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Keywords:

  • austerity;
  • National Investment Bank

Austerity has become the norm of economic management in the EU, Britain and the USA. In each it is offered as the answer to different problems but everywhere the result is cuts in public spending, higher unemployment and low growth, none of which helps recovery from recession.

Labour's response should not be to endorse or continue austerity but to initiate a Keynesian expansionary stimulus based on borrowing and spending on a huge programme of building public housing for rent. This should be accompanied by a competitive exchange rate, an industrial policy to boost the manufacturing sector and a National Investment Bank, the aim being to expand the production base so that it can pay the nation's way in the World and support the structure and the improvements Labour needs. This makes the choice at the next election the issue of what kind of Britain the electorate wants to see: a low wage, mean economy or a determined attempt to rebuild a stronger nation with a more powerful economy.