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Launch of the Labour Party Manifesto

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The cartoon above is the third in a series created by Steve Way exclusively for H&P. We will be publishing more of them over the coming days as part of our election coverage If posting them on social media please acknowledge Steve Way and H&P. For permission to reproduce in books or articles please contact Steve at:


Today, Thursday 13 June, the Labour Party launched their 2024 general election manifesto. Despite being extremely cautious about making promises which might entail increases in public expenditure, the Party has still been pressed hard on their spending plans. In particular, it has been suggested that without raising taxes, Labour will have to implement significant spending cuts.

Speaking to the BBC this morning, Labour’s National Campaign Coordinator, Pat McFadden, claimed that the Party would be able to maintain public spending by growing the economy. A policy paper we published last year by Jim Tomlinson, Professor of Economic and Social History at the University of Glasgow, raises some questions about those sorts of claims.

The paper notes the appeal of this line to centrist politicians for whom it ‘can seem to be the answer to how to reconcile the competing claims for resources of investment and consumption, and of the private sector versus the public sector, and also how to raise more tax revenue without raising tax rates.’ Yet, drawing comparisons with the 1950s, Tomlinson cautions against an exclusive focus on boosting GDP. He suggests both that this has limited value as a measurement of economic welfare and that ‘it gives too many hostages to fortune, especially in a world economy grown so unstable.’


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