1 December 2011

Thinking Paper # 209 : Should the government encourage more public sector shopping holidays?


This week we saw Britain's biggest public sector walk out since Rod Stewart's last haircut.  The media entertained us with apocolyptic visions of mass disruption and "damp squids", and that sinister old Thatcherite, Franny Maude got all angry and up inside your face.  The IIPBA's thoughts go out to all public sector workers struggling on below inflation pay and increasingly weaker pension pots, but we also like to see the good in all situations. 
If all public sector workers were given an extra day off each month to go shopping, would this fix the economy?

Maybe.  Humanity is still pretty set on the idea that going to IKEA or Primark on the weekend will solve everyone's problems.  The IIPBA feels that this is a little too focused on the short term, but before we come up with anything better, I guess we should encourage it.

Anyway.  2 million people had a day off and about 7 people turned up at the picket line.  Maybe more.  The IIPBA was amused to hear that the extra 1.99999 million people took the opportunity to do some Christmas shopping with stores up and down the country reporting record rates of "absolutely heaving" shop floors.  What did they buy?  Who cares right, as long as they're chucking money at the economy.  Brilliant. 

Our back of a fag packet calculations suggest that if public sector workers could strike every week, high street spending would increase by 34% year on year based on quarter 4 consumer confidence predictions.  If we project these estimates into quarter 5, then the UK would see GDP growth spiral to the dizzy heights of just above 1%, the highest growth level in the G7, OECD, EU 15, G20 and BRIC nations combined.   

Final thoughts

Let the people shop. 

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