McDonnell: ‘We will launch a debate about tax and the economy’

The shadow chancellor will say a future Labour government will live within its means, investing to grow the economy and sharing proceeds “more equally”.


In a leaked email obtained by the paper, executive council member Tony Woodhouse reportedly said the union should “do a massive recruiting drive in the CLPs (constituency Labour parties) where MPs have said they wouldn’t serve in his shadow cabinet”. His campaign leaflet “The Economy in 2020”, citing analysis by tax expert Richard Murphy, said the government is missing out on £120 billion in uncollected revenue a year — enough to give every person in Britain £2,000.

Mr McDonnell is expected to confirm the plan as he launches “a radical review of the national institutions that manage our economy”, including both the Treasury and the Bank of England, and demands for access to Office for Budget Responsibility modelling.

“The way things have happened till now can’t continue. It’s not fair and we will act”.

McDonnell’s promise will come after his predecessor Chris Leslie told him to tone down his negative rhetoric to business and spell out what he planned to do to make Labour an anti-austerity party.

But Corbyn’s long-time ally and finance spokesman John McDonnell said he would back the government’s “charter” setting out medium-term budget goals.

“That’s why Labour are a serious threat to our economic security and the security of all working people“.

On the so-called “Robin Hood” tax, Mr McDonnell said it was a policy “on the basis it could be introduced globally”.

And he also promised “a mass house-building programme” and a system of rent controls to ensure the availability of affordable homes.

Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn said: “I was elected on a clear mandate to oppose austerity and to set out an economic strategy based on investment in skills, jobs and infrastructure”.

On Sunday, Mr Corbyn used a TV appearance to hint at the possibility of an income tax cut for low earners while calling for firms to pay what they owe rather than hide profits in tax havens.

“I would want to keep the top rate at 50 per cent, 50p, I have no plans to raise it beyond that and neither has John”.

David Hillman from the Robin Hood Tax campaign, which has garnered more than a million signatures for the petition, told the same meeting that there was nothing “dangerous or radical” about the tax, which he claims has the support from across the political spectrum in Europe.


Nobel prizewinner Joseph Stiglitz, a leading critic of inequality, and Thomas Piketty, the best-selling author of Capital in the 21st Century, are among those who will help shape policy.

Sinn Fein leader Gerry Adams and Jeremy Corbyn