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’

There is a ‘magic money tree’

  Seems a bit silly.  Or is it?  Modern Monetary Theory reminds us that governments of countries  that have their own currencies and  floating exchange rates (like in the UK),  by implication,  can never 'run out of money' or have to be dependent on taxation revenue and private borrowing to finance their activities. In other … Continue reading There is a ‘magic money tree’

Putting workers on the boards

John McDonnell’s  Labour Conference commitment to put workers  on company boards was met with predictable hostility from employer representatives.  Yet Germany, the Scandinavian countries along with several other European states, have long standing policies for employee participation, even if it might not be as extensive (McDonnell proposes 30% representation). Likewise, allocating a proportion of company … Continue reading Putting workers on the boards

Post-Brexit immigration and skills policy

In the context of this week’s report from the Migration Advisory Committee (set up to advise on immigration policy post-Brexit),  it’s worth outlining the nature of European migration to the UK and the implications of the MAC proposals. By the end of 2016 there were 2.2 million working EU migrants -7% of the labour force. … Continue reading Post-Brexit immigration and skills policy

How should Labour finance education and public services?

While opposition to Tory cuts continues, Labour has  huge support for its commitment to restoring school budgets. At the same time however, the Party leadership also promises to ‘balance the books’ and maintain ‘fiscal credibility’.  By this it means that over the course of a five-year Parliament, current  (day to day)  expenditure  will be largely … Continue reading How should Labour finance education and public services?