Manufacturing jobs are not coming back.

Labour has always been the party of manufacturing.  By the second half of the 20th century, factory workers had taken over from those working in ‘primary’ production  as  Labour’s main union base.  A need to rebuild manufacture is now, if speeches by  leadership candidates and trade union general secretaries  are anything to go by, seen … Continue reading Manufacturing jobs are not coming back.

Income inequality and Labour’s mild tax reforms

Labour’s planned tax rises for those earning over £80 000 have attracted their fair share of controversy.  While these will  affect  comparatively few (around 5%),  some critics argue that Labour would have to impose wider increases in income tax to pay for its program. But as the graph below shows  opportunities appear  limited.  Levels of … Continue reading Income inequality and Labour’s mild tax reforms

Labour: the long and the short.

Jeremy Corbyn’s speech at this week’s TUC conference, reaffirms Labour’s commitment to changing the balance of power within the labour market. Alongside the repeal of anti-union laws, Corbyn promised to introduce sectional collective bargaining, something that still exists in many European countries despite the decline of traditional industries. There’ll be a ministry for employment rights … Continue reading Labour: the long and the short.

One in twelve jobs at ‘high risk’ from automation

Way back in the 1930s, the economist Keynes raised concerns about what he called ‘technological unemployment’  now referred to as ‘worker displacement’. According to Frey and Osborne’s 2013 Oxford study, as many as 47% of current US jobs are at risk of automation,  while a 2016 OECD study estimated the figure at just 9%. The … Continue reading One in twelve jobs at ‘high risk’ from automation

Nissan: is it still the age of the car?

Nissan’s decision to move producing the X-Trail from its Sunderland plant to Japan has undoubtedly been caused by fears over Brexit. In particular, the recently negotiated free-trade deal between Japan and the EU might result in Nissan’s complete departure from the UK with a catastrophic effect on the Sunderland area. Nissan has been there since … Continue reading Nissan: is it still the age of the car?

‘An Economy that Works for all’

Notes accompanying presentation to Ferndale  branch, Vauxhall Labour Party (17/01/19).   Labour’s  policies  for the economy  not only represent a clear alternative to the Tories, but are also significantly different to those of the Blair/Brown years.  Representing a return to the centre-left ‘interventionist’ social democracy of the post-war years, they will encounter (the usual) opposition … Continue reading ‘An Economy that Works for all’

Budgets and the ‘magic money tree’

Phillip Hammond’s budget remains firmly located within Neo-liberal economics. The principle aim is to reduce and finally eliminate the budget deficit and so lower the size of the National Debt.  For the Neo-liberals public debt is a drag on the ‘real’  economy  as it suffocates  the private sector. But under pressure from Labour,  some of … Continue reading Budgets and the ‘magic money tree’