Martin Lewis urges Rishi Sunak to 'rethink' energy levy
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The Chancellor yesterday had taken to social media to advertise the fact he was proud of the British economy and the number of people involved in making it great. However, it was one of the many people the Chancellor claimed had contributed to the economy who called out Mr Sunak.
The Chancellor’s tweet read: “It’s thanks to the smartest scientists, the hardest working volunteers, the longest booster queues and the savviest business owners.
“That we were the fastest growing economy in the G7 last year… Proud.”
Mr Sunak ended his tweet with a flexing muscle and Union Jack emoji.
However, one scientist disagreed with the Chancellor.
Replying to Mr Sunak, Mike Galsworthy, the founder of Scientists 4EU and the Bylines Network said: “As a ‘smart scientist’ – I wish to point out your data misrepresentation.
“Statistics need context.
“The main reason why UK 2021 GDP growth was so high (7.5 percent) was because UK 2020 GDP hit (-9.4 percent) was so hard.
“Overall, UK growth behind peers across pandemic.”
It appears when GDP is calculated against the huge financial losses suffered as a result of the pandemic, and certain political decisions, the UK is in fact lagging behind.
The largest growth witnessed by UK peers is in fact being experienced by the USA at around 1.4 percent.
Over the pandemic, France, Germany, Italy, Canada, the UK and Japan all suffered losses.
Speaking to Express.co.uk, Mr Galsworthy said: “I was sad to see the angle by Mr Sunak was emulated by other departments.
“Having done data analysis, with vast databases for decades, that kind of presentation on an academic paper would not get past a peer review.
“There has to be more evidence of what is being said.
“However, there is some good news going forward to 2022, there are indications suggesting the economy will pick up.”
The scientist also argued the pandemic was not the sole reason for the slump in the British economy.
Mr Galsworthy said: “The financial damage from Brexit can be masked by the pandemic.
“With Brexit, it will be a longer slower headache, as we enter a stickier trading and movement environment.
“The pandemic was an instant hit to the economy, but Brexit is still going through a transition period and we have yet to fully see its full impact.”
Adding to how better measure the growth and recovery from the slump, Mr Galsworthy suggested looking at the social divide as a gauge.
He said: “We are far too much focused on GDP as a race between countries.
“Different countries have different growth rates and varying forms of population growth from migration.
“We need to look at the matrix of society across living standards as opposed to focusing solely on GDP.
“This will give a better indication of growth and stability.”
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Britain has recently witnessed a strong rise in the cost of living, in part sparked by supply chain issues, yet also from barriers preventing efficient trade.
In terms of scientific investment, Mr Galsworthy suggested Britain is missing out on vital funding from the EU Horizon programme.
He said: “In 2016 there was immediate concern on the UK role in Horizon, in spite of Government guarantees.”
Mr Galsworthy said: “Between 2007-2016 the UK and Germany were in joint first place in terms of total money won from the Horizon programme.
“This was a competitive process, and both were winning most of the funding, with the UK leading on many projects due to English being the common language of science.
“In 2017, the UK was behind Germany, 2018, behind Germany and France, 2019 behind Germany, France and Spain, and in 2020, just ahead of the Netherlands in 5th place.”
In a chilling revelation of funding losses, Mr Galsworthy said: “If he had kept going, we would have had a £1.5billion extra funding for British science, we took a 30 percent hit.”
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He continued: “There is a new Horizon Europe project running from 2020 to 2024, but because of the Northern Ireland (NI) protocol issue yet to be resolved, the sign off hasn’t been done, and there have been many dozens of projects that have failed to secure EU funding.
“We are hence missing out on more of the funding as a result of stalls in the NI talks.
“This is essentially giving the UK a handicap in the race to secure much-needed science funding, which hurts our international leadership in science, both in terms of policy and being the leaders in science due to language as well as the infrastructure.”
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