Policy Forum

In order to input to policy-making from the Grassroots of the Labour Party, individuals and branches can put forward their views and ideas to the National Policy Forum.  West Berks Branch of Reading West CLP is collating ideas and would value your input.  Please take a look below and then let us know your thoughts via e-mail (roger@psrltd.demon.co.uk), or comment below.

Economy

What are the causes of the UK’s poor productivity performance and how can they be overcome?

As productivity is often measured as Gross Domestic Product per hour worked, poor productivity is virtually the same as saying that people in this country are paid less than in other countries. We have too many people in low-paid jobs, so the way to overcome this is for government, industry, banks, educators and trainers to work together to create more well-paid jobs. See “100 jobs creation projects” under “Industrial Strategy”.

We also need companies that are sitting on a cash surplus to invest their money to expand their businesses and create more jobs, by, for example, giving them the incentive of a temporary holiday on national insurance contributions for the new jobs.

How do we confront the growing challenge facing many households of falling or stagnant living standards?

Raise the minimum wage to a generous living wage. Revise tax credits to ensure that recipients are both enabled and motivated to find employment.

How do we ensure a fair tax system and sustainable public finances, so we have the funds needed to create a modern successful economy?

Ensure that highly-paid people make an appropriate contribution to the public finances by restoring the 50% tax band, and employing enough staff in HMRC to tackle tax avoidance and tax evasion.

How do we strengthen workers rights, including the right to collective bargaining and trade union representation and ensure they are effective?

Review current trade union legislation to ensure that trade unions are free to organise, recruit new members, engage in collective bargaining, and campaign on their members’ rights.

Inequality in incomes has grown to the extent that there are now very rich people who are able to use their wealth to manipulate public opinion. Working people should be encouraged to join trade unions as their best defence against the power of such people.

Employees should be represented on Boards of companies and on Renumeration Committees, including trade union representatives where a union has recognition or significant membership in a company.

How can we reform public procurement to support these aims and boost jobs growth and productivity

The government should establish a set of criteria that companies should meet to be entitled to supply to public bodies covering trade union recognition, payment of the living wage, tax avoidance, bogus self-employment. The government should ensure transparency in the reasons why contracts are awarded.

Business

How do we work with businesses industry and regions to invest in the things our economy needs and which allow our businesses to thrive?

How do we respond to the opportunities and challenges of changing technology and innovation?

 How do we work with businesses to build the modern workplaces and jobs of the future?

 How should we respond to growing self-employment, including bogus self-employment, and the increasingly flexible and precarious nature of the labour market?

Labour should state we support genuine self-employment, but should also establish criteria to prevent bogus self-employment, such deeming self-employment bogus if a person permanently works long-term for a single employer.

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