Howard Reed says:
April 10 2018 at 9:45 am
I think the 2017 manifesto was much better than anything Labour had put out since 1974 (I’ll ignore 1983 as that manifesto was a bit of a mess for a number of reasons)
While I would say that commitment to a balanced budget is an obstacle in the way of a good economic policy, it’s not an insurmountable obstacle. One area where John McDonnell was relatively radical was that he committed to large-scale infrastructure spending funded, effectively, by money creation – i.e. the capital budget wasn’t included in the balanced budget rule, it applied to current spending only. I would argue that a very major component of govt spending is actually investment – including not just infrastructure but public sector workers’ salaries, and indeed a large portion of benefit expenditure (it delivers huge returns to the economy in terms of improving children’s life chances, reducing homelessness and ill health, etc). So one option would be a sleight of hand – reclassify most of public spending as capital instead of current and then you could still have a balanced budget rule, it just wouldn’t matter that much as the majority of spending would be outside it and not subject to it.
Spending upon benefits for scrotes is investment. Although what in, other than votes, isn’t entirely apparent.
He also seems to have missed that this was already Gordon Brown’s definition of investment.