John McDonnell MP Blog Headlines
We are meeting just a few weeks ahead of the Budget and, more significantly, perhaps just a few weeks from Article 50 being signed and Britain beginning the process of leaving the European Union.
Labour voted to give the government authority to begin that process, but we have not handed them a blank cheque. The next two years or more will involve intense negotiations and scrutiny of the government and other positions. But more than this, I believe they will involve a significant national conversation about the kind of society and economy we want to live in.
Amongst all the many interpretations of the vote to Leave the EU, it is clear to all sides that it was a vote for change. The status quo is no longer an option. We have to now do things differently from the past.
That means a recognition once more that securing the prosperity of our manufacturing sector is the key to securing the prosperity of the wider economy. Labour will place support for our manufacturing sector at the centre of its approach to Brexit, and at the heart of its economic policymaking.
It was obvious even before the Brexit vote that our economy was not functioning as it should. Productivity growth has stagnated. Since the crash, it has been too easy for some employers to substitute cheap labour for capital investment. The result has been a proliferation of jobs – but a collapse in wages. Real hourly pay is still 10% below its level of a decade ago.
Mark Carney, governor of the Bank of England, has called this a “lost decade” for living standards. It is unprecedented in British history –...
“The discussion of the challenges for the modern world of work posed by the so called ‘gig economy’ are nothing new. They represent an age-old threat to diminish the hard-won workplace rights, terms and conditions offered by full-time employment.
“However, as technology changes so too does the nature of the threat to job security in the new world of work. That is why it’s exciting to see the ideas and the discussions on how we can help build the economy and society of the future that secures sustainable, well paid jobs.
“Rather than running away from innovation and technological advances, we need to see where we can use them to adapt to the challenges they may present to full-time work.
“The power that these changes in technology give us all is the ability to pool our collective talents and skills and produce wealth not just for the benefit of a tiny handful at the top, but for all of us. It can help us mitigate the potential growth in the ‘Uberisation’ of the workplace.
“Digital technology means there is no longer a convincing reason to allow the wealth of society to be taken by a tiny elite, instead of shared for the many. The old rules...
“I welcome this report, which has been produced by some of the leading experts in our country who have worked closely with the Treasury. Labour will be responding in full in the coming weeks to the review.
"Labour asked Sir Bob Kerslake to head up a review into the Treasury because we needed to have a serious and thorough examination of one of the most important pillars of government, and the cornerstone of economic policy making in our country.
"The Treasury is our most important economic policymaking institution, but one that has been criticised by some for its approach and attitudes.
“This review will help shape Labour's economic policy, as well as being a first important step in setting a new direction for the Treasury in the 21st Century. The views of the former head of the Civil Service are ones that should be taken on board right across the economic and political spectrum in our country.
"As Sir Bob has made clear, we need the Treasury in the 21st century to be not only able to meet the big challenges of the day such as Brexit, but also one that focusses on all corners of our country, so that no one and no community is left behind. Therefore, I am deeply concerned that the review has raised this as...
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