Tuesday 12 January 2021 / 10:30 PM Anneliese Dodds / Economy

“A responsible framework for a resilient economy” – Shadow Chancellor sets out Labour’s path to recovery and a better, more secure future for Britain

Labour’s Shadow Chancellor Anneliese Dodds will today (Wednesday 13 January) shatter the glass ceiling in the world of economics by becoming the first woman to deliver the prestigious Mais lecture to the Business School at City University, London.

The lecture, entitled ‘The challenges of the post-Covid, post-Brexit UK economy – a response’ will set out Labour’s “responsible framework for a resilient economy” and a better, more secure future for Britain.

Calling for an end to 10 years of poorly targeted public spending and the chaotic, last-minute economic decision making that left Britain with the worst recession in the G7 last year, Dodds will outline the responsible choices Labour would take to tackle long-term challenges and build a more secure economy. 

She will commit Labour to a “responsible fiscal framework” focused on economic resilience, with forward-looking targeting of a balanced budget but allowing for flexibility in times of crisis and for productivity-enhancing investment.

She is expected to say:

“If we are to deliver a resilient, jobs-rich recovery from this crisis and a stronger, better future for the 2020s and beyond, we must make effective use of all economic policymaking levers at our disposal. That means an independent Bank of England setting monetary policy; a responsible government using fiscal policy to ensure public money is spent effectively and wisely; and action to improve resilience, including in the face of the climate crisis, and to deal with challenges to our economic competitiveness.”

Highlighting the billions of pounds of public funds wasted by successive Conservative governments, Dodds will make a “cast-iron commitment to delivering value for money for the British people” by asking the National Audit Office to make an annual assessment of how well the government is spending money and committing the Treasury to implement its recommendations.

 

She will say:

“This approach – hardwiring value for money and financial control into the budgetary process – would focus on real outcomes, not eye-catching announcements designed to raise expectations today, only for them to be dashed tomorrow.”

Dodds will take also aim at the Conservatives’ irresponsible economic policies over the last decade, arguing that a culture of short-term economic decision making left the economy in a weak position going into the Covid-19 crisis.

She will accuse current Chancellor Rishi Sunak of compounding the damage over the last year, saying:

“The public’s health has been opposed to economic outcomes, ignoring the impact of fears around the virus on consumption, and the much larger economic costs incurred by restrictions being imposed later than they should have been. One indication of this failure to understand the link between health and the economy was the Chancellor’s refusal to accept SAGE recommendations for earlier, stronger measures against Coronavirus during the autumn.”