Even the most ardent free marketeer accepts that there is some degree of subsidy needed to support low income earners or necessary industries that are not commercially viable. This has particularly been the case through the pandemic. But what’s the best way of applying these subsidies? If you pay directly to companies will you be inhibiting efficiencies and competition. If you pay directly to consumers how do you know they will spend the as you intended? Should governments be offering payments to individuals that can only be spent in a particular way? And how do you avoid political motivation behind the issuing of subsidies. This week the government published the UK Subsidy Control Bill, which sets out the rules that apply to local authorities and national governments, but not the UK government. To no media scrutiny whatsoever.
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