PM adviser questions recession

THE Prime Minister’s adviser on enterprise has questioned whether the UK is in recession less than two years after similar comments led to his resignation.

Lord Young was speaking in a panel discussion at the MADE Festival in Sheffield this morning on whether the UK is a good place to start a business.

His intervention came as the panel spoke about the opportunities and challenges of starting a new enterprise in a recession.

“I have experienced every recession since 1955 and I have never known a recession where employment goes up and at a time when the population is growing,” he said.

“I am not sure the Government can actually measure the economy any more,” he added. “The internet has had such a tremendous effect on business the last few years. I’m not sure for example sales through google, eBay, ever get measured.

“One of the things I think we are doing if we are not careful is we are going to talk ourselves into a recession.

“From ’08 onwards small firms have had a problem getting cash anywhere, large companies have £600m sitting in the bank waiting to be spent. All we need now is confidence and on the back of the best Olympics and Paralympics ever I think this nation should have enough confidence, frankly, to get up and get on with it.”

In November 2010, Lord Young resigned from a post advising the Government on business issues after he suggested, in an interview with the Daily Telegraph, that the “vast majority of people” have “never had it so good ever since this recession – this so-called recession – started”.

Lord Young was appointed to his current role advising the Prime Miniser on enterprise in October last year.

According to official figures GDP has contracted in the last three quarters.