The Radical Alternative to Austerity

Every day I’m reading how many people are desperately struggling  Just to survive; people are disillusioned with the agendas of all major Political  Parties and are seeking alternatives. Last May John McDonnell MP published a statement with the same title as this post, the reason I’m using ‘The Radical Alternative to Austerity’ is what follows is that post which, to me addresses the current situation, and offers practical solutions to redress…

The austerity programme of the Coalition government is not just failing; it is prolonging and deepening the recession. Cuts in investment in public services, in jobs, wages, pensions and benefits are creating mass unemployment and mounting hardship.

Austerity is creating a spiral of economic decline as cuts produce high levels of unemployment which in turn reduces tax income and prompts another round of cuts and job losses.

The Government’s austerity measures are also unfair as the only people the Government seems intent on protecting from the recession are the rich.

There is an alternative to austerity.

There is no lack of wealth and resources in our country that we can draw upon to tackle this recession. The problem is that this wealth and these resources are held in the hands of too few people and are not being used productively to create the growth and jobs we need.

If we can release these resources, we can overcome the current recession and start to build a prosperous future for our country, linking with others across Europe and the United States to overcome this global economic gridlock.

Releasing the resources within our own country is not difficult.

It simply requires the introduction of a limited range of redistributive measures which will raise the funds we need from those most able to pay and who have profited most out of the boom years.

This redistribution can be achieved through;

a wealth tax on the richest 10%,

a Robin Hood tax on financial transactions,

a Land Value tax,

the restoration of progressive income tax of 60% on incomes above £100,000

and a clamp down on the tax evasion and avoidance that is costing us £95 billion a year.

Investing the resources released can halt the spiral of decline.

With unemployment rising month by month we urgently need to get people back to work and earning a decent living.

We can do this by investing the resources we have released through taxation in modernising our economy, its infrastructure and our public services to meet the needs of our community.

Instead of cutting and privatising our health, education and local services, this means:

Investing in a mass public housing building and renovation programme, in universal childcare, in the modernisation of our public services, in the NHS, in creating a national Caring Service, in our schools and colleges, in our transport infrastructure and in the extension of broadband.

Investing in alternative energy, combined heat and power and insulation to both tackle climate change and create one million climate change jobs.

Establishing a national investment bank with the resources levied from the banks so that there is no shortage of funds to lend for manufacturing growth and research and development.

To be successful the recovery programme has to be fair.

We will need the support of a significant majority of our people if we are to drive through this type of radical regeneration and redistribution programme.

To gain this level of support means the Radical Alternative must be seen to be fair. This means addressing many of the inequalities of our current system.

For those at the top it means ending the bonuses and limiting high salaries to no more than 20 times the lowest paid in any company or organisation.

For all others it means replacing the minimum wage with a living wage and a living pension and living welfare benefits, reducing the working week to 35 hours, closing the gender pay gap, controlling rents and energy prices, and restoring rights at work.

For young people it means a guaranteed job, apprenticeship, training or college place for every young person with the burden of fees abolished.

There is no shortage of resources to implement this programme of reform.

The problem is the distribution of these resources.

The Radical Alternative simply releases the resources we have to regain control of our economy and invest in our future.

Never again can we let them say that there is no alternative.”

If you feel this is something you could sign up to, then email John at mcdonnellj@parliament.uk and add your name to this statement. Tweeting? please use ‪#‎radicalalternativetoausterity‬

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13 thoughts on “The Radical Alternative to Austerity

  1. Pingback: The Radical Alternative to Austerity | Welfare,...

  2. Yes, this is one of the worlds wealthiest countries. Yes, most of that wealth is in only a few hands. They love austerity. It’s working perfectly well for the bastards. Why would they throw us a bone now ? (by us I mean, most of us who they view as worthless peasants). If I come across as a negative nelly, well, it’s because I live the austerity realism/bullshit with disability, bedroom tax, seeing the building hate & apathy & drone mentality of most people. Oh, to be in England in summertime. can I get off now ? i feel a little peculiar.

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  3. What an absolute load of bunkum.

    This would necessitate Government (and i mean any Government) waging war on the very people, corporations and institutions they are in cahoots with.

    To enable this, you would need to do away with Governments – now there’s a radical idea eh – get rid of Gov and local councils and councilors that regularly earn more than the Pm anyhow. Let the individuals of the community run their local economies and not with an obscene salary that is “supposed to attract the best people” bullshit – cap the top job at 30k because i think you will find there are plenty of people that want improve their local communities because they CARE! And not just for a buck!”

    Don’t let one MP fool you! It will never happen because it is no where near radical enough!!

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  4. Not sure there’s much hope for a country that’s sunk so low that it’s now considered “radical” in politics to be moral and honourable and not be (or pretend to be) a wilfully economically illiterate lunatic.

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  5. This sounds like a great idea, get it moving as soon as possible before a war breaks out. People have had enough of the Tories take take taking from us, treating sick and disabled people like dirt. We need a turn around and we need it now. Put this out everywhere let’s get this Country back on it’s feet again. We are in a terrible mess because the Tories are pocketing all the money along with the bankers. Get it stopped, get our country back where it should be. We have so many homeless now and 10,600 people have died because of Ian Smith’s Welfare Reforms there is a long way to go but we need to start and start now!

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    • We started over two years ago. This is now called Tony Benns Democratic Revolution. Or The Centre/Left Peoples Coalition. The LIBLABCON is dead the old Parties are not trusted. MPs from all are allies of the new Parties. those who are unacceptable will not be voted for in 2015

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  6. This is a workable plan, if there was not a culture of greed and selfishness at the very heart of society here. We must not be blind to the fact that many of those in the working classes that we seek to elevate, are racist, vindictive, and selfish. The sort of education we would need to see that programme to fruition will take more time than I have left. It is right and good to promote it though, so well done for trying, with an excellent blog. Regards to you, Pete.

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  7. To get back on track:
    You have to start using a real measure of inflation instead of the fudged CPI which removes housing. If you include housing in inflation, or moreover, take inflation to mean the increase in the money supply it becomes totally absurd for the BoE to keep interest rates so artificially low. When interest rates track the creation of new money they rise to a point where people don’t borrow so much, people don’t take on masses of debt in the form of mortgages and for other speculative purposes.
    So if interest rates are realigned now with actual inflation mortgage rates go up, the housing bubble pops, banks balance sheets are decimated and they’re allowed to go bust, as they should have before. The debt incurred by the banking bailout will have to be written off. Or perhaps whatever is left of the banking industry can be restructured to pay off the debt over time, but the burden must be removed from the tax payer.

    It was the bank bailout that created most of our national debt, keeping the banks alive in zombie form as we are will kill the economy. Simply, the banks must pay back the debt of the bailout and the cuts to public spending repealed.

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