Austerity measures are integral to the current economic policies of the US and UK. They amount to an all-round attack on wages and the social wage while there is a temporary boost to demand. That is why it is extremely foolish and misleading to compare them to the policies of Corbyn, McDonnell or Keynes.
Keir Starmer’s speech on A New Chapter for Britain was heralded as a breakthrough moment where he would simultaneously set out his vision for the economy and society while beginning to outline a wholly different economic policy.
If that was its purpose, it failed miserably in every respect.
Already reeling from job losses and pay cuts, workers and those on fixed incomes will see their living standards fall even further, if central bankers’ policy to increase inflation is successful.
The following article by Michael Burke, on the economic framework being set out by Labour’s Shadow Chancellor John McDonnell, was previously published by Socialist Economic Bulletin.
Labour lost the last general election because it had no economic credibility, as the overwhelming bulk of opinion polls show. John McDonnell’s new ‘Fiscal Credibility Rule’ decisively and correctly addresses that issue.
The following article, by Michael Burke and John Ross, on Labour’s economic policy, was previously published by Socialist Economic Bulletin.
Labour is now carrying out extremely effective campaigning against Tory policies – on tax credits, on the sweetheart Google taxation deal, in support of the junior doctors and pinning the responsibility for the crisis in the NHS squarely on the Tories. This excellent work needs to continue and be strengthened.
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.