“GDP measures what is produced and sold, but says nothing about whether this is desirable or not.”
Writing in The Guardian, Dan Button says:
“This morning, the Office for National Statistics (ONS) released the latest set of GDP figures. It is a familiar exercise common to most countries: a day when the broad state of an economy is judged according to small changes in a single indicator.
Yet last week, New Zealand broke new ground by eschewing GDP in favour of wellbeing as a guiding indicator when setting budgets and assessing government policy. Bids to the Treasury for money from now on will not only need a cost-benefit analysis, but an assessment of their wellbeing impact. Decisions about spending will be made on the basis of a project’s contribution to the wellbeing of the population, measured through four dimensions: human capital; social capital; natural capital; and financial and physical capital. It follows the Welsh government’s innovative Well-being of Future Generations Act, which places a legal requirement on public bodies in Wales to think about the long-term social, cultural, environmental and economic wellbeing impact of their decisions.
These are radical steps in the right direction that the UK should learn from by adopting a broader range of indicators when deciding how to spend money …”
Read more here.