Jeremy Corbyn makes £500bn investment pledge ahead of interest rates decision

Leader's ten pledges include 'full employment and an economy that works for all'

 

Jeremy Corbyn has announced ten pledges to ‘rebuild and transform Britain’, including his £500bn programme of investment.

‘Our economic model is broken,’ the Labour leader said in a speech in Dagenham, east London. ‘But there is immense potential in the skills and talents of our people … and huge opportunities ahead of us in science, technology and culture.’

In the first of ten pledges, he promised to achieve ‘full employment and an economy that works for all’, highlighting housing, renewable energy, high speed broadband and transport as areas for investment.

In a speech heavily focused on communities left behind, Corbyn also said that ‘Britain has got to catch up or we will all be left behind.’

‘The neglect of our country must end we need a Labour government that rebuilds and transforms Britain,’ he continued. ‘We will build an economy that works for all … with good jobs in every part of the country.’

Corbyn spoke just hours before a predicted Bank of England cut to interest rates, which would aim to stimulate the economy following the vote to leave the European Union.

Voices from across Labour have emphasised that the economic shock cannot be addressed using monetary policy alone and that substantial public investment is also required.

On the BBC’s Today programme this morning, shadow chancellor John McDonnell supported an interest rate cut, but said the discussion should not be ‘just around VAT or around monetary policy.

‘I want the government now looking at its investment strategy,’ he said. ‘What’s happened so far is Hammond, the chancellor, has said that he’s not going to reset the government’s fiscal rule or its economic strategy.’

Corbyn’s rival, Owen Smith, has also pledged a substantial spending increase, including a ‘British New Deal’ of £200bn worth of investment over five years, including substantial commitments to investment in the north of England, and major house-building and infrastructure projects.

However, while the government’s economic policy is currently highly focused on Brexit, both Smith and Corbyn have pitched their investment plans as broad remedies to inequality, austerity and unemployment, rather than linking them to the vote to leave.

The ten pledges unveiled this morning were:

1) Full employment and an economy that works for all:

2) A secure homes guarantee:

3) Security at work:

4) Secure our NHS and social care:

5) A national education service, open to all:

6) Action to secure our environment:

7) Put the public back into our economy and services:

8) Cut income and wealth inequality:

9) Action to secure an equal society:

10) Peace and justice at the heart of foreign policy

3 Responses to “Jeremy Corbyn makes £500bn investment pledge ahead of interest rates decision”

  1. Alwyn mackie

    100% agree

  2. Scottish Scientist

    As regards “6) Action to secure our environment: …
    using our National Investment Bank to invest in public and community-owned renewable energy”

    World’s biggest-ever pumped-storage hydro-scheme, for Scotland?
    https://scottishscientist.wordpress.com/2015/04/15/worlds-biggest-ever-pumped-storage-hydro-scheme-for-scotland/

    “The map shows how and where the biggest-ever pumped-storage hydro-scheme could be built – Strathdearn in the Scottish Highlands.

    Energy storage capacity

    The scheme requires a massive dam about 300 metres high and 2,000 metres long to impound about 4.4 billion metres-cubed of water in the upper glen of the River Findhorn. The surface elevation of the reservoir so impounded would be as much as 650 metres when full and the surface area would be as much as 40 square-kilometres.

    The maximum potential energy which could be stored by such a scheme is colossal – about 6800 Gigawatt-hours – or 283 Gigawatt-days – enough capacity to balance and back-up the intermittent renewable energy generators such as wind and solar power for the whole of Europe!”

    Power

    There would need to be two pumping and turbine generating stations at different locations – one by the sea at Inverness which pumps sea-water uphill via pressurised pipes to 300 metres of elevation to a water well head which feeds an unpressurised canal in which water flows to and from the other pumping and turbine generating station at the base of the dam which pumps water up into the reservoir impounded by the dam.

    To fill or empty the reservoir in a day would require a flow rate of 51,000 metres-cubed per second, the equivalent of the discharge flow from the Congo River, only surpassed by the Amazon!

    The power capacity emptying at such a flow rate could be equally colossal. When nearly empty and powering only the lower turbines by the sea, then about 132 GW could be produced. When nearly full and the upper turbines at the base of the dam fully powered too then about 264 GW could be produced.

