Bank of England’s Andy Haldane to chair industry body

Industrial Strategy Council will try to improve Britain’s chronically low productivity

The Bank of England’s chief economist, Andy Haldane, is to be appointed to chair the government’s new industrial strategy council, and help improve Britain’s low productivity.

The Industrial Strategy Council is being created to advise the government on industrial policy, and assess and evaluate its industrial strategy.

Haldane’s appointment comes nearly a year after the business secretary, Greg Clark, announced the creation of the council. He said it would monitor progress made in boosting innovation, upgrading infrastructure and increasing the level of workplace skills, ensuring that the strength of the City is reflected in funds for companies and also spreading prosperity to all parts of the country.

Clark said Haldane would provide “authority and independence, as well as the benefit of his thought leadership in this area”.

Clark also insisted that the government was “getting on” with delivering its industrial strategy, despite concerns that Brexit was overshadowing over business.

”The Industrial Strategy Council has an important role to play holding the government to account by monitoring its success delivering the Industrial Strategy and it’s impact on the economy,” Clark added in a statement.

Haldane, who will chair the first meeting of the council next month, said it would provide “impartial and independent evaluations” of the government’s performance.

“The Industrial Strategy is one of the most critical strands of work taking place across Government and has the potential to raise living standards across the whole of the UK, boost people’s earning powers and put the UK at the forefront of future industries internationally,” Haldane added.

Last week, the Liberal Democrat leader, Sir Vince Cable, criticised the government for not moving faster to establish the watchdog. He claimed that “Brexit has sucked the energy out of Whitehall”, delaying the implementation of other vital work at a time when British business needed confidence.

Haldane is one of the nine policymakers at the Bank of England who set monetary policy and who raised UK interest rates to 0.75% in August. He is also known as one of the most original thinkers in the world of central bank policy-making.

Last month, Haldane warned that UK productivity had been slowly declining since the early 1990s, with a further “leg down” since the crisis. Companies feeling insecure and less willing to invest could have provided a “dragging anchor” to productivity, he suggested.

“It has been a lost decade of productivity for the UK economy,” he told an Institute for Government event last month. “That doesn’t make it unique among advanced economies by any means. Nonetheless the UK stands out relative to the international competition for being right at the bottom.”

Haldane also called for UK corporate governance rules to be shaken up, suggesting that they currently give too much weight to the interests of shareholders rather than customers, workers and the rest of society.


Graeme Wearden and Zoe Wood

The GuardianTramp

Related Content

Article image
Bank of England’s Andy Haldane warns of inflation rises
Departing chief economist says central bank could be forced to stop economy from overheating

Richard Partington Economics correspondent

30, Jun, 2021 @11:00 PM

Article image
Bank of England’s Andy Haldane warns over UK inflation risk
Chief economist says Britain could face ‘nasty surprise’ in wake of US rise

Rob Davies

25, Jun, 2021 @4:02 PM

Article image
Andy Haldane to leave role as Bank of England chief economist
Prominent economist to become chief executive of the Royal Society of Arts thinktank

Richard Partington

13, Apr, 2021 @5:26 PM

Article image
'Urgent' plan needed to improve productivity, say UK manufacturers
Government needs to make faster progress on industrial strategy, says EEF

Larry Elliott Economics editor

08, May, 2018 @8:20 AM

Article image
Businesses warn that Brexit is delaying industrial strategy
Labour and Lib Dem MPs hit out at government’s lack of progress with flagship policy

Richard Partington and Phillip Inman

10, Jun, 2018 @6:01 PM

Article image
London-centric department weakens Greg Clark's regional plan – Labour MP
Rachel Reeves says government’s industrial strategy is flawed when section leading it ‘has 90% of its jobs in the capital’

Adam Vaughan

29, Apr, 2018 @1:52 PM

Article image
In 2022 Liz Truss tried to bin economic orthodoxy – but what is it?
Rishi Sunak soon rowed back from his predecessor’s chaotic experiment, reasserting the seven pillars of UK Treasury wisdom

Larry Elliott Economics editor

27, Dec, 2022 @3:00 PM

Article image
Andy Haldane will be a tough act to follow at Threadneedle Street
Analysis: Outgoing Bank of England chief economist was seen as a maverick thinker alongside more cautious colleagues

Larry Elliott

13, Apr, 2021 @6:31 PM

Article image
Lack of plan for green industry risks UK ‘falling behind’, top government adviser warns
Influential economist Andy Haldane says dearth of coherent strategy means Britain isn’t in the new ‘arms race’ to reindustrialise

Richard Partington

09, May, 2023 @5:16 PM

Article image
Andy Haldane: the funnyman central banker who's not great at maths
Bank chief economist attracted attention with a quirky speech this week, but not for the first time

Rupert Neate

01, Oct, 2020 @6:58 PM