The Daily Telegraph has today reported David’s speech on growth.
Mr Davis said the economy needed “shock therapy to jolt it out of the torpor“.
“Inaction could deliver decades of decline and disappointment to a whole new generation.” He suggested the Coalition’s deficit reduction programme had been “too little, too late” and called for a wide-ranging package of support for small and medium-sized companies to kick-start growth and employment.
That meant cutting taxes, regulation and energy costs and ensuring adequate bank lending was available.
“We are not quite out of time. It’s the 11th hour, if not the 59th minute,” Mr Davis said in a speech hosted by the Centre for Policy Studies think tank.
“Our Chancellor is a clever and resourceful man. He should take the opportunity of the Autumn Statement in a few weeks’ time to lay out a plan to reinvigorate Britain.”
Mr Davis said the Government was making “heavy weather” of deficit reduction with growth prospects looking “poor“. He warned the Chancellor that, although he could point to factors outside his control, he had to develop his own response.
“An alibi is not a policy,” he said. “There is a risk that, by focusing on parcelling out blame, we accept our circumstances with too much fatalism.
“In economics, to understand should not be to excuse. The parlous circumstances should not be an excuse for inaction but, rather, a spur to dramatic action.”
He pointed to countries such as Germany and Switzerland that had performed well in similar circumstances “Britain’s problem cannot simply be attributed to bad banks at home and collapsing export markets abroad,” he said.
“If we fear to act because we have anxieties that the alternative policies are too risky, we should start by facing up to the real risk – that inaction could deliver decades of decline and disappointment for a whole generation.”
He went on: “What is needed is a modern shock therapy for our economy, to jolt it out of its torpor. When one of the possible futures facing us is decades in the economic doldrums, what looks risky may in fact be the safest course.”
He urged the Government to exclude small businesses from swathes of red tape and to cut taxes – especially what he termed “the employment killers” of capital gains tax, employer’s National Insurance and corporation tax.