Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

McDonnell Unveils Most Radical Economic Blueprint for 30 Years; Bank Mandate to Promote Growth and Pay Power for Unions over How Firms Are Run Multinationals Forced to Pay 'Fair Share' of Tax

Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

McDonnell Unveils Most Radical Economic Blueprint for 30 Years; Bank Mandate to Promote Growth and Pay Power for Unions over How Firms Are Run Multinationals Forced to Pay 'Fair Share' of Tax

Article excerpt

Byline: Joe Murphy Political Editor

Labour party conference 2015 LABOUR'S most radical economic policies for 30 years were unveiled by John McDonnell today, including new union rights, higher wages and plans to force the Bank of England to promote growth and pay rather than just control inflation.

The new shadow chancellor signalled bigger costs for businesses, including a "real Living Wage", and an end to company subsidies which he dubbed "the corporate welfare state".

He promised that a crackdown on companies that avoid tax would be "aggressive", saying: "We will force people like Starbucks, Vodafone, Amazon and Google and all the others to pay their fair share of tax."

Labour would "live within your means", he said, but deficit-reduction would be slowed and austerity replaced with measures to boost growth.

"Where money needs to be raised, it will be raised from fairer, more progressive taxation," he told delegates, signalling higher taxes on the wealthy, including the return of the 50p rate and the reversal of inheritance tax cuts. Mr McDonnell, who is party leader Jeremy Corbyn's closest ally, began his speech with a joke about his firebrand image: "I warn you this is not my usual rant; they get me into trouble and Jeremy has told me to behave myself."

Earlier he said the speech would be "boring", like that of a bank manager.

But he cranked up his rhetoric as he listed the changes he would make if Labour is elected in 2020.

The most significant was changing the Bank of England's mandate, to end its role of merely guarding against inflation to a new role "including growth, employment and earnings".

He scathingly said the Bank had failed to meet even its current targets but added that it would remain independent, within the new mandate. He confirmed that Labour would "use active monetary policy to stimulate demand where necessary", including "people's quantitative easing" to create jobs in a recession. There were huge cheers as he promised to end "auster-ity politics" which he said had caused suicides among benefit claimants. And he urged Scottish voters to "come home to Labour" now that the party was determined to stop cuts. …

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