    Modelling of a wind turbine power and pumped-storage hydro system has demonstrated that 255 GW peak-demand power could be served from a 283 GW-day storage capacity, though this full-peak power could only be produced from reservoir heads of at least 580 metres, assuming a flow rate of 51,000 m3/s and the commensurate average power of 159 GW could be routinely produced from much lower reservoir heads of only at least 362 metres. To supply 159 GW from the lowest operational head of 300 metres would require increasing the flow capacity to 62,000 m3/s.

    This represents many times more power and energy-storage capacity than is needed to serve all of Britain’s electrical grid storage needs for backing-up and balancing intermittent renewable-energy electricity generators, such as wind turbines and solar photovoltaic arrays for the foreseeable future, opening up the possibility to provide grid energy storage services to Europe as well.

  3. Robert Petulengro

    “Monograph 5: Trade Barriers and Brexit.
    An oft’ repeated mantra relating to the forthcoming Brexit negotiations is that the EU is bound to offer the UK a favourable deal because we have a substantial trade deficit with the EU and (especially) German manufacturers will want continued access to our markets. The trade imbalance with the EU, it is argued, would preclude any predatory action, any barriers to trade.
    The reality is that these barriers are already in place, in the manner of walls surrounding “fortress Europe”. As members of the EU, the UK is inside the walls. Leaving the EU (without a comprehensive trade agreement) would place the UK outside those walls – the effect of its own action rather than of any specific action taken by the EU.
    The UK’s trading position
    The Centre for European Reform (CER) recognises that the EU buys (nearly) half of the UK’s exports while the UK only accounts for around ten percent of EU exports.
    However, the ultimate Article 50 settlement is agreed by qualified majority voting, while half of the EU’s trade surplus with the UK is accounted for by just two member states: Germany and the Netherlands. Most EU member states do not run substantial trade surpluses with the UK, and some run deficits with it. Those in deficit might seek a settlement which has the effect of blocking (or restricting) UK imports, looking for opportunities to increase intra-community trade without competition from the UK.
    Where tariffs might bite is on manufactured goods such as motor vehicles, with a disproportionate effect on Britain’s poorest regions. Here, it is argued that, if the EU did impose tariffs, the UK could retaliate by imposing tariffs on vehicles exported from EU Member States. Sadly, such a straightforward response is not available to the UK. In imposing tariffs on the UK, the EU would be acting in accordance with the rules of the WTO trading system. On the other hand, it is not at all clear what tariffs the UK could impose, having been a member of the EU/EEC Customs Union for over four decades. There is no recent tariff history.
    It would mean either adopting the EU schedule unchanged or negotiating a new settlement with the WTO, whose rules demand that if the UK imposed tariffs on the import of goods from EU Member States. It would have to impose the same level of tariffs on similar imports from every other country in the world.1 On the other hand, if the UK decided to remove tariffs from EU products, it must do the same with all other WTO members.
    Asymmetric discrimination
    Under certain circumstances, the EU is exempt from WTO anti- discrimination rules and is permitted to discriminate between trading partners. This exemption is not specific to the EU but applies to all WTO members which enter into Regional Trade Agreement (RTAs), of which the EU’s Customs Union is one example. The EU now applies the full MFN tariff to only nine of its trading partners. The UK leaving the EU would make it ten.
    Non-tariff barriers
    Non-Tariff Measures (NTMs) or Technical Barriers to Trade (TBTs) have become far more important than tariffs. This is something readily acknowledged by the British government. These measures, it says, often stem from domestic regulations enacted primarily to achieve valid domestic goals. Therefore, unlike tariffs they cannot be removed simply.
    Furthermore, they are a growing problem. In 1995, the WTO received 386 formal notifications of TBTs. By 2013, this had risen to 2,137. Overall, they are estimated to add more than 20 percent to the costs of international trade, compared with the average costs of tariffs in the order of 2-3 percent.
    In 1987 the EU set up the Single European Act to prevent the member nations protecting their own markets triggering an explosion of regulatory and allied measures. The UK has already paid the price for achieving a high degree of regulatory convergence with the EU. As long as the UK stays in the Single Market, regulatory barriers will have little effect on trade between the UK and EU Member States.
    If we leave that market, however, we need to demonstrate conformity with EU regulatory requirements, by means of approved mechanisms of conformity assessment. This creates an ongoing requirement which cannot be satisfied solely by regulatory convergence. And it is not an issue that can be ignored in cross border trade.2
    Maintaining regulatory convergence
    As the UK grows away from the EU, it is very likely that regulations on both sides will drift apart. Standardisation will gradually become very different.
    The need to maintain convergence is often downplayed, on the basis on an argument that over 90 percent of the British economy is not involved in exports to the EU. However, this goes entirely against the grain of globalisation, where traders and manufacturers prefer working to global rather than national, or even regional standards. As trade has globalised, so has regulation. And when it comes to the choice of standard, firms opt for the most demanding, simply because it is cheaper and more efficient to work to a single standard. For the UK to demonstrate continued regulatory convergence, it will need to commit to full conformity with these international agreements, heavily restricting its own independent rule-making capability.
    However, it is unlikely that the EU will accept informal assurances that conformity is being maintained. In any agreement with the UK, the EU is likely to be looking for a dynamic arrangement which can ensure that UK regulation is constantly updated to ensure continued convergence.
    For manufacturers servicing a global market, the greater need is for uniform regulation. The WTO also does not allow internal barriers to trade favouring a local market.3
    Conclusion:
    What emerges is that the global trading system is heavily biased against the single nation trading without the benefit of regional trade agreements. This would be the position of the UK in the immediate aftermath of Brexit if it failed to conclude a satisfactory (or any) exit agreement. Exporters would find that the EU was permitted to discriminate against them, while there is no prospect of retaliatory measures. This has significant implications for the Brexit negotiation strategy, limiting the leverage which the UK can apply. Much the same applies to tariff barriers, and non-tariff barriers. Maintaining ongoing regulatory convergence is essential.
    This would tend further to support the idea that the UK’s best interests are served by continued participation in the EEA, for the time being.
    a longer- term objective might be to look at global solutions rather than to focus on EU relationships. What can be resolved in global forums can also ease trade at regional levels.

