Sunday 8 December 2019 / 10:45 PM Economy / John McDonnell

When Labour puts money in your pockets, we’ll also put power back in your hands – John McDonnell

In a speech today (Monday) John McDonnell will lay out the main priorities for the first hundred days of a Labour government, which will include:

  • Labour’s first Budget to end austerity in social security and public services.
  • Getting investment flowing to communities neglected for decades, as part of Labour’s Green Industrial Revolution;
  • Beginning the process of bringing key utilities into public ownership under democratic management.

McDonnell will say that the first priority for the Treasury under Labour will be ending the Conservatives’ programme of cuts to public spending and social security. More details of Labour’s first Budget will be laid out in the speech tomorrow.

On the second priority, McDonnell will speak about the urgency of getting money moving out of Whitehall and the City by setting up the new institutions to make that happen. Labour’s National Transformation Unit will be established before Christmas and will kick start the new National Investment Bank, regional development banks and Post Bank. As part of Labour’s Green Industrial Revolution these new institutions will deliver finance from the City to the high street, investing in communities ignored and held down for decades.

Labour will also get Brexit sorted by kicking off negotiations for a good deal for working people, and simultaneous plans for a public vote to give the people the final say.

On kick-starting investment, John McDonnell will say:

“In too many parts of the country, we have been wasting people’s potential.

“That’s down to successive governments sitting back and leaving the fate of whole communities at the mercy of market forces.

“Good jobs and whole industries that were once the pride of our country have been lost and replaced with dreary, exploitative, insecure and low paid jobs. Or in some cases no jobs at all.

“No wonder people feel disillusioned in politicians.

“As our manifesto makes clear, turning these two things around will be our number one priority in government.

“Our Green Industrial Revolution will deliver the changes we need to avert climate catastrophe. And it will put British industry back on the map, bringing prosperity to every part of our country.

“It will give every community something to be proud of.

“The pride that comes with an honest day’s work, yes, but also more than that: the pride of being on the right side in this crucial moment of human history. The pride, quite literally, of helping to save the planet.”

John McDonnell will say that Labour’s second priority on taking charge in the Treasury will be to put the key parts of the economy in the hands of their workers and the people who use them. Announcing the urgent start of Labour’s public ownership programme and the establishment of ‘People’s Assemblies’, McDonnell will say:

“When Labour puts money in your pockets, we will also put power back in your hands.

“You rely on and work in these services, you know them.

“But you’ve been ripped off and shut out from how they’re run, to protect vested interests and profits for the wealthy.

“When we win power it will be to give it to you.

“Your vote is more powerful than all their wealth. And under Labour, power won’t be something you have every five years in the ballot box.

“Labour will put real power in your hands every day. Together we will improve services and bring down fares and bills because we believe in democracy and we believe in you.

“In our first hundred days we will start the process of bringing water and energy into public ownership.

“We’ll set up boards to run them made up of you, the customer, and you, the worker, as well as representatives from local councils, metro mayors and others.

“We’ll make sure decisions are taken locally by those who understand the services – those who use them and deliver them. Meetings will be public and streamed online with new transparency regulations set higher than ever before.

“So you can see if your road is being dug up, why, and for how long.

“And we’ll create new People’s Assemblies to hold these boards to account and give everyone the option of participating in how their utilities are run.”