The Autumn Statement – Tory failure confirmed

The Chancellor’s economic plans offer little hope for the future and yet more austerity, writes Ken Livingstone.

THE Tory Chancellor Philip Hammond’s Autumn Statement confirmed that in the years ahead for Britain the picture is pretty gloomy — tax receipts will fall, inflation will rise, wages will stagnate and growth will decline.

Contrary to some claims in the media in the run-up to this week, the Autumn Statement also confirmed the failures — and the continuation of — the Tories’ ideologically driven austerity economic policies over the last six years, where those who did nothing to cause the global economic crash have paid the price of the pain that followed.
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Austerity is a political choice not an economic necessity

The Tory government is sticking to plans for more austerity, no matter what the economic or human consequences, writes Ken Livingstone.

Since my last Morning Star column, a leading think tank has forecast a £25 billion hole in the public finances by the end of the current parliament.

The Institute for Fiscal Studies (IFS) report says that lower growth forecasts and higher inflation will leave government tax receipts £31bn worse off in 2019-2020 — turning a forecast surplus of £14.9bn into a deficit of £10.4bn.
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Give Temer the elbow

Brazil’s President Dilma Rousseff was impeached over budgetary manoeuvres that have been carried out by numerous presidents, including Barack Obama. Ken Livingstone believes coup-installed president Michel Temer represents a major threat to democracy.

In Brazil, right wing neo-liberal policies are so unpopular that they have been consistently rejected at the ballot box in presidential elections for the last 13 years. Unable to achieve electoral victory, the only way to implement the neoliberal measures has been through the illegitimate impeachment of Dilma Rousseff, a move that’s seen hundreds of thousands out in protest calling for new elections in cities across the country and protesting against newly appointed President Michel Temer.
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Tory contempt for those in need of social housing

The funding of new homes by direct government borrowing is highly efficient, writes Ken Livingstone.

AS PART of his successful campaign to be re-elected Labour leader this summer, Jeremy Corbyn pledged to “build a million new homes in five years, with at least half a million council homes, through our public investment strategy. We will end insecurity for private renters by introducing rent controls, secure tenancies and a charter of private tenants’ rights, and increase access to affordable home ownership.”

Such a bold and radical approach is exactly what we need to tackle the housing crisis, boost the economy and win votes for Labour.
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Game-changer for Labour

Labour conference this week confirmed the party now has a radical and credible economic alternative that can win an election, writes Ken Livingstone.

Labour’s conference this week saw a series of policy announcements and keynote speeches that set out a real vision for a better Britain.

In re-electing Jeremy Corbyn by a landslide, Labour’s grassroots showed that they understand that the extent of the deepening problems facing Britain, including our long-term structural economic problems, need a response that is radical, credible and can be popular on the doorstep.
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Bring our railways back to the people

Jeremy Corbyn’s policy of a people’s railway can be a popular alternative for Labour, writes Ken Livingstone.

THE current and ongoing issues with Southern Rail should be another nail in the coffin of the failed experiment that has been the privatisation of our railways.

It is just the latest in a series of examples that illustrate just what a bad deal for taxpayers the privatisation of the railways has turned out to be, from the fiasco of Railtrack — which brought the national rail network to the brink of collapse in 2002 — to the issues around Metronet — in charge at one point of two-thirds of the misguided public private partnership (PPP) on the Tube — to the temporary nationalisation of the East Coast line, to the chaos around Southern today.
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Jeremy Corbyn’s new politics and economics can win for Labour

It is not because he can’t win a General Election that the establishment is trying every trick in the book to remove Jeremy Corbyn, it is precisely because they are concerned he can win, and then transform Britain.

Since his landslide win in the contest to be Labour leader last September, the Jeremy Corbyn-led Labour Party has continually and consistently opposed the Tories’ austerity agenda.

In this short time he has already delivered significant change, and has started to shift the framework of political debate in Britain.
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Only Corbyn can restore people’s trust in politics

Jeremy Corbyn was proven right: those supporting him are right again, writes Ken Livingstone.

THE vote to leave the European Union represented many things. But it is clear that one of the issues that motivated voters was a profound distrust of politicians.

Nobody on the left believed that Tory Brexit leaders would see £350 million per week channelled to the NHS, but even a majority of Conservative voters refused to buy whatever David Cameron was trying to sell.
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Britain’s economy needs a radical transformation – Jeremy Corbyn is the man to deliver this

It is my strong and long-held belief that what holds back Britain’s economy is a lack of investment, both public and private, which is now running at its lowest level since World War II.

Nearly all economists now agree that investment is not just the most important factor in economic growth, but outweighs all others put together.

This is why, for example, when the Con-Dem coalition first took power and drastically cut back on the last Labour government’s investment spending, it pushed our economy back into recession.
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Corbyn’s programme can transform Britain’s economy

Jeremy Corbyn’s 10 pledges give Labour the economic alternative it needs to beat the Tories and regenerate society, writes Ken Livingstone.

WHILE some Labour parliamentarians sadly seem to be continuing to focus their energies on attacking Jeremy Corbyn, it was good to see shadow chancellor John McDonnell explain on the Radio 4 Today programme this week that the productivity problems Britain faces are a product of a lack of long-term investment, and that is now what is needed to deliver both sustainable growth and social justice following the EU referendum result.
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