A former Shadow Chancellor has proposed a radical set of plans to clear the debt created by the Tory government’s cack-handed handling of the Covid-19 crisis.
John McDonnell pointed out that the richest firms in the UK have profited hand-over-fist during the crisis, and should pay a windfall tax to help pay for the measures to end it – which would ultimately help them, of course.
His proposals were not an attack on businesses, though – they were a criticism of a speech by current Labour leader Keir Starmer, whose best idea was to get members of the public to give all the money they have managed to save during the crisis to a new investment bank – meaning the nation’s poorest would foot the bill (again). What a socialist Starmer is!
In fact, according to Citizens Advice, more than six million people have fallen behind on their bills because of Covid-related hardship, and the number in severe, problem debt has doubled to 1.2 million.
They don’t have any spare cash for castle-in-the-air investment banks!
McDonnell said a comprehensive package of debt cancellation was needed to get the UK back on its feet, including high-cost debt, old debt, unmanageable rent and student debt – all to be supported by a windfall tax on businesses that have raked in billions of pounds over the last year.
He called for the creation of a ‘Debt Charter’ to tackle the causes and consequences of debt in UK society.
Improved benefits and a £10-an-hour living wage, along with restored universal basic services, should be deployed to prevent people from getting into debt in the first place, he said.
He called for a cap on interest rate charges and a ceiling on overdraft fees and interest payments to “rebalance power between lenders and the indebted”.
And he said bailiff visits should be suspended at least until the whole of the UK has been vaccinated against Covid-19.
This is the kind of thinking we need at this time.
We could have had it, too – if only millions of people had not been hoodwinked by anti-Labour propaganda at the 2019 general election, including a Tory campaign that was found to be more than 80 per cent lies.
So if you find yourself struggling with debt for years to come, while the Tories, their client media and their business-oriented doners tell you you’ve never had it so good, just remember that you could have had it better.
And remind everybody you know not to be fooled again.
Have YOU donated to my crowdfunding appeal, raising funds to fight false libel claims by TV celebrities who should know better? These court cases cost a lot of money so every penny will help ensure that wealth doesn’t beat justice.
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