In April 2013, the famous woman politician, Margaret Thatcher, passed away. Conservative policy measures were not to the liking of many, and the Soviet regime was mercilessly criticized by it.
Today, more than 20 years have passed since her departure from the post of head of the country, which is why the rule of an extraordinary woman is beginning to be shrouded in myths. So where is the truth?
Mrs Thatcher was the best prime minister in British history. There are many worthy applicants for this post, so it makes no sense to choose one. For example, the equally great Churchill described Clement Attlee as an extremely humble person. Even after leaving his post, the politician could walk around London completely unrecognized. But he did a lot to create a welfare state and the National Health Service. Is this small compared to Thatcher's reforms? And she herself did not consider herself such an outstanding politician.
Thatcher destroyed the UK manufacturing base. In fact, many manufacturing enterprises disappeared in the early years of the prime minister's rule, and unemployment rose to 12%. However, the foundation for this was laid even before she came to power. The English economy was exhausted by industrial wars, the satisfaction of unnecessary demand, was gripped by inflation, as a result of which it became uncompetitive. Mechanical engineering and shipbuilding kept afloat only due to state subsidies. By the end of Thatcher’s reign, it was possible, through foreign investment, to restore mechanical engineering and make it competitive. As a result, the volume of industrial production has grown during the years of the Iron Lady's premiership, although its share in GDP has decreased. True, the figure is still higher than, for example, in France.
Thatcher cut government spending. Their volume never fell below 39% of GDP. Thatcher never cut spending on health and social needs. In real terms, under her social spending rose by 80%, while under the new Labor party only by 50%. There are more people living on disability benefits.
Thatcher stopped inflation. Although this was the main task of her economic policy, the prime minister failed to do this. Thatcher described inflation as the judge and jury of its economic measures. The woman inherited high inflation of 10.3%, managed to temporarily lower it, but this caused a recession. By the time of departure, inflation rose again, amounting to 9.7%. Attempts to control prices through administrative measures and pegging to the German mark have failed. Only shock therapy, after leaving Thatcher's case, stopped inflation.
Thatcher destroyed the country's coal industry. Layoffs in the industry began before her, and even after Thatcher's rule, more mines were closed than under her. It should be about the general trend, so the prime minister personally has nothing to do with it.
Thatcher made the country's economy more frugal. This statement is at least controversial. The good news is that at least she charted a course for economy. However, some of its reforms have significantly undermined the private sector in favor of developing the pension system. As a result, some businessmen have become much more interested in the money of pension funds than in the development of production. Even the introduction of personal pensions caused a scandal.
Margaret Thatcher was a beacon of freedom and a fighter against dictators. The myth is dispelled at least by the support of General Pinochet, who is known for his numerous violations of human rights.
Thanks to Thatcher, Britain is once again a great economic power. The IMF maintains tables of the economies of major countries. England's nominal GDP in 1979 was sixth and remained until 1990. The Soviet Union was overtaken, but Italy bypassed England.
Thatcher cut taxes. During her reign, taxes increased from 33.7% to 34.6%. This was a necessary measure to prevent budget deficits due to unemployment and the related economic illness. Although Thatcher cut taxes for the rich, she introduced regressive indirect taxes, like the 1979 VAT hike.
During the premiership, production fell and the service sector rose sharply. The share of production in GDP has actually decreased over these years from 24 to 21%, but the same trend was observed in other developed countries - the USA, Germany, Japan and France.
Thatcher balanced the budget. In the 1980s, the country's budget had a persistent deficit, and when Thatcher resigned, it began to grow. And it would be even worse if the country did not sell off its assets and receive income from oil sources in the North Sea.
Thatcher taught the British to work again. During the recession, Hou's unemployment rose to three million, but in 1990 there were still about 2 million unemployed people in the country.
The prime minister stood at the foundations of the European Union. In 1986 Thatcher signed the Single European Act, which stipulated not only the interaction of European countries, but also the special place of London. The government did not put the treaty to a general referendum (as in Denmark or Ireland) without asking the opinion of the people. Thatcher herself preferred to improve relations with the United States, seeing how Europe was moving in the wrong direction, in her opinion.