Sir Keir Starmer has suggested that Labor will renege on a pledge to renationalise the railways, despite repeated promises to do so.
The Work The leader insisted he was taking a “pragmatic” approach when asked if he would return rail, energy and water companies to public ownership.
His opinion appears to have changed since he became leader in 2020, when he promised to re-nationalise the sectors during his campaign. Labour’s 2017 and 2019 manifestos under Jeremy Corbyn also promised this.
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Shadow chancellor Rachel Reeves said earlier in the day that the policy was no longer compatible with the “fiscal rules” she would introduce to rein in government spending.
Asked if he would re-nationalise these industries, Sir Cyrus said: “I take a pragmatic approach, not an ideological one, I agree with what Rachel Reeves said this morning.
“Having gone through the pandemic, it’s very important that we have very, very clear priorities, and that’s why we’ve already set out the fiscal rules as the opposition.”
His comments could anger the unions, on whose support Labor relies heavily they are preparing to hold new railway strikes this week on wages and working conditions.
last year Sir Kier has ruled out nationalizing major energy companiesagain stating that he is “pragmatic” about common ownership.
Sir Keir was speaking after setting out Labour’s economic plan, in which he said a “new approach” was needed to reboot Britain’s economy.
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“Our economy is weaker than our competitors, less resilient, more fragile and ultimately we are all poorer because of it,” he told Labor supporters in Liverpool.
“So I am clear: Labor will fight the next election for economic growth.
“There is no task more important to my ambitions for Britain than to make the country and its people better.”
He said his aim was to “maximize the contribution we all make to the national prosperity” and to ensure that hard work is paid for and the security needed “for further development”.
“To do all this, we need three things: growth, growth and growth,” he said.
“There is no magic money tree economy”
Sir Keir said the Labor government “isn’t announcing a penny of day-to-day spending without saying how we’re going to pay for it”.
They would only borrow to invest in future problems such as climate change and set a goal of debt reduction.
“With me, with Rachel Reeves, you will always have good finances, prudent spending, strong, safe and fair growth,” he promised.
“The magic money tree economy will not be with us.”
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He also said he had asked former prime minister and chancellor Gordon Brown to consider new forms of economic devolution to help spread power so it was not concentrated in big cities.
And, borrowing a Conservative phrase about “alignment”, he said Labor would not do it “from the centre”, while the reforms would allow devolved and local authorities to make “long-term financial decisions” outside the political cycle.
He also took aim at the Tory leadership candidates, saying Rishi Sunak was “the architect of the cost of living crisis” and Liz Truss was “the latest graduate of the magic money tree school of economics”.
Sir Keir added that neither had the answers to the economic problems facing Britain because they were both “raging against the demise of the Thatcherite light” and “failing to understand that economic strength in the 21st century requires partnership”. .
Labour’s five-point economic plan:
1. Financially responsible
2. Distinctively British
3. Work in partnership with business
4. Revitalizing communities and spreading economic power
5. Refocus our investments on productivity.