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To What Extent Did Margret Thatcher Impact The British Economy

2099 words - 9 pages

A. Plan of Investigation
The purpose of this investigation is to analyze to what extent did Margret Thatcher, the prime minister of the United Kingdom, impact Britain's economy from 1997-1990. This analysis will look at themes revolving around her impact on the trade unions, tax rates, her impact on unemployment in the UK and her role in the Lawson Boom in the 1980s. However, how other neighboring countries besides the US were affected when Margaret Thatcher came to power will not be investigated. In order to research these themes, news articles in BBC will be used to help find how Margret Thatcher changed Britain and its economy. In Addition, books such as the "No Such Thing as Society" and other online journals will be used. This investigation will include an evaluation of the origin, purpose, value and limitations of the sources used for research.
B. Summary of Evidence
Tax Rates
• Tried hard to tame inflation, controlled public spending. "Getting people to believe inflation would fall, and so reduce their wage demands, was the aim" (Pym Hugh)
• Economic policy was known as Monetarism ("Thatcher's economic policies")
• Reduce it by placing higher interest rates and enforcing higher taxes and spending cuts (Smith David).
• Income tax was cut from 83% to 60% and the standard rate of income tax was cut from 33% to 30% (McSmith Andy, 25).
• Thatcher believed in the freedom of entrepreneurs (Laissez-faire) to create wealth through their own companies (Pym Hugh)
• "Reduce inflation running at over 20% in 1979, reduce budget deficit, increase efficiency of economy, and reduce power of trade union". (Pettinger Tejvan)
• Pound valuable: worth $1.63 but after a total of five years, the pound was worth $2.42 (McSmith Andy, 25).
• British businesses: become more competitive with their prices (Pettinger Tejvan).
• VAT (Value added tax) was increased but not doubled (McSmith Andy)
• Public spending increased: Thatcher was able to increase public spending from 44.3 to 47.3 percent (McSmith Andy).
Trade Unions
• Labor markets were "rigid, inflexible, and in many ways uncompetitive" (Pettinger Tejvan).
• 1980: trade union membership fell (Pettinger Tejvan)
• She ended the right to secondary picketing, closed shops, compulsory ballots. There was also a decline in trade union power and British manufacturing (Adam Taylor)
• economy lost around 62,000 worker years of production (Taylor Adam)
• British rate of lost production: 150% higher than in the United States.
• Lost of production: less than 5% when Thatcher came to power (1970) (Taylor, Adam)
• GDP & unemployment: 3 million (1980). (Pettinger Tejvan)
• Housing market: "home owning democracy" idea. 1980s: home ownership rates rose. Therefore. Council houses were bought by tenants. (Pettinger Tejvan)
• 1980s: unemployment was over 2 million (Pettinger Tejvan)
• unemployment rate decreased to 7.1% (Adam Taylor)
Lawson Boom:
• 1985: UK economy grew rapidly...

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