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, 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 10 times the average wage.
Given that the Labour party started this parliament saying government austerity was “too far, too fast” it is extremely disappointing that the party leadership has said it will adhere to the coalition’s reintensified austerity for 2015-16. This commitment, including to the 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. 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 Tax Justice Network
Andrew Fisher LEAP economics
John Hilary War on Want
Richard Murphy Tax Research LLP
Ann Pettifor Prime Economics
Professor Prem Sikka