All Party Group for Inclusive Growth Conference OECD in London

7th April 2018
This week the All Party Group for Inclusive Growth Conference with the OECD in London is gathering together leaders from across the world to talk about new ways to drive more Inclusive Growth.  
 
As Co Chair of the Group with Liam Byrne MP, I am delighted to be making the Conservative case, from the centre right, for a more inclusive model of global growth. 
 
History may suggest  that inequality is the price that liberal democracies pay for progress. 
 
Whilst mankind has never seen such income inequality, it is also true that mankind has never experienced such rapid increases in living standards.  Around the world billions are being lifted out of poverty at a pace never seen before.  
 
But the extraordinary concentration of global wealth today - fuelled by the pace of technological innovation and globalisation - poses serious challenges.   
 
Whilst some of this wealth is recycling back into global philanthropy (as with the inspiring Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation) too little of it is.  We need to ask why?  There is no one single answer.  
 
Corruption (Africa and Russia particularly), globalised technology, unrestrained corporate remuneration, tax evasion and political instability all play their part.  But if the system of capitalist liberal democracy which has triumphed in the West is to pass the big test of globalisation - and the assault from radical Islam as well as its own internal pressures from post - Crash austerity - we need some new thinking.  Fast.  
 
Free market liberal democracy can only work with consent, which is ultimately based on people at the bottom of the wealth inequality gap knowing they have a chance of crossing it.  It’s in all our interests to make sure they can.  The genius of Conservatism at its best has been to recognise that inequality is made acceptable only by the extent to which it creates opportunity for others to have a share of it.   Real Conservatives know that with wealth and privilege comes added responsibility. 
 
The central challenge in an age of globalisation is: how to ensure that those who benefit from global capitalism fulfill their responsibilities to spread opportunity?  We in Britain need to give a lead for others to follow. “ 
 
George Freeman MP, the former BUSINESS MINISTER, UK TRADE ENVOY, and head of the prime minister's policy board 2016-17,  said: “Whilst mankind has never seen such income inequality, it is also true that mankind has never experienced such rapid increases in living standards. Around the world billions are being lifted out of poverty at a pace never seen before. But the extraordinary concentration of global wealth today - fuelled by the pace of technological innovation and globalisation - poses serious challenges.
 
“If the system of capitalist liberal democracy which has triumphed in the West is to pass the big test of globalisation - and the assault from radical Islam as well as its own internal pressures from post-crash austerity - we need some new thinking ON WAYS TO WIDEN OPPORTUNITY, SHARE OWNERSHIP AND PHILANTHROPY.  Here AND in the emerging world.  And Fast.”
 

George Freeman MP
Member of Parliament for Mid Norfolk 
Chairman, the Conservative Policy Forum
Founder, #BigTentIdeasFest 

 

Big Tent Ideas Festival

Politics is undergoing a tectonic shift. That’s why this year I launched the first-ever Big Tent Ideas Festival, aiming to tackle the most difficult policy challenges we face. Bringing together over a hundred thinkers across the political spectrum, we discussed new ideas on everything from Brexit to intergenerational fairness, centred around three main themes: Politics, Society and Economy.

The Big Tent Ideas Festival is part of the new Capital Ideas Foundation, and will be setting off round the country over the next twelve months as the forum for the best new ideas in public policy. Click below and join us.

Read more:

Publications

18th March 2018 Conservatives need to be as economically bold as Margaret ... | FT


11th January 2018 Brexit is an electrifying moment for renewing the NHS | Politico


19th December 2017 The need for a new foreign policy based on aid, trade and security | Bright Blue


25th November 2017 Tories in danger of becoming an outdated party talking to itself, says George Freeman | The Times


20th November 2017 George Freeman: We need a new Chairman and team at CCHQ to lead a radical programme of Conservative renewal | ConservativeHome


5th November 2017 Let's make science funding part of the aid budget – and help British tech save the world by George Freeman | The Telegraph


4th October 2017 Conservatives need to give people a vision they can believe in by George Freeman | The Times