Shadow cabinet members refuse to serve in posts Corbyn might well not offer, citing economic policies they clearly haven’t read
So writes MP John McDonnell in the Guardian. Mr McDonnell is author of the superb book, ‘Another World is Possible: a manifesto for 21st century socialism’, a challenge to New Labour that put forward a set of new ideas, principles and policies. He adds:
“As people wake up to the prospect of Jeremy Corbyn actually being able to win the Labour leadership, the reaction has become increasingly hysterical, especially from elements of the Labour establishment”
McDonnell notes that the ‘near panic’ is especially evident in its response to the counterproductive strategy outlined by Corbyn’s team of economic advisers, whose rebukes to Labour supporters have simply made them more determined to work for beneficial change. He continues (summarised):
The vast majority who didn’t cause the economic crisis shouldn’t have to pay for it
“Let me make it absolutely clear that Labour under Jeremy Corbyn is committed to eliminating the deficit and creating an economy in which we live within our means . . . (but) we don’t believe that the vast majority of middle and low-income earners who didn’t cause the economic crisis should have to pay for it through cuts in tax credits, pay freezes, and cuts in essential services.
“We believe we can tackle the deficit by:
- halting the tax cuts to the very rich and to corporations,
- making sure they pay their taxes,
- and by investing in the housing and infrastructure a modern country needs to get people back to work in good jobs.
“We accept that cuts in public spending will help eliminate the deficit, but our cuts won’t be to the middle-and low-income earners and certainly not to the poor.
“Our cuts will be to:
- the subsidies paid to landlords milking the housing benefit system,
- to the £93bn in subsidies to corporations,
- and to employers exploiting workers with low wages and leaving the rest of us to pick up the tab.
“All the factors that caused the 2007-8 crisis are currently reappearing on the scene – frozen or low incomes, low productivity, asset inflation especially in housing, a hands-off government turning a blind eye to loose credit expansion and City speculation, and a growing debt bubble.
“Just like 2007 all it needs is a spark like Northern Rock to set things off again. The rehypothecation taking place in the bond markets could be the trigger this time, when the US starts unwinding its quantitative easing programme”.
Alongside deficit elimination, the Corbyn campaign is advocating a fundamental reform of our economic system
“This will include:
- the introduction of an effective regulatory regime for our banks and financial sector;
- a full-blown Glass-Steagall system to separate day-to-day and investment banking;
- legislation to replace short-term shareholder value with long-term sustainable economic and social responsibilities as the prime objective of companies;
- radical reform of the failed auditing regime; the extension of a wider range of forms of company and enterprise ownership and control including public, co-operative and stakeholder ownership;
- and the introduction of a financial transactions tax to fund the rebalancing of our economy towards production and manufacturing.
“Public ownership does have an important role to play, but this will be through smart forms of 21st-century common ownership and control. For example, rail will be renationalised, but with a form of joint management involving workers and passenger representatives. Energy would be socialised from below by the massive expansion of renewable energy production and supply by local communities, local authorities and co-ops on the successful German model, removing the monopoly of the big six energy companies.
“Politicians have patronised and talked down to us all when it comes to our economy, but ordinary working people have to manage on incomes significantly lower than the likes of George Osborne and his friends in the City. They could teach the bankers and many commentators a thing or two about managing a budget responsibly. Given the opportunity, we will use the sound common sense of our people.
Yesterday, Labour leadership candidate Jeremy Corbyn MP, outlined his vision for a more productive and fairer economy for all at a policy seminar.
If believed, it is logical to cut taxes for the rich and big business, not to bother to invest in the workforce, and be intensely relaxed about the running down of public services as is happening.
He affirmed: “Where there are tough choices, we will always protect public services and support for the most vulnerable”.
Corbyn’s alternative, laid out in The Economy in 2020 and accessed via the campaign website, is to build a rebalanced, prosperity-focused economy, based on growth and high quality jobs.
His leadership campaign has no big private donors. He wants Labour to become a democratic social movement again, dedicated to real change:
”Cuts are not the way to prosperity; Britain needs a publicly-led expansion and reconstruction of the economy, with a big rise in investment levels. We must ensure that our national housing, transport, digital and energy networks are among the best in the world.
“This requires the establishment of an National Investment Bank to promote infrastructure upgrades and support for innovation. Labour 2020 will make large reductions in the £93 billion of corporate tax relief and subsidies. These funds can be used to establish the National Investment Bank to head a multi-billion pound programme of infrastructure upgrades and support for high-tech and innovative industries”.
On taxation and tax justice, Jeremy argued: “Paying tax is not a burden. It is the subscription we pay to live in a civilised society. A collective payment we all make for the collective goods we all benefit from: schools, hospitals, libraries, street lights, pensions, the list is endless.
“Under these plans outlined today Labour 2020 will make the tax system more progressive, and follow a five-point plan to tackle tax avoidance and evasion:
- Stronger anti-avoidance rules brought into UK tax law.
- The aim of country-by-country reporting for multinational corporations.
- Reform of small business taxation to tackle avoidance and evasion.
- Enforce proper regulation of companies in the UK to ensure that they pay what they owe.
- A reversal of the cuts to staff in HMRC and at Companies House, taking on more staff at both, to ensure that HMRC can collect the taxes the country so badly needs.
“The UK has shifted from taxing income and wealth to taxing consumption; and from taxing corporations to taxing individuals. We must ensure that those with the most, pay the most, not just in monetary terms but proportionally too.”
“What responsible government committed to closing the deficit would give a tax break to the richest 4% of households?”
Government: instead of saving ‘tiny sums’ on welfare reform, address tax avoidance & white-collar fraud
A lead from The Brummie:
“The ‘savings’ made by denying the basic human rights of the most vulnerable will do nothing to reduce the deficit as the sums involved are tiny compared to the tax avoidance, corruption and fraud perpetrated by the already wealthy and privileged.”
The blogger – The Plastic Hippo – sees these “reforms” as nothing more than ideological dogma, an attack on a fair society and an insult to civilization.