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The UK has some of the highest levels of wealth concentration in the developed world. It has an economy where most mature markets are dominated by a small number of players and the barriers to entry are far too high.


Prosperity (Cont.)

It is not an exaggeration to suggest that in many areas, from energy to banking to groceries, the UK has a monopolistic rentier rather than a market economy – a system in which certain individuals or small groups gain market dominance and excessive returns through anti-competitive practices. This conspires against innovation and is detrimental to the small and emergent businesses that generate growth and spread prosperity. Added to this, our education system, by specialising too early and often in the wrong areas, fails to produce students with fully rounded skill-sets. We are simply not equipping our future workforce with the means to safeguard our, and their, economic future. This is one reason why the real value of wages in proportion to growth in GDP continues to stagnate or fall. Our long-term productivity dilemma is a function of market capture and the effective de-skilling of the population.

We believe that shared prosperity cannot be achieved by simply tweaking the market. Britain needs significant demand and supply-side transformation, with new visionary institutions re-ordering our economy. We need long-term solutions that give power over wealth and assets, not simply handouts, to ordinary people. Central to this process of economic empowerment is an ethical, practical and adaptable education that gives people the skills to build their own businesses, or develop their own talents, rather than a conveyor belt to a service industry of low wage and less return.

New financial institutions to promote small business lending are required, and this involves smaller, more specialised and decentralised banks that can deliver advice as well as capital. We wish to explore ways in which all financial transactions can be linked to a wider social purpose and profit, which itself needs a transformation of the legal framework within which economic transactions take place. We believe that the future lies in the shaping of a genuinely social market which would be in consequence a genuinely free and open market. Internalising externalities and creating a level economic playing field in terms of tax paid and monopolies recognised and challenged, remains beyond the scope of contemporary governments to deliver. Such a vision requires new concepts. The viable transformative solutions lie beyond the purview of the current visions of both left and right in the UK.

Prosperity Workstreams

Towards a new housing settlement

Despite a concerted drive, more and more people are locked out of home ownership. The narrow focus of policy has also neglected other parts of...

Corporate Governance for Long-Term Prosperity

This project will examine whether Britain’s models of corporate governance are delivering for the country and for business. Its aim is to make recommendations that...

Developing regional energy economies

This project will examine the potential for creating strong regional sustainable energy economies that can export and enable all regions to participate fully in the...

Defeating Inequality: An inquiry into the causes of our unequal society

ResPublica has been a consistently strong advocate for eradicating all aspects of inequality. Economically, we recognise that asset inequality is growing faster than income inequality,...

True North 2017
13th July 2017

ResPublica’s inaugural North conference Finding True North hosted over 250 leaders from across the North on Friday 8th July 2016 at the beautiful Lowry Theatre,...