Thursday, 31 October 2019

So how many of Jeremy Corbyn's policies do you actually disagree with?

A London School of Economics study into how Jeremy Corbyn is represented in the media found that only a paltry 11% of all newspaper articles about him bothered to accurately state a single one of his actual policies. In the hard-right Daily Mail and Express that figure was 0%.

Given this lack of unbiased political coverage, it's not difficult to understand why so many people are so unfamiliar with Jeremy Corbyn's actual policies, and tend to judge him as if politics is some kind of vapid personality contest.

So here are some of the Jeremy Corbyn policies that the mainstream media really don't want to tell you about, so you can judge for yourself whether you like them or not.

Labour Party policies

Ban companies based in tax havens bidding for government contracts
It's astounding that this isn't the case already. How on earth could anyone even attempt to justify taxpayers' cash being paid to companies based in tax havens for the purpose of dodging tax?

£10 minimum wage for all workers over the age of 18
The UK is the only country in the developed world where workers' wages are declining in real terms, while the economy is actually growing. A £10 minimum wage would help to reverse this scenario, and it would also significantly reduce the cost of in-work benefits like tax credits and housing benefit (most of which goes to working families these days).

The Tories have are trying to outflank this by saying they'll raise the minimum wage to £10.50, but that's only by 2024, Labour's would come in immediately.

All rented accommodation to be fit for human habitation
Again, astounding that this isn't the case already, but in January 2016 the Tories (over 1/3 of whom are landlords) deliberately voted down a Labour Party amendment to their housing bill to ensure that all rented accommodation is fit for human habitation.

Renationalise the railways
This is a very popular policy that is supported by an overwhelming majority of the public. Do you support rail renationalisation too, or are you one of the minority who think that the current rip-off profiteer-administered shambles is acceptable?

Renationalise the NHS
The Tory party have been carving up the English NHS and distributing the pieces to the private sector, Jeremy Corbyn has pledged to reverse this process. Are you one of the 84% of people who thinks the NHS should be run as a not-for-profit public service, or one of the 7% who agree with the ongoing Tory privatisation agenda?

Free school meals
The policy of providing free school meals to all school children between the ages of 4 and 11 is based on evidence based research showing that universal free school meals lead to significantly improved grades. It will be paid for by ending the generous tax breaks (public subsidies) for the 7% of kids who go to private fee-paying schools.

Create a National Education Service
Jeremy Corbyn believes that education is a right, not a commodity. He wants to create an integrated National Education Service to ensure that education is freely available to anyone who needs it, no matter their age, income, or background.

Scrap tuition fees
Thanks to the Tories (and their Lib-Dem enablers) UK students now face the most expensive tuition fees in the developed world for study at public universities, meaning students typically leave university with £50,000 of debt, and two thirds of them will never pay off their student debts. Labour would end this lunacy by getting rid of student fees.

Restore NHS Bursaries
One of the first things Theresa My did when she came to power in 2016 was to scrap NHS bursaries for nurses and other NHS workers. This removal of financial support for trainee nurses has caused a huge decline in the number of applicants to nursing courses. The NHS is facing a vast recruitment crisis, and restoring NHS bursaries and investing heavily in medical training is the only way to prevent even more than the 130,000 avoidable deaths already caused by Tory austerity cuts to the NHS and social care systems.

Increase the carers' allowance
Labour are proposing to increase the Carers Allowance for the 1 million unpaid carers in the UK. This would be paid for by scrapping the Tories' Inheritance Tax cut for millionaires. Unpaid carers save the UK economy an estimated £132 million a year, and they've been doing ever more work as a result of the £4.6 billion in Tory cuts to the social care budget.

Create a National Investment Bank
This is actually one of Jeremy Corbyn's best policies, but few people actually understand it. It's absolutely clear that allowing private banks to determine where money is invested ends up in huge speculative bubbles in housing and financial derivatives, while the real economy is starved of cash. A National Investment Bank would work by investing in things like infrastructure, services, businesses and regional development projects, and would end up becoming a kind of sovereign wealth fund for the UK.

End the public sector pay freeze
Under Tory rule UK workers have suffered the longest sustained decline in real wages since records began. The public sector pay freeze contributed massively to this. You'd have to be economically illiterate to imagine that repressing public sector wages with below inflation pay rises for year after year would not exert downwards pressure on private sector wages too. Ending the public sector pay freeze would actually boost the economy by putting more money in people's pockets, meaning an increase in aggregate demand.

End sweetheart tax deals between HMRC and massive corporations

David Cameron (the son of a tax-dodger) repeatedly lied through his teeth about how serious he was about confronting tax-dodging, whilst allowing HMRC to concoct sweetheart deals with corporations like Google, Vodafone and Starbucks. One of the main reasons the corporate press are so strongly opposed to Jeremy Corbyn is that they know that unlike David Cameron, he's serious when he talks about clamping down on tax-dodging.

