My Labour Party branch debated Labour's economic policies at its meeting on Wednesday and found official Labour Party wanting. This contemporary resolution is work in progress among those present for the discussion.
Here is the current draft:
Responsible budgetary policy, investment, growth and jobs
Conference notes the latest OECD call published on 9 September for further stimulus measures in the light of a possible global economic slowdown in the second half of 2010. In particular, Conference notes that the OECD proposed that plans to bring looming budget deficits under control through public spending cuts and tax rises "could be delayed".
Conference notes that this is consistent with the previous Labour government's commitment to tackle the budget deficit arising from reckless behaviour in parts of the global and UK banking and financial sectors.
Conference shares the concerns arising from current financial market indicators about the risks of slower growth, fewer jobs and a possible double-dip recession being much great than sovereign debt default.
Conference rejects the Conservative – Liberal Democrat coalition's assertion that the budget deficit must be eliminated within five years. Conference recalls how the 1945-50 Labour government managed the creation of the National Health Service, nationalisation of rail, coal and steel and other major welfare reforms. This was despite UK government borrowing being three times higher (proportionally) after World War II period than after the recent global banking crisis.
Conference further notes that some banks and financial services companies are still paying excessive bonuses.
Conference therefore resolves :
1. that responsible budget management should be linked mainly to economic cycle conditions with a view to optimising the chances for growth in both the public, private and third sectors and to maximise job prospects as the appropriate means of reducing the budget deficit arising from irresponsible banking practices
2. taxation policy should encourage fair pay based on a living wage, as well as aspiration; but penalise greed