Rachel Reeves

Member of Parliament for Leeds West

THE EVERYDAY ECONOMY

Today, I am really pleased to be releasing a new pamphlet, The Everyday Economy. You can read it here.

The Everyday Economy is a contribution to the debate on how Labour can build on the success of its 2017 manifesto. In it, I argue for a new approach to Britain’s economy. This is built around work, family and the places we live, as the key pillars of a strategy to a grow a successful economy that benefits everyone.

Our current economic model is exhausted. I see proof of that every week – from the collapse of Carillion, to the growth of precarious work, to the unscrupulous behaviour of some of our energy companies. 

We have become an economy of wealth extraction rather than wealth creation. This way of doing things isn’t producing the growth we need. It has allowed the growth of the kind of crony capitalism that led to the collapse of Carillion. It has allowed the new platform monopolies like Google, Facebook and Amazon to operate unchecked. And inequality between regions, generations and between our towns and cities keeps growing. 

Too often, when we talk about solving Britain’s economic problems, we focus on sectors which are high productivity, but which employ only a small number of highly-qualified people. I want to focus instead on how we can improve work, wages and productivity in the Everyday Economy – those sectors like health and social care, or retail, which employ a lot of people but too often pay low wages, employ workers in precarious situations, and suffer from low levels of productivity.

That’s why I’ve written this pamphlet, which sets out an alternative approach. It argues for:

  • A new unit for Local Wealth Building.  Based in Downing Street, the new unit would help build local capacity in every region, making sure that all parts of Britain have the resources to address their own problems and take advantage of their own strengths.
  • An industrial strategy which puts improving work, wages and productivity in the everyday sectors like care and retail front-and-centre.
  • At least two employees on company boards to give workers a bigger say over their pay and conditions.
  • A British Investment Bank or decentralised Citizen’s Wealth Fund to provide commercial loans on a long-term basis.
  • New Royal Colleges in sectors such as social care to give workers - the people who know best - a voice in driving up standards and shaping policy.

I think these ideas could help build an economy and society which value the work people do; better support families in all their shapes and sizes, and boost living standards in all Britain’s towns and cities.

You can read the full pamphlet here.

And I have written for the New Statesman about my ideas here.

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