SPEAKING at a press conference on the ‘first hundred days’ of a Labour government, Shadow Chancellor of the Exchequer, John McDonnell, pledged: ‘So let me now set out my priorities for my first hundred days in the Treasury and how we’ll put power and wealth into the hands of those who create it.’
He continued: ‘When we win power it will be to give it to you, because we believe in democracy and we believe in you.
‘Since we first put public ownership back on the political agenda, we’ve been talking about our plans more, and consulting on them with experts, trade unions and industry. And we are ready to go.
‘In our first hundred days we will start the process of bringing water and energy into public ownership. We’ll set up boards to run these utilities made up of you, the customer, and you, the worker, as well as representatives from local councils, metro mayors and others.
‘We’ll make sure decisions are taken locally by those who understand the services – those who use them and deliver them. . .
‘And we’ll create new People’s Assemblies to give everyone the option of participating in how their utilities are run.’
He continued: ‘The first priority of a Labour Government will be getting investment going to make this happen.
‘We’ll set up our National Transformation Unit immediately – before Christmas – so it can start work in the Treasury, before being moved out to its new office in the north of England early next year.
‘It will provide the initial finance for our new National Investment Bank, regional development banks and Post Bank, using the power of the Treasury to get affordable finance onto every high street in Britain.
‘We’ve already started our meetings with the Treasury, they are working up plans and getting ready to implement all this. So don’t be fooled by the doubters who say our plans are unachievable.
‘A decade of austerity, and forty years of believing the market knows best, have dulled people’s sense of what’s possible, just as they were intended to do.
‘That’s why – if we are to help make hope real again – we need to remake government, and what people expect from it.
‘We’re creating new institutions – institutions that will become a normal part of people’s lives, like the NHS. Institutions that we will come to cherish and rely on, like the NHS.
‘Central among those institutions will be publicly-owned and democratically run utilities, because when Labour put money in your pockets, we will also put power back in your hands.’
He then added: ‘Meanwhile of course, during this period, Jeremy Corbyn, our new prime minister, and his negotiating team will have secured a new Brexit agreement with our EU partners to put before the British people within 6 months.’
McDonnell pledged: ‘And finally, but in some respects most importantly, our first Budget. The Budget which ends austerity once and for all.
‘This is the budget that will save the NHS, that starts to rebuild the public services the Tories have brought to their knees.
‘A Budget that will put money in people’s pockets, a Real Living Wage of £10 an hour. Money to fix the worst aspects of Universal Credit, while we design its replacement, a 5% pay rise for public sector workers after years of pay freezes.’
However the people want Universal Credit abolished!
McDonnell revealed that his first budget will be on the 5th of February. The date when almost ten years of cuts ‘will come to an end.’
McDonnell added, in answering a question, that he did not consider that the city would sabotage his programme by organising a massive run on the pound.