Corbyn launches attacks on failure of Blair and Brown

By Joe Mellor, Deputy Editor

The Labour leader has pulled no punches and savaged his party’s political and economic record under Brown and Blair.

During his first major speech to business chiefs he attacked the pervious leaders for an “unsustainable” handling of the economy.

Jezza tore apart New Labour for its ‘light touch’ regulation of the banking sector, the heavy reliance on PFI schemes and inability to raise wages for the lowest paid.

Corbyn has clearly tried to create economic daylight between his Labour party and the party he inherited.

He said: “The New Labour approach was to opt for light touch regulation of finance – and then sit back and collect the tax revenues,but you cannot base a decent social policy on an unsustainable economic policy.” to the annual British Chambers of Commerce conference.

He believes that New Labour used the tax take from the City to give poorer people tax credits. He thinks the approach should have been to make firms introduce a genuine living wage

He said: “Wealth creation is a collective process between workers, public investment and services.”

“It cannot be based on a race to the bottom in pay and job insecurity, or the subsidy of low wages with in-work benefits.

“That’s why we’re in favour of a real living wage and stronger trade unions.”

Corbyn also aired his hatred of the PFI (Private Finance Initiative) used by New Labour to fund building new hospitals, schools and other key infrastructure projects. The debt created from these agreements is the root cause of the NHS crisis.

He said: “PFI debt (is) an inefficient way of delivering necessary investment. The last Labour government lacked the confidence to make the argument to borrow to invest, and so it did what banks thought they could get away with before the crash – an off-the-books accountancy wheeze.

“In both cases, putting debt off the books did not work it came right back onto the books and helped trigger crisis.”

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