What’s going on with Labour’s policy making? We are waiting for an NPF meeting, but that doesn’t seem to inhibit the front bench? This is a note on Reeves, her rules and macroeconomics.

Leftie Stats posts this,

I had noticed the Tuition Fees back slide, and the undermining of the green new deal money was quite noisy and contested.

The UK’s first green chancellor, looks like we’ll have to wait, her last stand up performance was the Securonomics speech, delivered in the USA. Most of the commentators I follow, felt that this could be lived with and that it was a return to Labour’s social democratic roots; this cannot be so if monetarist rules and a hand dealt by the Bank of England and the bond markets are allowed to push the need for public expenditure off the railtracks. Here are some links,

What are the rules?

This Why has Labour U-turned on its green investment pledge? from the BBC gives us a clue, here’s what I think the rule is,

  • To reduce the deficit (excluding investment) as a proportion of GDP; I remain unclear if this is a per annum rule (Miliband/Balls), or per parliament (Osborn & McDonnell) or a per trade cycle (Brown)?

I say the inverse is the key, the only way to reduce the deficit is to grow the economy, and that requires public expenditure, in investment, in current account services, and in public sector pay, so that public servants can afford to buy the new goods that the investment creates.

I am also concerned that throughout the education expenditure debate, no-one is arguing that education is an investment and that if one has a golden rule that permits borrowing to invest, then education should be considered part of this investment. This also shows the strange permeability of the distinction between investment and consumption. For instance, seed potatoes are an investment, a poke of chips is not.

Barry Gardiner writes on the rules in Labour List.

I reflect on Mish Raman’s understanding of the rules, in this article on the 2023 NPF on this wiki.

And renters?

The day after posting these notes, I came across this,

Over the next week, Starmer says that his government will not settle the dispute with the public sector workers, nor repeal the two child cap on benefits. FFS. 😠 This backtracking observed on Politico.eu by EMILIO CASALICCHIO who catalogs the front benchers cowardly supporting the Starmer/Reeves line. Starmer repeats the pledge, or is it an unpledge, at the Tony Blair institute summit, by saying that Labour will need to make hard choices; I like and agree with the Meadway point, the choice is between starving children and taxing the better off.

More intellectually, Richard Murphy critiques/destroys the ONS/OBR analysis of public debt. (I need to read with more care what he says about the BoE assets, but this is pretty spot-on.

Robert Shrimsley, of all people examines the politics of triangulation in the FT (£|(-)), amongst many good points, he says,

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Starmer has clamped down on spending promises, recently refusing to guarantee to roll back a welfare cut he once called a “vast social injustice”. He says existing tax levels are too high and, like the Tories, talks up public service reforms to fund improvements.

Shrimsley, FT.

More from twitter


And now we have the benefits/sanctions row


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