Corbyn: public sector must step in where private companies have failed

27 Sep 17

Jeremy Corbyn told his party in his conference speech today he wants to give the public sector a new “dynamic role” in a post-austerity Britain.

The Labour leader said a “new model of economic management” was needed and for the public sector to step in where the private sector had failed.

“Now is the time that we developed a new model of economic management  to replace the failed dogmas of neo-liberalism,” he said in Brighton today.  

“That is why Labour is looking not just to repair the damage done by austerity but to transform our economy with a new and dynamic role for the public sector particularly where the private sector has evidently failed.”

He also announced Labour would carry out a review of housing into building, planning, regulation and management.

Corybn called the fire at Grenfell Tower “an indictment not just of decades of failed housing policies … [but] of a whole outlook which values council tax refunds for the wealthy above decent provision for all”.

He said Labour would propose a “radical programme of action” for housing at next year’s party conference.

Corbyn pledged to introduce rent controls as well as tax undeveloped land and ensure every home was “fit for human habitation”. 

“Rent controls exist in many cities across the world and I want our cities to have those powers too and tenants to have those protections,” he said.

“We also need to tax undeveloped land held by developers and have the power to compulsorily purchase.” 

Reiterating general election manifesto pledges, he also called for the ending of the public sector pay cap, nationalising key utilities, creating a public-owned National Investment Bank to boost the economy and a £250bn National Transformation Fund to fuel infrastructure growth.

The Labour leader explained his party’s plans would be paid for by taxing big businesses, getting them to “pay their fair share”.

He critcised Theresa May and her cabinet’s approach to the Brexit negotiations, which he said would not deliver jobs, rights and improve people’s living standards.

The government’s negotiating team have “got nowhere and agreed next to nothing”, according to the Labour leader.

He warned that the “shambolic” Brexit pushed by the government would “plunge Britain into a Trump-style race-to-the-bottom” on workers’ rights and corporate taxes.

Corbyn also warned that the UK had to face up the challenge of automation, which would put many contemporary jobs at risk.

“We won’t reap the full rewards of these great technological advances if they’re monopolised to pile up profits for a few,” he said.

He added: “But if they’re publicly managed - to share the benefits - they can be the gateway for a new settlement between work and leisure. A springboard for expanded creativity and culture.”

Labour’s shadow chancellor John McDonnell vowed to end the Private Finance Initiative policy at the conference on Monday.

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