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Labour’s Economic Alternative: What does Opposition have to Offer?

Despite the Conservative’s witnessing a slight polling recovery in the wake of Rishi Sunak’s more conciliatory economic approach, Labour still enjoys a decisive lead in the opinion polls. One that sets them on course to win an electoral landslide that would usher in the first Labour administration since 2010.

Indeed, a recent YouGov poll — dated 1-2 November 2022 — found that 50% of their respondents intended to vote Labour, compared to just 24% for the Tories. This would translate into a healthy 36 seat majority, according to In light of this, it seems apt to start considering Starmer’s programme, and his forecast for the future of the British economy.

The official Labour Party website sets out a five-point-plan for profound structural reform. First, Labour intends to establish more “green jobs” and “new high-tech green industries,” as part of their climate investment pledge. To achieve such ends, Miliband has agreed to invest up to £3 billion in the steel industry over a 10 year span. He seeks to forge a mutually beneficial harmony between economic and environmental needs. In the words of the shadow environmental secretary, Labour is to be the party of “climate justice and economic justice together.”

The second and third points concern attempts to revitalise the relationship between businesses and the state. They have promised to abandon business rates in order to manufacture a more equitable system. One that would be reinforced by the introduction of an Industrial Strategy Council to help bridge the gap between government and businesses. In short, Labour seeks to nurture an economic environment that both encourages investment to stimulate long-term corporate growth, whilst bolstering opportunities for smaller businesses.

Labour also plans to reduce the UK’s dependence on international trade in a bid to mitigate economic shocks arising from international events, supply issues or global market downturns. This campaign of self-sufficiency is to span the foundations of the UK’s economy, helping to “strengthen supply chains” and secure new “jobs and growth.”

As the self-proclaimed party “about [the] people,” Labour’s final pledge addresses the demands of workers. Starmer intends to forge a so-called “new deal” for working people to improve job security and pay. On top of this, he seek the introduction of a windfall tax on the “oil and gas giants” to freeze energy bills this winter. This would help alleviate many of the concerns of working families having to battle with the Cost of Living crisis.

A Labour government would also oversee the closure of several taxation loopholes, namely the controversial non-dam status. These additional funds would be channelled into social welfare programmes, helping ease the financial strains that these service currently face in the aftermath of vast funding cuts. Such a comprehensive programme clearly requires extensive legislative reform. Reform that demands a far greater stretch in office than can be offered by one electoral victory. The real question is thus whether Labour’s newfound popularity amounts to anything more than an anti-conservative sentiment. Perhaps we should be asking not whether Labour will be able to get into number 10, but whether they will be able to stay there.

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Analyst: Charlie Hayter

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