Shadow Chancellor John McDonnell took the opportunity presented by his pre-Budget speech to present a blueprint for the next Labour government’s economic policies to the public.
He said the aim was to reverse years of under-investment, restore the economy to health and bring prosperity back to the millions – not just the elite.
But you’ll already know that as it has been thoroughly reported in the mainstream media – on TV, radio and in the press. Right?
No. I thought not.
Okay – we’ll do it here. The following are extracts from Mr McDonnell’s speech.
“Labour will never break from the fundamental principle that our National Health Service should be free at the point of use. And we will reverse Tory privatisation, by renationalising the NHS.
“We must show those expected to pay for the NHS that their tax money is well-spent. Hypothecation – allocating taxes raised to specific purposes, can make absolutely clear where tax money is being spent.
“It can help restore the trust and confidence in taxation and government spending that has otherwise started to break down.”
He said: “Our Fiscal Credibility Rule and commitment to invest means the next Labour government will break with the failures of the past.
“We will bring down the deficit whilst committing real government resources to increase investment.
“By the end of the next Labour government, the national debt, relative to trend GDP, will be lower than what we will inherit.
“We’ll reverse years of underinvestment across the whole country… We’ll introduce legislation to correct the bias in investment funding for the regions.”
“There’ll be no place to hide for tax avoiders under Labour. Our Tax Transparency and Enforcement Programme will clamp down on the worst avoiders.
“And building on the successful Nordic model, we’ll introduce legislation to make public the tax returns of those earning over £1m. This will help restore public trust in the tax system – and help clamp down on any avoidance”
He said: “Labour is committed to delivering one million new houses, and building a new generation of council housing.”
“Alongside the National Investment Bank, the next Labour government will create a network of regional development banks that will supply the funding needed on the ground for local businesses to flourish.”
“The railways will be renationalised by Labour.”
“We’ll… introduce a “Right to Own” for workers, giving them first refusal on taking control of companies undergoing a change of ownership.
“We’ll support investment by manufacturing firms by removing plant and machinery from business rates.
“And we’ll reform corporate governance laws to block raiders trashing profitable companies and bankrupting pension funds.
“We want our large corporations to work for the public good – not against it. So we’ll also introduce a fair pay ratio to stop top bosses paying themselves excessively.
“We’ll use the power of government procurement, backed up by the National Investment Bank, to deliver a massive expansion of industries like renewables where the global potential is enormous and our natural resources so significant.”
Pay and benefits
“The public sector pay cap will be lifted.
“We’ll repeal the Trade Union Act.
“And of course we’ll halt the austerity cuts to in-work benefits and payments to people with disabilities.”
“The next Labour government will break the cartel of the Big 6 energy suppliers, creating the conditions for local, decentralised, low-carbon energy by supporting local authorities and co-operatives.”
“We’ll target 3% of GDP spent on scientific research, from all sources, to deliver on the huge potential of our scientific research base.”
Your comments are invited.