Stop major corporations ripping off their suppliers
Major corporations are withholding an astounding £26 billion through late payment, which is responsible for an estimated 50,000 small businesses going bust every year. The scale of this problem is so massive that it should be a national scandal, and Jeremy Corbyn is absolutely right to align himself with small businesses to defend their interests. 

Reverse the Tory corporation tax cuts
Since 2010 the Tories have cut the rate of corporation tax for major multinational corporations from 28% to just 17% (by 2020) meaning the UK has one of the lowest corporation tax rates in the developed world. The global average is 27% and the G7 average is 32.3%. Corbyn is proposing to reverse this ideological race to the bottom madness and restore corporation tax rates back in line with the rest of the developed world.

Prevent No Deal Brexit chaos
Jeremy Corbyn and the Labour Party are absolutely committed to preventing the UK from crashing out of the EU without agreeing a sensible process first. With Labour the worst possible Brexit option of No Deal will be taken off the table, and the choice will be given back to the public between a "soft" least-damaging version of Brexit (that protects the interests of British businesses and British workers alike) against Remain in a final say referendum.

Zero Hours Contracts ban
Almost a million UK workers are now on exploitative Zero Hours Contracts. Last year the New Zealand parliament voted to ban them, and Labour is proposing to do the same. Long-term employees and workers doing regular hours would be protected from Zero Hours Contract exploitation.

End Tory disability persecution
Ever since 2010 the Tories have been brutally persecuting sick, disabled, and terminally ill people. Cutting their pitiful subsistence benefits to pay for even more tax cuts for the rich, confiscating their motability vehicles, forcing them through demeaning corporate-administered "fit for work" disability denial assessments, even making terminally ill people sign on if they survive for more than six months!

Labour would scrap all of this, and build a new, more compassionate system to actually help the most vulnerable and unfortunate people in our society, rather than abusing and impoverishing them, and making them feel like useless idle scroungers who should just go and kill themselves.

House building
Under the Tory government the level of UK housebuilding has slumped to the lowest levels since the 1920s, even though demand for housing is extremely high. Labour are guaranteeing investment in a programme of house building, and committing to ensure that half of the new houses are social housing. 

This wouldn't just alleviate the housing crisis, it would also stimulate the economy (creation of skilled jobs, demand for supplies and materials, less disposable income being wasted on rip-off private rents ...).

Combat inequality
Tory austerity fanaticism resulted in the longest sustained decline in workers' wages since records began and condemned an additional 400,000 children to growing up in poverty, meanwhile the tiny super-rich majority literally doubled their wealth. Labour is pledging to reduce the inequality gap and introduce progressive policies to reduce the gap between the incomes of the highest and lowest paid. There is plenty of evidence to show that the least unequal societies are more economically successful places where the people are happier.


So out of these 20 Labour Party policies, how many do you actually strongly disagree with?

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Footnotes: How would this be paid for?

A lot of people tend to ask how all of this is going to be paid for, so here's some answers.

It turns out that quite a lot of these policies are actually investments that would pay for themselves in the long-term because they would stimulate more economic activity than the investment cost (see my articles on fiscal multiplication and the marginal propensity to consume to get a better idea of how). 

Other policies could easily be funded if we had a government that was actually serious about cracking down on tax-dodging, which costs the country vast amounts per year. Just ending sweetheart deals between HMRC and major multinational corporations would generate £billions, which would pay for stuff like restoring the NHS bursary many times over.

If anyone is genuinely worried about how stuff is going to be paid for, the first thing on their mind should of course be the impending threat of Boris Johnson's Brexit bodge, which is set to cost the UK economy £79 billion (the equivalent of the entire economy of Wales), or even worse a No Deal Tory Brexit strop.

If the Tories manage to engineer No Deal the IFS have estimated a 6.3% -9.5% collapse in GDP, which would be an even bigger economic meltdown than the one that was caused by the 2007-08 global financial sector insolvency crisis (that our economy and our wages have still nowhere near recovered from)!

What do you think would happen to stuff like the tax take and the budget deficit if the economy tanked even worse than it did in 2009 thanks to Tory Brexit?


KEN said...


Anonymous said...

I think the idea of this is pretty good, but the execution is not great, with very suggestive and manipulative wording. The article complains about unbiased coverage (and rightfully so) and claims it lets the reader judge for themselves, but then comes around with wordings like

"Do you support rail renationalisation too, or are you one of the minority who think that the current rip-off profiteer-administered shambles is acceptable?"


"Are you one of the 84% of people who thinks the NHS should be run as a not-for-profit public service, or one of the 7% who agree with the ongoing Tory privatisation agenda?"

So I think the potential for convincing people who don't like Corbyn already is lost with this. Are you one of the great people who agree with me on this, or do you support manipulation and propaganda? ;)

Anonymous said...

I have to agree with Anonymous above.

