Truss’s jibe at British workers shows that she fails to understand the problem | Larry Elliott

It will doubtless come as a surprise to British workers toiling in distribution warehouses, call centres or the NHS that Liz Truss thinks they could do with showing “more graft”.

Judging by comments made when she was chief secretary to the Treasury, the frontrunner to be prime minister thinks the UK’s economic problems are down to a working culture quite different from that in communist China.

Truss is right in one respect. The UK does lag behind many other western countries in the productivity league table. Across the G7 group of major industrial countries, the average worker produces 13% more an hour than the average British worker and the gap is getting bigger.

Official data also appears to show a divide between London and the rest of the country, with workers in the capital…

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