Denmark is one of the few European states to elect a social-democratic government in recent years – but its mix of progressive economics and anti-immigrant policies offers a stark warning about the years ahead.
Commentators often point to the Nordic standard of living as an example to follow, but few explore what lies behind this model – a strong workers’ movement and a more democratic economy.
Pensions now account for over 40% of all wealth in Britain, but pro-market reforms under Margaret Thatcher individualised the system – leaving what should be a vast store of public wealth in private hands.
For decades, Britain’s governments have designed public policy to benefit property owners and landlords to the detriment of everyone else – in effect, the UK is a housing market with an economy attached.
This week the Tories will outline their recovery plan: a more muscular state which intervenes on behalf of the wealthy. Labour needs a response that focuses on working people – but is sorely lacking it.
More than a million low-paid workers have regularly skipped meals during this pandemic, while thousands more miss heating and bills. There’s only one solution to Britain’s endemic poverty pay – a real living wage.
The global pandemic has pushed between 200 and 500 million people into extreme poverty, while the richest have added $3.9 trillion to their fortunes. Covid-19 is not a crisis impacting us all equally – it’s a class war.
In the 1980s, CEOs in Britain earned 20 times average worker salaries. Today, it is 120 times. This explosion in income inequality is not an accident – it is the direct result of policies pushed by our political and economic elites.
New research released this month shows the growing chasm of income inequality that is tearing Britain’s social fabric apart. It can’t be fixed by half measures – we need a fundamentally new economic model.
From the bungling of Covid-19 to economic policies written for a tiny elite and a cosy relationship with a supine press, Britain’s political landscape is more of a wasteland when viewed from neighbouring countries.
Yesterday’s announcements saw Rishi Sunak cut £10 billion worth of planned spending from the UK economy. It might be a new form of austerity, but it is austerity nonetheless – and none of it is necessary.
By proposing increases in defence spending alongside a pay freeze for workers, the Tories have exposed the lie that governments can’t invest – and revealed their own priorities: war before well-being.
The most deprived parts of England – and those which suffered most from a decade of austerity – are at the frontlines of lockdown. The Tories’ refusal to support them is a disgrace.
This week, Boris Johnson said it was time for the state to “stand back and let the private sector get on with it.” But that is exactly what Britain has done for 40 years – and it has led to disaster.