    “Monograph 5: Trade Barriers and Brexit.
    An oft’ repeated mantra relating to the forthcoming Brexit negotiations is that the EU is bound to offer the UK a favourable deal because we have a substantial trade deficit with the EU and (especially) German manufacturers will want continued access to our markets. The trade imbalance with the EU, it is argued, would preclude any predatory action, any barriers to trade.
    The reality is that these barriers are already in place, in the manner of walls surrounding “fortress Europe”. As members of the EU, the UK is inside the walls. Leaving the EU (without a comprehensive trade agreement) would place the UK outside those walls – the effect of its own action rather than of any specific action taken by the EU.
    The UK’s trading position
    The Centre for European Reform (CER) recognises that the EU buys (nearly) half of the UK’s exports while the UK only accounts for around ten percent of EU exports.
    However, the ultimate Article 50 settlement is agreed by qualified majority voting, while half of the EU’s trade surplus with the UK is accounted for by just two member states: Germany and the Netherlands. Most EU member states do not run substantial trade surpluses with the UK, and some run deficits with it. Those in deficit might seek a settlement which has the effect of blocking (or restricting) UK imports, looking for opportunities to increase intra-community trade without competition from the UK.
    Where tariffs might bite is on manufactured goods such as motor vehicles, with a disproportionate effect on Britain’s poorest regions. Here, it is argued that, if the EU did impose tariffs, the UK could retaliate by imposing tariffs on vehicles exported from EU Member States. Sadly, such a straightforward response is not available to the UK. In imposing tariffs on the UK, the EU would be acting in accordance with the rules of the WTO trading system. On the other hand, it is not at all clear what tariffs the UK could impose, having been a member of the EU/EEC Customs Union for over four decades. There is no recent tariff history.
    It would mean either adopting the EU schedule unchanged or negotiating a new settlement with the WTO, whose rules demand that if the UK imposed tariffs on the import of goods from EU Member States. It would have to impose the same level of tariffs on similar imports from every other country in the world.1 On the other hand, if the UK decided to remove tariffs from EU products, it must do the same with all other WTO members.
    Asymmetric discrimination
    Under certain circumstances, the EU is exempt from WTO anti- discrimination rules and is permitted to discriminate between trading partners. This exemption is not specific to the EU but applies to all WTO members which enter into Regional Trade Agreement (RTAs), of which the EU’s Customs Union is one example. The EU now applies the full MFN tariff to only nine of its trading partners. The UK leaving the EU would make it ten.
    Non-tariff barriers
    Non-Tariff Measures (NTMs) or Technical Barriers to Trade (TBTs) have become far more important than tariffs. This is something readily acknowledged by the British government. These measures, it says, often stem from domestic regulations enacted primarily to achieve valid domestic goals. Therefore, unlike tariffs they cannot be removed simply.
    Furthermore, they are a growing problem. In 1995, the WTO received 386 formal notifications of TBTs. By 2013, this had risen to 2,137. Overall, they are estimated to add more than 20 percent to the costs of international trade, compared with the average costs of tariffs in the order of 2-3 percent.
    In 1987 the EU set up the Single European Act to prevent the member nations protecting their own markets triggering an explosion of regulatory and allied measures. The UK has already paid the price for achieving a high degree of regulatory convergence with the EU. As long as the UK stays in the Single Market, regulatory barriers will have little effect on trade between the UK and EU Member States.
