Thursday, 18 September 2014

Labour must break with austerity

The letter below signed by prominent economists and economic campaigners has been published in The Guardian on Friday urging Labour to break with austerity.

It comes as Labour members and affiliates assemble in Manchester this weekend for their party conference:
The Coalition's spending plans for the next Parliament are an intensification of austerity, demanding what even the Institute for Fiscal Studies calls unsustainable cuts to public services. Under the coalition government poverty has increased, living standards have fallen dramatically, and homelessness and dependence on food banks is rising. In contrast corporate profits and reserves are holding up nicely and executive pay is increasing at more than ten times the average wage.

Given the Labour Party started this Parliament by saying government austerity was 'too far, too fast' it is extremely disappointing that the Party leadership has said it will adhere to the coalition government's re-intensified austerity for 2015-16. This commitment, including to the government's 1% pay cap policy, will only intensify the economic and social damage caused by austerity policies and by reducing demand could easily see the UK slip back into recession early in the next Parliament. Labour must also end the race-to-the-bottom on tax and regulation.

We urge Labour members, MPs, and trade unionists attending Labour Party conference to demand an economic policy that boosts living standards and invests in the economy - and to save their party from a calamitous mistake.

John Christensen, TaxJustice Network
Andrew Fisher, LEAP economics
John Hilary, War on Want
Richard Murphy, Tax Research LLP
Ann Pettifor, Prime Economics
You can hear from many of these signatories on the Labour conference fringe in Manchester:

  • Mon 22 Sep - 5:15pm - Alternatives to Broken Markets and Austerity - with Andrew Fisher, Mariana Mazzucato and Michael Meacher MP at The Old Monkey pub, 90 Portland Street, M1 4GX
  • Mon 22 Sep - 6:30pm - Policies for a Labour Victory - with Owen Jones, Dennis Skinner MP, John McDonnell MP, Ian Lavery MP, Rezana Azam, Ian Hodson, Andrew Fisher, Ellen Clifford, Joyce Shepherd & Steve Hall at Cross Street Chapel, Cross Street, M2 1NL
  • Tue 23 Sep - 12:30pm - Building a recovery for all - with Mark Serwotka, Richard Murphy & Francesca Martinez at Manchester Central, Charter 3 (inside the security zone)
  • Tue 23 Sep - 12:30pm - Fighting corporate abuse: Beyond predatory capitalism - Prem Sikka, Martin Parker, Tom Hadden, Hugh Willmott, Sol Piciotto, Glenn Morgan, Paddy Ireland & Gordon Pearson at Friends Meeting House, Mount Street, M2 5NS

1 comment:

Peter Martin said...

Yes certainly Labour should break with austerity economics. It is good that we do have some distinguished economists on our side, but there are 'distinguished economists' on the other side too. I am not sure why they are regarded as such, but we can all have a theory about that.

Labour therefore needs to also try to explain why they, the economic neo-liberals, are wrong.

This is my attempt at doing just that: