The UK economy remains mired in stagnation caused by the crisis of investment. The official forecasts for UK growth point to the weakest expansion in the economy in the modern era, since 1945.
Labour took its first step to economic credibility by Jeremy Corbyn’s appointment of John McDonnell as Shadow Chancellor. It was vital to appoint someone who would break from the confused economic policies pursued by previous Labour administrations and in opposition. John McDonnell’s was the correct appointment and he proved it immediately and at Labour conference. His establishing the position that Labour would not run a budget deficit over the course of the business cycle on current expenditure, but would borrow for investment, was precisely the correct position. It was in line with the theoretical analyses of both Marx and Keynes. It provided the framework for the other correct polices that began to be laid out at the Labour Party conference – for example on the National Investment Bank, opposition to removing the budget deficit by cuts to welfare.
By Christina Prentice
Cameron’s attempt to regain the political agenda over the cost of living crisis by pledging to “roll back green charges” on energy bills was not only cynical but damaging and should be actively opposed.
Cynical because Cameron knows that green and social investment to insulate the leaky homes of older people and people in fuel poverty are not the main drivers of energy bill hikes – gas prices and super profits are. In the last eight years, energy bills have risen by £520. The Committee on Climate Change says that the vast majority of this has been because of the rising price of gas. Low carbon technologies have added just £30 in that time.
By Nicky Dempsey
The growing recognition that the 2015 election is Labour’s to lose has led to increasing rightwing pressures on the Labour leadership to maintain the essential thrust of ‘austerity’ policy.
The overwhelmingly Tory press focuses on the demand that Ed Miliband in particular commits to maintaining Tory spending plans.
By Jane West
The combination of the news that the UK economy remains in a double dip recession with July’s sharp and unpredicted increase in public sector borrowing were widely recognised as still further evidence that the disastrous ‘deficit cutting’ strategy of Osborne and the coalition government is failing.
By Nicky Dempsey
Denmark’s rightist government is the latest in the EU to fall because of its handling of the economic crisis. Prime Minister Lars Løkke Rasmussen announced on Friday 26 August that Denmark will hold parliamentary elections on 15 September.