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.
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
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.
The decision by science charity Wellcome not to go ahead with its plan to trial a 4-day week for 800 head office staff because it would be too 'operationally complex', goes against the evidence ( including a major New Zealand study) that 4-day working, without a loss of pay improves productivity, staff motivation, not to … Continue reading Forward to the 4 day week?
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’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?
Latest labour market figures (ONS Jan 2019) show continued growth in employment. There were 32.53 million people in work, 328,000 more than a year earlier. The number of self-employed people has increased by 81,000 to 4.85 million since this time last year and now represents 14.9% of all workers – up by around a million … Continue reading White van economy?
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’
The countdown to Brexit has seen a 15% fall in the number of Eastern European workers residing in the UK - in all 154,000 fewer than for July to September 2017 and 173,000 fewer than the record high of 1.05 million for July to September 2016. This decline comes at a time when vacancies, after … Continue reading Eastern European workers vote with their feet
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’