This austerity movement has been unfolding across Europe for some time now, and on the surface it makes perfect sense. After all, cuts lead to savings, which in turn lead to investment and growth - right? Not entirely.
An industrial strategy that focuses on clusters would be a strategic departure from the approach of much of the last three decades, when growth has been promoted through mainly sector-neutral horizontal policies. But without a shift of this nature, there is little prospect of the export revival that the Chancellor was hoping for when he set his target, and little hope of a rebalancing of the economy.
The Government's road building programme needs to be scrutinised and the money re-directed. With public services experiencing cuts like never before there are so many better ways this money could be used. Here are just a few ideas for what you could spend £15billion on instead...
It seems then, that much like the high-pressure fluid injected to fracture our rock, mounting pressure from politicians and campaigners is creating cracks throughout Britain. Indeed, it is no longer just the 'Green Blob' that opposes fracking.
In fairness, it can't be easy trying to get people excited about politics in the UK, especially when you've got the likes of David Cameron and Nigel Farage ignoring you like you've just crawled out of Downton Abbey's servant's quarters to feed them dinner.
With that in mind, David Cameron has vowed to treble the number of start-up loans the government is dishing out to Britain's aspiring entrepreneurs. Who wouldn't love that? There's just one little problem: if that same government doesn't make some serious changes to the level of support small businesses are currently afforded, in five years we may have about 75,000 failed startups on our hands.
Ordinarily, an impending election would whip politicians into a mad frenzy of desperately trying to rectify such a disaster; then things might actually change. Another good reason for young people to vote.
The prologue to this election has been a narrative of disaffection and apathy among the public over a lack of real choices, real differences between the main players. But I don't see that - I see big differences, and very clear choices.
Delivering stronger economic growth and sustained rises in living standards for all working people is the economic policy challenge for our generation. A new progressive policy agenda is needed to achieve this. And it won't come by either turning our backs on the world economy, or hoping that traditional right-of-centre economics - laissez-faire, trickle-down, deregulation - is going to turn the tide of stagnating wages and rising inequality. That's the conclusion of the Commission on Inclusive Prosperity, which I have co-chaired with former US Treasury Secretary Larry Summers and reports today.
The £10 billion government has saved businesses over the past four years is a great start but if it doesn't do more to cut red tape for British SMEs, it's only a matter of time before we dip straight back into recession.
As long as the public continues to accept the assurances of the rich that we have to suffer so that they don't have to, the bitterness created will continue to create divisions between ethnic and religious communities that should be working together to destroy zero hour contracts and ensure proper funding for the NHS.
Thank you for your early Christmas present to British under 30-years-olds who want to do a Masters degree. Among others issues in your Autumn Statement the news that the Government will provide postgraduate course funding of up to £10,000 to British people from 2016 perked up my ears.
Their world hasn't fallen in. They don't depend on a few extra pounds in benefits to get them through the week, nor do they rely on social services to keep their families functioning. I somehow doubt that they use public libraries, or Sure Start centres, or community youth centres, or drugs rehabilitation units. Nor does anyone they know - family, friends, neighbours. In their world, nothing has changed. Executive pay continues to rise at obscene rates, and bonuses continue to be paid as if there's a pot of gold at the end of every rainbow. So looking at the world through their eyes, yes, it's true. Everything's fine and dandy.
In the lead up to the 2015 elections we are looking at our leaders and wondering who will be best to take our nation forward. As we watch them, we don't simply analyse their words, we also want to get a feel for the people behind the scripts, to understand if they are able to put it all into action. So it seems worthwhile to analyse their actions and see what they can tell us...
Like conflict, austerity leaves people scarred, changing them forever, and disproportionately affecting the most vulnerable. It is ultimately self defeating. Most tellingly, it is the poorest who suffer most under austerity, as in war, whilst the richest always profit...
Whilst many people's reaction will be 'so what?' that there won't be a busy property market at upper levels, it has the potential to negatively impact the whole market and in the long run, the economy.