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The Observer view on how Britain’s crises can be fixed by a shift in political culture | Observer editorial

Only generous-spirited, long-term approach can tackle the catastrophes of poor growth, a crumbling NHS and a dysfunctional housing market

Last year will be remembered as the most turbulent for the global economy since the 2008 financial crisis. Russia’s invasion of Ukraine drove an enormous increase in global energy prices, which led to inflation spiking across the world. And 2023 will be tougher still for many Britons; it will be a year of falling real pay at a time when the cost of essentials has never been higher.

The government would like us to believe this is purely the product of these global headwinds. But the truth is that a series of long-term structural problems has left the UK more vulnerable to massive global shocks than many other countries. From the dysfunctional housing market to sluggish economic growth to a complete failure to grapple with the consequences of an ageing population, these problems have been neglected by governments of both colours in past years, but have been made progressively worse by 12 years of Conservative rule. If they remain unaddressed they will stymie people’s quality of life for decades.

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