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Tackling poverty and inequality is economically sensible, not just morally right

Wealth creators are you and me We need to re-think our ideas about who are the wealth creators. Too many people have, over the years,  fallen for the myth that the wealth creators are the investment bankers, the financiers, the very few people who have access to large amounts of money – forgetting that money alone doesn’t make anything.

People who work are wealth creators. People who educate the people who make up the workforces, or provide health care for them -they are also wealth creators. Teachers, nurses, bus drivers, train ticket inspectors – we are all the wealth creators. Without us, nothing gets made, no-one can get to work, people fall sick = no wealth created.

Decent pay for all helps people and it helps the economy

So working people not only need decent working conditions and pay, they completely and utterly deserve them – there is no moral case whatsoever for the current push to the bottom for working conditions. But further more, there is an economic case for rewarding the low paid workers better, for doing the opposite of what the Tory-Libdem government is currently doing – it makes the economy work! Low paid people currently are either struggling to provide the basics – turning to food banks, or reliant on tax credits to top up inadequate wages – or desperately trying not to slip further and further into debt as their zero or low hours contracts keep them trapped on insecure wages and unable to get better work.

When low paid and middle income people have better salaries and more financial stability, we spend the money, on local goods and services – the money goes round. One woman goes home with ten pounds cash, spends five at her local shop, which forms part of the pay for the shop assistant, who spends it on her childcare and some at the local cinema on a much needed night out. etc etc. Money goes round the local economy. Whereas giving a rich banker a bonus – how does that really help the economy? It gets invested in highly expensive luxury goods or investments. Doesn’t spread around much.

That used to be known as the trickle down effect and was much vaunted by right wing governments here and in the US – Ronald Reagan used to go on about it. I never liked the idea of Ronald Reagan trickling down on anyone. But more importantly, it has never worked.

Decent pay, an end to poverty wages, enforcing a living wage and tackling the rising cost of basics like rent and fuel – they all help the economy grow in a sustained, fairly distributed and also efficient way. Everyone’s a winner.

Labour policies include ramping up the minimum wage, sorting out the private rented housing market, regulating the heck out of the fuel companies and challenging train companies who don’t give value for money. I’m proud to campaign for all of this – and it shows we are the party to trust on the economy.

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