Keir Starmer has argued that Labor must build “a strong partnership with business” if a fairer and more egalitarian post-Covid society is to be created, saying that for too long the party viewed business as “something that simply should be tolerated or taxed “.
In a lengthy speech outlining his goals for the party and his aspirations for a Labor government, Starmer said this idea of working with business was “central to my leadership and my vision of the future.”.
This also implied that companies assumed a central role in handling social responsibilities and the climate emergency, the Labor leader said.
“A just society will lead to a more prosperous economy,” he said. “It is not the choice of one or the other, as conservatives would have you believe. Either we have both or we have neither. Harold Wilson once said that the Labor Party is either a moral crusade or it is nothing, he was right. “
A key idea that emerged from the speech was a savings plan aimed at helping people invest in the UK’s post-Covid future, based on Bank of England forecasts showing that many households have accumulated savings during the closing. , which will not necessarily be spent.
Starmer came up with the idea of a “British recovery bond”, which would function like premium bonds, the long-standing scheme run by National Savings and Investments, but with the money going directly to Covid recovery schemes.
The plan is similar to the idea of a post-Covid “northern recovery bond” floated earlier this week by the Northern Research Group of Tory MPs and the Center for Policy Studies, the think tank co-founded by Margaret Thatcher.
He also pledged to create 100,000 startups in the next five years, with a focus on driving funds to help this nationwide, beyond London and the south-east of England.
Describing what he called “our moral crusade,” Starmer focused heavily on inequalities, arguing that the coronavirus had demonstrated “a deadly ability to find the most vulnerable and expose profound inequalities and injustices.”
These must be addressed, he argued, by comparing present times with postwar times, with the “determination that our collective sacrifice must lead to a better future.”
“The terrible damage caused by the virus to health and prosperity has been further compounded because the foundations of our society have been weakened for a decade,” Starmer said, citing the work of epidemiologist Professor Michael Marmot, which showed a decline in life expectancy in some poorer areas.
“What kind of legacy is that, for a party that has been in government for a decade, that life itself has gotten cheaper and shorter?” Starmer said.
Given this, next month’s budget amounted to “a fork in the road” for the UK, Starmer said, dismissing the idea that the government was able to address the scale of inequalities shown by the coronavirus.
“If you can’t decide whether to plunge hundreds of thousands of children into poverty by cutting universal credit, you have no chance of repairing our broken system,” he said.
Along with promises to extend the commercial rate and VAT relief, and extend the Covid licensing scheme, Starmer said that under his leadership, “the priority of workers will always be financial responsibility.” He added: “I know the value of the money that people earn so hard; I take it very seriously.”
What was needed, he said, was “a new partnership between an active government, entrepreneurial companies and the British people.”
He said: “Conservatives are incapable of doing this: they just don’t believe it is the government’s duty to provide social justice and equality, so they will always fall back on the short-term demands of the market.”
George is Digismak’s reported cum editor with 13 years of experience in Journalism