IEA - The Shadow Chancellor’s policy agenda was disappointing and predictable
Matthew Lesh, head of public policy at free market think tank the Institute of Economic Affairs comments on Shadow Chancellor Rachel Reeves’ speech at the Labour Party’s annual conference
“Reeves outlined a big-state, high-tax vision for the country and advocated the same old politics of redistribution. It is only by growing the pie that we can ensure everyone has a larger slice.
“The Shadow Chancellor’s policy agenda was disappointing and predictable. A ‘national wealth fund’ harkens back to the failed industrial policies of the past, with the taxpayer on the hook for bad investments. A large increase in the minimum wage would risk employment and push up costs for struggling businesses. The ban on fracking will simply make the UK more dependent on unfriendly nations for gas supplies.
“It is welcome to hear Reeves talk about responsible fiscal policy. But it is disingenuous to suggest that bringing back the additional rate of income tax, which was introduced in 2009 and only raises around £2 billion a year, could fund a wide array of new public spending pledges. She also failed to mention that a further windfall tax on oil and gas companies would not even come close to covering the cost of the energy price cap, while threatening future investment in energy supplies.
“There was, nevertheless, some hope in the speech. The Corbynista anti-enterprise rhetoric appears to have disappeared. There was also a welcome discussion about investment allowances and reforming business rates, which could improve Britain’s growth.”
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