Archbishop of Canterbury calls for ‘fundamental reform’ of Britain’s economy

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A major research paper, co-authored by Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby, says that Britain’s economy “is not working for millions of people and needs fundamental reform.” The report, Prosperity and Justice, argues that “a fair economy is a strong economy” and says that “prosperity and justice can, and must, go hand-in-hand.” The report includes a 10-part plan for “a new vision of the economy and a rebalancing of economic power” and more than 70 recommendations for “the most significant change in economic policy in a generation.”

The Report was published by the Institute for Public Policy Research’s Commission on Economic Justice, which was established in autumn 2016 following the decision by Britain to leave the European Union.

To coincide with the September 5 launch of the report, Welby wrote an article in the Daily Mail newspaper, setting out a case to tax wealth more. He said there was much in the economy for which Britain can be proud, including being the fifth-largest economy, world-leading businesses and low unemployment.

“Yet despite these strengths, it is evident that for many people, the economy is not working,” he said. “It no longer fulfils the promise of rising living standards. For more than a decade, most people have seen no improvement in their pay, even while the economy as a whole has continued to grow.”

Welby said that “Chronically low pay means that a hard day’s work no longer keeps people out of poverty: today, a majority of the poor are working families. It is particularly hard for young people, so many of whom are set to be poorer than their parents, unable to find secure work and with little prospect of getting on the housing ladder.”

The archbishop said that the Prosperity and Justice report, at its heart, “is a simple but profound truth. If we make the economy fairer for ordinary people, we will also make it stronger. When prosperity and justice go hand in hand, every part of society benefits.”

Click here to download the full report.

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