Economic growth under Elizabeth II is the highest under any monarch at 2.4 per cent, higher than Victoria’s 2 per cent and William IV’s 2.2 per cent. But, as Larry Elliott of the Guardian asks, should it have been better still?
The real story of the past 60 years has been of potential squandered. Britain has grown richer, but other countries have grown richer faster. What's more, the economy has become more unbalanced and its foundations shakier.
Indeed. Britain's bloated public sector has unbalanced our economy and the huge budget deficit means the foundations are dangerously shaky, as Greece is discovering. But it could have been better.
If Government spending would have been kept at the 33 per cent share of national income recommended by the 2020 Tax Commission from Elizabeth II’s coronation until 2009, the economy would by then have been 91 per cent bigger than it actually was. Instead of being 3.7 times richer than we were in 1952, we would have 7.1 times richer instead. Adding a per cent or so on growth every year over nearly 60 years makes a big difference.