McDonnell: asset managers like our investment plans (but not the taxes)

Alicia Cross
September 27, 2017

A Labour council leader has threatened to stop the party holding future conferences in Brighton unless it gets a grip onanti-Semitism.

PFI contracts use private funding to pay for big infrastructure projects like building hospitals or schools as a way of keeping debts off the government's balance sheet. The NHS alone is repaying private firms around £2 billion per year for PFI schemes with interest payments said to be around £56 billion by 2048.

Mr Corbyn claimed there had "effectively" been a run on the pound since the Leave vote in the 2016 Brexit referendum, a result which led to a sharp drop in the value of sterling the next day - the pound has remained more than 10% below its pre-referendum levels.

Labour said demand for stands at the conference hall, used by businesses and other organisations to promote their agenda, outstripped supply by 20 percent, and extra stalls had to be added, snaking down corridors leading off the main venue.

Aides later said that a review of all PFI deals, to be carried out after Labour takes power, is expected to find that most are appropriate for returning to public hands.

"We'll put an end to this scandal and reduce the cost to the taxpayers".

John McDonnell will announce plans on Monday for a cap on interest payments, protecting those trapped in a spiral of credit card debt.

He told the conference in Brighton that it was a "scandal" that PFI deals will see almost £200bn paid to private companies from the public sector over the next few decades.

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Susan Collins of ME has said she is leaning "no" on the proposal, and there are still questions as to where Alaska Republican Sen. Instead, states would get a pot of money through 2026, and it would be up to them to figure out how to spend it on health care.

McDonnell told Labour members scenario planning for all eventualities such as a run on the pound or capital flight was important partly because, 'people want to know we are ready, they want to know we have a response to anything that can happen'.

CBI director-general Carolyn Fairburn said: "The shadow chancellor's vision of massive state intervention is the wrong plan at the wrong time".

But the director of the independent Institute for Fiscal Studies, Paul Johnson, told the programme that taking back contracts would cost "an bad lot upfront" unless Labour was planning to expropriate them.

Labour has also committed to not signing any more PFI deals and to develop alternative public sector models for funding infrastructure.

"These unaffordable Labour promises wouldn't improve public services and the costs would just rack up and up", said Ms Truss. "It all shows that Labour aren't fit to govern".

But contradicting that version of events, a source close to Dr Barbrook told PoliticsHome: "What we had was a meeting where we talked through with the Treasury team about possible scenarios".

"Employment law and other regulatory aspects of such changes would also be hugely complicated and require extensive (re) negotiations".

Appearing alongside the shadow chancellor at a fringe event, she told him Brexit was already creating "really significant uncertainty" and there are "real questions about what kind of an economy we are and what kind of a place we are to set up a business".

Other reports by Free-Prsite

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