Nigel Hawkins identifies £40bn of assets that the state could sell off to cut taxes or pay down the debt, including government-owned real estate, parts of state-owned companies like National Rail, and utilities that the government should not be running in the first place.
High Speed 2 will be enormously expensive if the government proceeds with it. But is it worth the money? In this report, Nigel Hawkins examines the arguments for HS2, particularly the "non-economic" benefits of the project, and argues that HS2 is a white elephant that the government should scrap.
A report by financial analyst Nigel Hawkins detailing the £90bn worth of government assets that can be privatized between 2010–2015. The report argues that repeating the highly successful privatization campaigns of the 1980s and 1990s would raise much-needed funds to pay down part of the national debt, and would open up new sectors of the economy to competition.
In The Party is Over – A Blueprint for Fiscal Stability, city economist Nigel Hawkins argues that reducing public spending is the most pressing challenge the new government. His report goes on to point out that – assuming the Treasury's growth forecasts are correct – the government will need to cut spending by 3 percent a year to balance the books by 2015. That means finding more than £90bn of cuts over the course of the current parliament. Hawkins also argues that no area of public spending - even the NHS - should be ring-fenced.
Ten Economic Priorities: an agenda for an incoming government argues that significant real terms cuts in government spending are essential if the UK is to balance its books and stave off bankruptcy, and calls on an incoming government to draw up a "Medium Term Financial Strategy" to restore stability and reassure investors. The next government should also commit to tax cuts once the public finances are under control, focusing on income tax, national insurance and corporation tax. This report also covers sound money, privatization, public sector pensions, PFI, public procurement, bank supervision, and the Asset Protection Scheme.
In Re-energizing Britain Nigel Hawkins warns the UK faces blackouts unless the six major energy companies invest. New nuclear plant should be encouraged by replacing the existing Renewables Obligation with a new Low Carbon Obligation, which would include nuclear power. The three key aims of energy policy – security of supply, reduced carbon emissions, and lower prices – would all benefit from this change, since nuclear energy is both low-carbon and less expensive than many other ways of generating electricity, and does not depend on risky supplies of gas from Russia. The government also needs to work with the energy companies to make sure that they have both planning approval and access to finance to increase Britain's gas storage facilities substantially. The UK has only one-tenth of the gas storage of Germany, and is dangerously exposed to interruptions in supply.
Privatization - Reviving the Momentum calls for a new wave of privatizations, which could net the exchequer in excess of £20bn. Given the worsening state of the economy and the increasing tightness of the public finances, the report notes that such an inflow of funds would be very welcome. In addition to the revenues generated for the government, a new wave of privatizations would also deliver significant operational benefits. Previous privatizations have delivered a wide range of improvements, including increased investment, lower prices, greater choice and better service for customers – as well as underpinning billions of pounds worth of economic activity. The leading privatization candidates identified by the report include the Royal Mail, Channel 4, BBC Worldwide, Scottish Water, Northern Ireland Water, Glas Cymru, the National Air Traffic Control System, as well as government stakes in British Energy and the Nuclear industry.