    If we leave that market, however, we need to demonstrate conformity with EU regulatory requirements, by means of approved mechanisms of conformity assessment. This creates an ongoing requirement which cannot be satisfied solely by regulatory convergence. And it is not an issue that can be ignored in cross border trade.2
    Maintaining regulatory convergence
    As the UK grows away from the EU, it is very likely that regulations on both sides will drift apart. Standardisation will gradually become very different.
    The need to maintain convergence is often downplayed, on the basis on an argument that over 90 percent of the British economy is not involved in exports to the EU. However, this goes entirely against the grain of globalisation, where traders and manufacturers prefer working to global rather than national, or even regional standards. As trade has globalised, so has regulation. And when it comes to the choice of standard, firms opt for the most demanding, simply because it is cheaper and more efficient to work to a single standard. For the UK to demonstrate continued regulatory convergence, it will need to commit to full conformity with these international agreements, heavily restricting its own independent rule-making capability.
    However, it is unlikely that the EU will accept informal assurances that conformity is being maintained. In any agreement with the UK, the EU is likely to be looking for a dynamic arrangement which can ensure that UK regulation is constantly updated to ensure continued convergence.
    For manufacturers servicing a global market, the greater need is for uniform regulation. The WTO also does not allow internal barriers to trade favouring a local market.3
    Conclusion:
    What emerges is that the global trading system is heavily biased against the single nation trading without the benefit of regional trade agreements. This would be the position of the UK in the immediate aftermath of Brexit if it failed to conclude a satisfactory (or any) exit agreement. Exporters would find that the EU was permitted to discriminate against them, while there is no prospect of retaliatory measures. This has significant implications for the Brexit negotiation strategy, limiting the leverage which the UK can apply. Much the same applies to tariff barriers, and non-tariff barriers. Maintaining ongoing regulatory convergence is essential.
    This would tend further to support the idea that the UK’s best interests are served by continued participation in the EEA, for the time being.
    a longer- term objective might be to look at global solutions rather than to focus on EU relationships. What can be resolved in global forums can also ease trade at regional levels.

    “‘full employment and an economy that works for all’, highlighting housing, renewable energy, high speed broadband and transport as areas for investment.”
    Same old same old.
    Lots of non-jobs all paid for by the taxpayer all added to the national debt which is vast. So vast that people are buying houses to rent as interest rates fall lower and lower. So large that government bonds are going through the roof and have to be bought out with paper money neatly printed by the supportive Bank of England.
    Renewable energy. Climate change has not happened. There is a considerable wealth of evidence that it will not happen. Coal fired power stations are being closed here losing many jobs. Tata steel and the aluminium smelters have been sent home. Energy prices through the roof hurt industry. Soon the lights will go out.
    EU?
    Grammar Schools?
    Immigration?
    NHS fat cats skimming the inefficient system for their own selfish gains?
    Oh – that is for the Tories!

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