These are all great in principle but you have to be less confrontational and judgemental with your wording if you expect to win over the Brexiteers .. since that is, I assume, your objective.

Really it's worded as if you know you're preaching to the converted .. but this has to go to, and be read and understood by, a much wider and more sceptical audience and your writing style is not helping.

G Bates said...

Would be amazing if you could do an analysis/table of these policies alongside the countries that have already implemented them successfully - one thing you always hear is a comparison to Scandinavian countries and Brexiters saying Corbyn's communism (don't get me started), is nothing like the what's going on in that region. Would be great to have some quick fire facts to send back.

aralston said...

Just a question why then when Wales has a devolved administration which has control of some of the wished for items has the Labour led assembly not introduced Free Prescriptions,Education Maintenance Allowance , funds to mitigate the bedroom tax , carers supplement , end the public sector pay freeze , create Welsh investment bank , restore NHS bursaries , scrap tuition fees , free school meals , ?

Politicians lie said...

I don’t disagree with any of it but how much of it will he really implement? We all know politicians promise the world but deliver peanuts!

Politicians lie said...

I don’t disagree with any of it but how much of it will he really implement? We all know politicians promise the world but deliver peanuts!

Unknown said...

If he implements 10% of it itll be 10% more than any other party does.

Anonymous said...

A common theme that comes from the Conservative Party, and I heard one of them repeat it yesterday on The Daily Politics, is that wealthy people pay a high share of income tax.


Income tax is only, I think, around 35% of total government revenue. It is important to understand this deception.

Bernard Hurley said...

I would go much further than this. Including Universal Basic Income and Banking and Monetary Reform.

By European standards we spend very little per capita on social goods. I believe we are second from the bottom, although I haven’t got the latest figures in front of me. Even if all of the Labour party’s plans were implemented I would guess we would still be in the bottom four.

Anonymous said...

I wondered why he was so popular, ha

Anonymous said...

I disagree with minimum wage, there's a plethora of evidence that it makes working people poorer. Artificially increasing someone's wages but not the income of any business means they, specifically small businesses, lower hours or make individuals redundant because they cannot keep up with the payment. Larger corporations only need to cut certain overheads for it to work so it's they who benefit in the long run. Obviously if anyone disagrees I can provide citation. Or you can google it yourself.

EdArch said...

For smaller businesses, easily helped with a corporate tax cut or rate cut (or combination of both), but you do have to question, if a small business can't sustain paying say, five people £1.79/hr more (£358/week for all five employees) then what is it doing? If £358 a week is the difference between your business existing or disappearing, something's wrong there. Maybe it could be means tested?
A person working a 40hr week on minimum earns £16420/yr, pays £914/yr in tax & £959.52 in NI (take-home £14546.48). at £10/hr they're earning £20k/yr, paying £1630 in tax and £1389 in NI (take-home £16980.88)
So more in the pension pot and more in the big kitty.
Checked your assertion about Min. wage making folks poorer (or unemployed), most of the examples were for McDonalds, arguing that it "has to keep it's edge - meaning lowering prices" <- keeping your edge does not mean lowering prices and McD certainly hasn't done that over here at least. The other articles said it stops young minorities fro being hired which doesn't sound like an economic problem, it sounds like a racism problem (or at least an education problem).
either way if it does mean people being fired, the policy of having open education should mean that people can retrain themselves, learn new skills and move into different sectors where they can earn more. Obvs the whole picture is a bit more complex but it seems feasible.

Anonymous said...

Absolute bonkers! You can not tax a country to prosperity! When you fund unincentivised organisations with other people's hard earned money, you get a lot of wastage where money is spent on meaningless bureaucracy!

The current system is not working and socialism has never worked why not try something different!

Why not try something like Cutting personal tax rates to 20% or even below. Cut corporate tax rates too. Now that sounds bonkers! OR does it... We will then encourage the Best and the brightest to Invest in this country and come and work here. Everyone will have available cash to spend which will drive the economy with incredible growth. The extra income will then be spent, taxed and respent a great deal more times than in the current economy resulting in more taxes being made available for the public sector. Jobs will be created and the salaries will increase as a booming economy always encourages more spending and earning!

Let's start thinking outside the box. Lets make this country great again!

Anonymous said...

You didn't look hard enough:
Canada expecting their soverign bank to cut 60,000 jobs in 2019 due to minimum wage.
Minimum wage increase in California job losses...

The maths for a one pound increase for a forty hour job is: £1920 per year for any business. If you have a small cleaning business with four other cleaners that you're trying to start up that's seven and a half thousand pounds you'll have to spend in a year with no increase in income.

I have many more examples if you're not convinced.

andywade said...

One genius actually thinks the EU are going to deny Corbo a chance to negotiate his own deal and force a no deal on Feb 1st. His soloution: Vote lib dem and get nothing!


Anonymous said...

The E.U have stated they will no longer negotiate.