The Shadow Chancellor of the Exchequer has accused the Conservative party of “dishonest politics” while visiting Pudsey as part of a national roadshow.
John McDonnell was speaking at his nationwide tour, ‘Road to Rebuilding the Economy’ where, in front of a 200 strong audience at Priesthorpe School of local politicians, community and business leaders, he set out plans to create jobs, boost wages and increase living standards in West Yorkshire.
The Labour party says the document is a stand against eight years of austerity cuts and follows the Prime Minister’s pledge to end cuts.
Mr McDonnell, said: “It lacks credibility. The budget is coming up so, if they are really ending austerity that budget will have to make sure the NHS is fully funded. The proposals don’t go anywhere near the needs of that. Where is the money coming from? It is dishonest politics.”
As the Labour party plans to overturn Pudsey’s Conservative hold at the next General Election, the aim of the roadshow was to ask people how cuts have affected them in everyday life, work or business and what they wanted to see done differently.
Mr McDonnell said there was a desire in Pudsey for better transport and rail links – with £190 spent per head on transport in Yorkshire and the Humber compared to £1,900 in London – better digital coverage and more use of alternative energy.
Mr McDonnell said: “We are starting to plan what we want for each area, tackling regional inequality, climate change and developing and economy so it can compete on the forth-coming industrial revolution. People are moving out of London and Pudsey can be attractive if we get the infrastructure.”
The Shadow Chancellor’s aspirations were questioned by Pudsey’s sitting MP Stuart Andrew. He said: “This is the most left-wing Labour party for a generation and they are talking about £500bn of borrowing that will be a nightmare for a younger generation that will be saddled with that debt.”
WHAT LABOUR IS PROPOSING TO DO
In its challenge to the Conservative Party approach Labour is proposing to establish a National Investment Bank, funded to the tune of £500bn over 10 years, with spending allocated on a regional basis for causes relevant to that area. Proposals also include “re-writing” the Green Book – government criteria for deciding what is spent where – with a view to improving infrastructure and skills on a local basis which in turn enable communities to be forward thinking and self-sustainable.