Social and Economic Policy

Labour’s “Workplace 2020”

Author: 

Ira Berkovic

The Labour Party has launched a new initiative, entitled “Workplace2020”, aimed at developing policies for workers’ and trade union rights.

The scheme is part consultation, part policy platform, with Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn announcing that the approach would be “based on full employment, a high-skilled workforce with decent pay, rights of the self-employed and the employed, and a voice that works for a collective bargain.” Unite general secretary Len McCluskey has welcomed the initiative, and says Unite will be encouraging its members to take part in the consultation.

The Labour Party has launched a new initiative, entitled “Workplace2020”, aimed at developing policies for workers’ and trade union rights.

Issues and Campaigns: 

The AWL, Labour and the Left: 

Publications: 

Don’t let the Tories recover!

Author: 

Editorial

A rising mood that cuts are not inevitable, a rising anger against economic inequality, and a rising confidence that alternatives are possible, has damaged the Tories in recent months.

Ian Duncan Smith resigned, demagogically spilling the truth that the Tories have been victimising the worst-off to benefit the rich. That was one of the side-products of the Tories’ splits over Europe, which have seen Tory right-wingers suddenly “discovering” that the NHS is underfunded and suggesting Britain’s EU budget contributions could fill the gap.

A rising mood that cuts are not inevitable, a rising anger against economic inequality, and a rising confidence that alternatives are possible, has damaged the Tories in recent months.

Trade Unions: 

The AWL, Labour and the Left: 

Around the world: 

Issues and Campaigns: 

Publications: 

Vote Labour, turn against the cuts

Author: 

Editorial

A 12 April opinion poll put Labour ahead of the Tories, 34/31, for only the second time since the 2015 general election. Among people aged 18 to 24, it showed a Labour lead of 51/20.

The Tories have been battered by Ian Duncan Smith’s resignation, by their splits over Europe, by their forced retreat on disabled benefits, and by the Panama Papers. Labour can get ahead. It will be hard on 5 May.

Vote Labour, turn against the cuts; BHS: don’t accept “hard luck”.

Publications: 

The AWL, Labour and the Left: 

Trade Unions: 

Issues and Campaigns: 

The worst of all worlds

Author: 

John Cunningham

Matt Cooper is right to criticise the article about Basic Income, written by Andrew Harrop on the Fabian website, for its timidity (Solidarity 400). However, a bigger problem is that Harrop makes something fairly simple unnecessarily complicated.

A major advantage of BI is that it does not require much in the way of paper work, calculations, assessments and, most important of all, there is no means testing. Harrop’s “half-way house” proposal gives us the worst of all worlds: it is not a BI and it requires some kind of means testing.

A drastic reduction in the working week would redefine both work and leisure. If a Basic Income was linked to a Land Value Tax, part of which could go to pay for it, the labour movement could have a winning combination.

Publications: 

Issues and Campaigns: 

Get the Tories out!

Author: 

Editorial

Back in 2012, the Daily Telegraph, a Tory paper, reported research which had found that two-thirds of the then Tory/Lib-Dem Cabinet were millionaires. It reckoned the total wealth of 29 Cabinet members at £70 million, and David Cameron’s at £3.8 million.

Claiming that it wants to cut back government debt, the government has systematically cut welfare benefits, especially for the disabled; squeezed local government services to strangulation-point; starved the NHS; and chopped public-service jobs. At the same time, it has cut taxes for the rich.

Publications: 

Issues and Campaigns: 

Universal basic income? Maybe, but how?

Author: 

Matt Cooper

The universal basic income (UBI) is the proposal that every adult should receive an unconditional cash benefit.

The benefit is given even when the individual is working; it is given if they are looking after children, studying or spending their time on anything else they chose. UBI could, to a degree, replace some state benefits. The idea is that it is not means tested, but it could be counted as taxable income and clawed back from higher earners.

The universal basic income (UBI) is the proposal that every adult should receive an unconditional cash benefit.

Publications: 

Issues and Campaigns: 

Panama: capitalism exposed

Author: 

Martin Thomas

Each week the capitalist economic system pumps new wealth, created by the labour of workers across the whole economy, into the pockets of owners and shareholders and their associates, advisers, bankers, lawyers, and so on.

No-one denies that. Those who defend capitalism as the best system available reply only that it is a manageable problem.

The Panama Papers show that the rich hide their money in offshore tax havens and often pay little tax. They invest productively only when they feel fairly sure of large private gains, and much of their loot is spent on luxury and on swindling.

Publications: 

Issues and Campaigns: 

The economic problem is not overspend

Author: 

Martin Thomas

Shadow chancellor John McDonnell’s speech about “fiscal responsibility” on 11 March was probably intended to buy him space to attack Osborne’s 16 March Budget cuts. However, all the anxious promises that a future Labour government will balance current spending with current revenues — although Osborne still doesn’t do that after six years as chancellor — only feed the superstition that the economic problems since 2008 are due to the Blair and Brown Labour governments “overspending”. They aren’t.

The reason for the crash and the slump was the giddy profiteering and speculating by the banks, not public spending.

Issues and Campaigns: 

The AWL, Labour and the Left: 

Publications: 

Bring down the borders!

Author: 

Colin Foster

The EU is bureaucratic, capitalist, mean-spirited towards refugees, a mess. Surely Brexit would be better?

As if Britain is less capitalist! In any case, none of the Brexiters - not Ukip, not even the fantasists talking about a "left exit" - really believes in a Britain cut off from the naughty world by high barriers and doing its own idyllic thing on its own as if the world ended at Dover. Oh? So what do they want?

To reject the more bureaucratic, more unrestrainedly capitalist, more mean-spirited Brexit is not to accept the already bureaucratic, capitalist, mean-spirited EU. It is to say that labour movements and socialists prefer lower borders, easier interaction, more cosmopolitan relations, as the starting point for our efforts to weld cross-border workers' unity, force social levelling-up, win democracy, and secure migrant rights.

Issues and Campaigns: 

Around the world: 

Publications: 

Pages