chapter  6
13 Pages

Britain under Thatcher

Macroeconomic policy changed significantly under Mrs Thatcher. Under her premiership, the monetarist policies pursued by the Callaghan government were intensified. To Mrs Thatcher, and her first Chancellor Geoffrey Howe, it was the only important macroeconomic tool that the government should be using. Influenced by thinkers like F. A. Hayek, Mrs Thatcher was concerned to bolster the operation of the market economy by freeing up the supply of labour: if that meant restricting the collective rights of workers in trade unions, so be it. Mrs Thatcher was personally one of the most readily recognised world faces in the 1980s, and won high personal popularity in Eastern Europe as the Cold War was ending. Britain certainly became a more unequal society during the 1980s, although it is likely that with technological and industrial change, this polarisation would have occurred to some extent without Mrs Thatcher at the helm.