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Published: Wed, September 27, 2017
Global Media | By Abel Hampton

Labour government would bring PFI contracts into public sector, says McDonnell

Labour government would bring PFI contracts into public sector, says McDonnell

Under socialist leader Jeremy Corbyn, a parliamentary veteran, and his would-be finance minister John McDonnell, Labour has shifted from the centrist pro-business platform of former prime minister Tony Blair to a more interventionist left-wing pitch.

The Labour Party will, McDonnell said, review all existing PFI contracts and bring them in house "if necessary".

But the Conservatives said Labour's nationalisation plans, as well as its intention to buy out PFI contracts for the running of schools, hospitals and other public services, would result in "a collapse in business investment and a crash in the value of the pound".

"As a Labour Party member, I expect the inquiry announced today to take firm action; as leader I will need reassurances that there will be no repeat of the behaviour and actions we have seen this week before any further bookings from the party are taken".

The scheme has proved controversial, with complaints from Labour and Conservative MPs over the years.

The shadow chancellor was cheered as he confirmed that a Labour government would scrap university tuition fees, overturn Conservative trade union legislation and nationalise rail, water, energy and the Royal Mail.

"It was as if it received a shot of adrenaline", said Eric Bush, a representative from the Cayman Islands who attends party conferences to gather intelligence and help manage the British Overseas Territory's relationship with London's political class.

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

He also promised massive government investment in public sector infrastructure.

The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) launched a consultation earlier this year to look at ways of tackling credit card debt, through requiring more oversight by credit card providers.

"We should never forget that we are part of that great Labour tradition and we should be so proud of it".

Chief Secretary to the Treasury Liz Truss said: The best way to help people with their personal finances is with our balanced approach to the economy, which is creating more well paid jobs and cutting taxes for working people.

A Survation poll on Tuesday showed Labour would be the largest party in parliament, albeit short of an outright majority, if a vote were held now.

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

Labour governments during the 1960s and 1970s came under financial pressure in the markets, leading them to devalue the pound, by lowering the exchange rate, on more than one occasion.

The CBI accused him of "misplaced nostalgia".

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