hide the fact that all the current data points to the long-term economic fundamentals being right. Why else would the IMF have said this year that Britain's performance is "enviable"?

To suggest that Britain is losing out in international competitiveness is laughable. Overseas investors are voting with their chequebooks. Inward investment created over 50,000 new jobs last year and amounted to more than pounds 25bn. These companies come here to succeed. If Alan Milburn stopped trawling the statistics in an attempt to talk the British economy down and looked around in his own backyard he would have seen that the largest fall in unemployment over the last year has been in the North of England.


Financial Secretary to the Treasury

London SW1