July 15, 2020

Economic Recovery: Bring Back Thatcherism

Recently, an NDP member made an unthinkable comment about former UK Prime Minister, Margaret Thatcher. Thatcher, Britain’s first female prime minister, served from the year 1979 until 1990. At the time of her election, the United Kingdom’s economy was suffering from high unemployment rates, high inflation, and of course, from the negative consequences of the Cold War. The UK definitely needed an ‘Iron Lady.’ Thatcher responded to the UK’s crippling economy by introducing important economic policy reforms. This included financial deregulation, reducing income tax, privatizing certain industries and reducing the power of trade unions. While Thatcher faced many obstacles during her time in office, she remained persistent on bettering the livelihoods of the British public and ensuring Britain was on the path to economic growth. Thatcher’s economic reforms were very successful. Britain’s economic productivity increased and the economy became more competitive in the long-term. In addition, the inflation Britain was experiencing fell tremendously during Thatcher’s leadership. 

It is equally important to highlight the strong and ambitious character of Margaret Thatcher. She represented strong female leadership, especially at a time when female representation in politics was low. Thatcher demonstrated that women are very much capable of successfully leading a nation and standing against any aggressors. She fiercely defended the interests of Britain and the right for people to have a say in how they ought to be governed. Thanks to Thatcher’s strong leadership, Britain won the Falklands War against Argentina. And we can’t forget Thatcher’s pivotal role in helping defeat communism and ending the Cold War, which is something we should all be grateful for!

Margaret Thatcher was undeniably one of the most prominent female political figures in history. Her legacy of free-market and low taxes carries on today. In fact, her political ideology and economic policies are widely referred to as ‘Thatcherism.’ Thatcher’s ideas were certainly revolutionary and remain relevant, perhaps even more so now given the economic hardships we are currently facing.

These are certainly trying times for Albertans. COVID-19, collapsing oil prices and an ongoing recession have all contributed to the high unemployment rate Alberta is experiencing. This has had a devastating impact on the well-being of many people across our province. Our economic recovery is critical, which is why our government is committed to boosting Alberta’s economic growth and ensuring a better and more prosperous future for all Albertans.

We’ve got a plan! The Alberta Recovery Plan aims to create many jobs and make our province the most attractive environment for global investment. We have reduced the general business tax rate from 10% to 8%, which will boost our economic growth and create around 55,000 new jobs in the private sector. Through our red tape reduction, we will reduce the unnecessary regulations and barriers for business. In addition, our government has allocated $10 billion towards infrastructure projects; we are building roads, bridges, schools and so much more, which will create thousands of jobs in our province. Our government’s priority is getting Albertans back to work. In the words of Margaret Thatcher, “We Conservatives hate unemployment” (Speech to the Conservative Party Conference, 10 October 1975). 

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