Thursday 22 June 2023

An investment nation

Can Britain shift from living off its past to investing in its future?

Britain is in relative decline, as productivity and wages stagnate. This reflects a decade of shocks but also a longer lasting problem – Britain has spent recent decades living off its past rather than investing in its future. In both public and private investment the UK consistently lags behind its international peers, leaving British workers with less kit to work with, and fewer British firms competing at the cutting edge. Ensuring firms want to invest, and making sure they are able to do so, is therefore fundamental to our hopes of an economic revival. Both main parties recognise this task, but their focus on changes to corporation tax or promises of a more stable period of government are unlikely to deliver the scale of change required.

Why are so many firms reluctant to invest in their, and Britain’s, future? Are firms held back because returns on investment are low, or because finance is unavailable? What reforms – from corporate governance to pensions, taxation and planning – might move the dial? And if investment does rise, should that be financed from lower consumption at home or borrowing from abroad?

The Resolution Foundation is hosting an in-person and interactive hybrid event – as part of The Economy 2030 Inquiry, funded by the Nuffield Foundation – to debate and answer these questions. Following a presentation of highlights from major new research assessing how to reform the UK’s investment ecosystem, we will hear from leading experts on how to encourage British firms to invest more.

The event will be open for people to physically attend, alongside being broadcast via YouTube and the Resolution Foundation website. Viewers will be able to submit questions to the panel before and during the event via Slido.