Labour would halt RBS privatisation – in return for investment

  This looks like Labour’s plan for a national investment bank, writ smaller. A Labour government would halt privatisation because it would not profit the state. This makes perfect sense – far more than the current Tory plan to sell to the rich at a loss for the poor. But the offer is only to delay continued privatisation of RBS – and only if the bank commits itself to lending money to the regions, and to small businesses. For This Writer, it is not enough. RBS played a large part…

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Has Chuka Umunna taken leave of his senses?

After the story in The Guardian there are only two things required of Chuka Umunna: Repudiation – or his resignation. The article states that Blue Labour stalwart Umunna would call on Conservative heavyweight Michael Heseltine for advice if Labour wins the general election. If this is true, it is madness. Heseltine was a leading member of the Thatcher and Major Conservative governments of the 1980s and 90s, pioneering the disastrous ‘Right to Buy’ initiative that sold off the majority of council houses without replacing them, leading to the current housing crisis…

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Labour plans ‘biggest devolution of economic power and funding for generations’

Today’s most interesting election announcement comes from Labour, which is promising to deliver “the biggest devolution of economic power and funding to England’s city and county regions for generations”. Plans to devolve £30 billion of funding over five years – including funding for housing, transport, business support, employment and adult skills – will be at the heart of the next Labour government’s Spending Review, if elected in May. A Labour Treasury will allow city and county regions which come together in combined authorities to keep 100 per cent of extra business…

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Suicide rate is now the strongest indicator of unemployment

Iain Duncan Smith has been crowing about the private sector after the official unemployment figure dropped from 8.2 to 8 per cent of the workforce. He reckons we should take our hats off to private sector employers for providing the new work. Well he would, wouldn’t he? His attitude conforms with the narrative the Tories have been trying to build since 2010, that the private sector would rush in to fill the jobs gap left behind after the Coalition cut the public sector to ribbons – providing decent, gainful employment for…

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