Full Employment and an Economy that Works for All

“We will create a million good quality jobs across our regions and guarantee a decent job for all.
By investing £500 billion in infrastructure, manufacturing and new industries backed by a publicly-owned National Investment Bank, supported by regional banks. We will build a high skill, high tech, low carbon economy that ends austerity and leaves no one and nowhere left behind. We will invest in high speed broadband, energy, transport and homes that our country needs and allow good businesses to thrive. We will support a new generation of co-operative enterprises”

The Budget presented by Phillip Hammond yesterday was described by Jeremy Corbyn as ‘complacent’.

The Labour party is committed to improving the employment and life chances of everyone, and the key difference between Labour and the Conservatives is that Labour believes that Government has a responsibility to do this.

To invest in infrastructure, which in turn will generate income through taxation as more people are able to move into well paid secure jobs, and off benefits and zero hours contracts.

We, as Labour Party members and members of Collective Voice, understand the difficulties millions of people are facing after 6 years of cuts, wage freezes, redundancies and no investment.  Many of us have been through and are currently going through the same challenges. Labour members who are working pay their taxes willingly, knowing that it’s their duty to contribute to the greater good.

As Jeremy said yesterday, all of the pain people have suffered over the last 6 years has not reduced the deficit at all. It wasn’t really about paying the deficit off. It was simply about shrinking the state, to fit with the Tory ideology that that the market works to ‘trickle down’ wealth, and that it is up to individuals to fend for themselves.

Whether it was Maggie Thatcher, saying “there’s no such thing as society” or David Cameron’s disastrous Big Society idea, to Theresa May allowing public services to be destroyed whilst claiming to be on the side of working people, the Tories simply do not believe that the state should be responsible for ensuring that everyone has decent services.

 

So Labour is completely different. We believe that if we provide the infrastructure to support people to reach their potential, earn good wages, and have a decent standard of living – we all benefit.

We believe that taxation should be progressive. Those who have more should pay a higher proportion for the good of everyone.

In contrast the Tories have reduced Corporation tax on the biggest companies, from 28% to 19%. At the same time INCREASING national insurance for self-employed people earning as little as £8k per year.

Less than 24 hours after the budget speech there are rumours of a U Turn on that one, but it clearly shows their thinking. Sting the lower paid to protect the richest.

Labour’s plans may sound very expensive and people rightly want to understand where the money will come from. The idea that austerity is the key to economic recovery has really taken hold.

However, let’s not forget that it was the Labour Government of 1945/51 that brought us full employment during an age of austerity and much more national debt than we are currently burdened with. The current mantra that we cannot afford investment is just not true. The tax breaks being given to the top companies and lack of appetite to crack down on companies that earn money here but pay taxes elsewhere cannot be allowed to continue.

We will ensure that all business pays its fair share into the tax system and use this to simulate the economy with investment to increase productivity. Trickle-down economics does not work for the many, as we’ve seen with some of our  most profitable companies using zero hours contracts, paying wages under the living wage, being subsidised by Working Families Tax Credits, not to mention the sheer exploitation of some workers as in the case of Sport Direct.

The only sustainable way to build a successful economy is to invest. We will approach the future with confidence and a programme of economic transformation.

We will invest in the infrastructure needed, such as broadband supplied via ultra fast fibre optics which will be delivering speeds up to 300 times the current typical access speeds, this will be the new frontier in connectivity and essential when so much of our life in now conducted this way. Why shouldn’t our towns and cities provide free WiFi access, just as they do in America?
Our transport network needs overhauling, the rail electrification has progressed too slowly. Bottlenecks and delays directly impact on productivity. This means not only delivering on the high speed rail necessary to improve our daily commute but the local improvements realised in local high quality public transport.

The commitment is substantial but this is the scale of investment we need, we have to reverse the damage the Tories have created over the last 6 years, and admittedly that the previous Labour Government also contributed to through following similar policies.

Membership of the Labour party has increased to over 500,000 since Jeremy Corbyn became our leader. Many of us feel at home in the Labour Party for the first time in many years. Labour is for the many not the few.

In the words of Jeremy Corbyn yesterday

‘It’s our duty as a community surely, to ensure all our young people wherever they live have a decent chance to grow up with a library, with a playing field, with a Sure Start centre. It’s not a lot to ask.’

Read a transcript on this site or watch Jeremy’s full speech https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MfqY97N3Bnk

One comment
  1. Labour needs to explain to the voters Keynes’ theory of the multiplier and how it gets us out of low growth. Government spending on infrastructure provides new jobs and the new income is then spent in the economy creating new earnings and new jobs. It’s a virtuous circle which pays back the government in more tax take.
    Austerity cannot do that, it just keeps the economy bumping along the bottom of the graph.
    Giving more to the rich, choice of the present government, cannot generate the kind of multiplier achieved by new payments to people who will spend it all in this country.
    Keynesian economic policies applied from 1945 to 1979 created a golden age. but politicians were too afraid to apply the necessary cuts and tax rises during the upturn of the private sector business cycle, which resulted in excessive inflation. The idea is to spend government money in the downturn and collect it back in the upturn. Stop-go is the only way to run an economy that works for all, but politicians must not be afraid to apply the brakes when necessary.
    Until voters understand how Keynesian policies work, which is slightly counter-intuitive, they will always fall for the line that ‘Labour just wants to spend billions’ and will be taken in by the Thatcherite good housekeeping fallacy. Successful policy for the macro-economy differs from that for a single household or business.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *