Reeves says Kwarteng ‘fanned the flames’ for pound’s fall with unfunded tax cuts hints at weekend – UK politics live | Politics

Reeves says Kwarteng made sterling’s plight worse at weekend when he ‘fanned the flames’ with unfunded tax cuts hints

Rachel Reeves, the shadow chancellor, is now being interviewed on the Today programme by Martha Kearney.

Reeves starts by talking about the fall in the value of the pound, which she says is incredibly concerning. She suggests Kwasi Kwarteng “fanned the flames” yesterday by suggesting that there could be more unfunded tax cuts to come.

It is incredibly concerning. I think many people had hoped over the weekend things would calm down but I do think the chancellor sort of fanned the flames on Sunday in suggesting there may be more stimulus, more unfunded tax cuts, which has resulted overnight in the pound falling to an all-time low against the dollar.

She says Kwarteng and Liz Truss are like two gamblers in the casino. She goes on:

Here’s the thing; they are not gambling their money, they are gambling all our money.

Q: Do you expect interest ratest to go up?

Reeves says she was an economist before she became a politician; an interest rate rise is what the markets expect, she says.

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Momentum delegates claim procedural trick used to stop energy/water nationalisation motion being put to vote

Jessica Elgot

Jessica Elgot

Momemtum delegates have accused Labour of “rigging the system” and alleged their delegates were not told about a meeting to agree a motion on nationalisation that they were entitled to attend.

The grassroots group said the motion now does not include demands for public ownership of energy and water in the vote this afternoon – though trade union delegates having included rail and Royal Mail nationalisation.

Momentum said their delegates were not informed of the time or location of a compositing meeting they were entitled to attend, so the wording from their motions was automatically ruled out.

The exclusion of energy nationalisation is likely to be the topic of angry debate on the conference floor. In a statement, one of the delegates, Dom Lindsay, said:

I’m incredibly disappointed that as delegates we’ve been excluded from this key part of the conference’s democratic process.

This is an unprecedented move silencing members’ voices. Our CLP sent us here to Liverpool to promote our motion on public ownership and a Green New Deal, but we’ve been unfairly denied that right.

Keir Starmer and Rachel Reeves have not endorsed nationalisation of any key industries. Conference today will see a number of key votes on policies which have not yet been endorsed by the leadership, including electoral reform and a Unison-backed, GMB-endorsed motion for an inflation-proof payrise and a £15 per hour minimum wage.

John McDonnell backs PR, saying working with other parties fine because government should reflect views of majority

John McDonnell, the former shadow chancellor, told the Today programme this morning that he used to support the first past the post electoral system, but that he became a supporter of proportional representation about 10 years ago when he concluded “we can’t go on like this because the system is so unfair”.

He explained:

The last general election demonstrated that – an 80 seat majority, but based upon not that great a difference between the political parties. So I think there comes a time when you need to review your constitutional arrangements. We need a fairer voting system – simple as that.

McDonnell said PR would not inevitably lead to coalition government. But he said Labour should be “honest” about the merits of having a government with broad support.

When we go into government next time, we want to be a government that’s based upon a majority of the views of the population. And if that means other parties having a role in that government, I’m not averse to that.

I still think Labour will get an overall majority in the next election.

But we’ve got to say to people, we need a fair voting system, because we need a government that actually does represent the people.

We’ve just got the most extreme rightwing government in our political history as a result of a first past the post system. I don’t want to go through that again.

John McDonnell.
John McDonnell. Photograph: Ian Forsyth/Getty Images

Kearney turns to the national wealth fund announcement. (See 8.11am.)

Q: That is a long-term plan. It won’t help people with the cost of living crisis now, will it?

Reeves says she makes no apology for thinking and planning for the long term. There is a global race for the jobs of the future, she says. She says there is no reason why the UK cannot win that.

And that’s it. The Reeves interview is over.

Reeves suggests Labour would use extra borrowing to fund cut in basic rate of income tax to 19%

Reeves says the government is using tax policy to help those at the top while interest rate policy will penalise people at the bottom.

Q: But Labour is supporting the tax cuts in the budget?

Reeves says Labour opposed the national insurance increase in the first place.

But she says the party also supports “targeted tax increases”.

Q: It will cost £5bn to fund the 1p in the pound income tax cut. How will you fund it?

Reeves says Labour would introduce a windfall tax.

Q: You are already using that for the energy package.

Reeves says Labour does not support the tax cutting package in the round.

She says those with the broadest shoulders should make a bigger contribution.

Q: So how are you going to fund the income tax cut?

Reeves says in an emergency situation it is justified to borrow. But what is wrong with the government’s plan is the scale of the borrowing.

A Labour package would not have been on the scale of what was announced on Friday.

Reeves says Kwarteng made sterling’s plight worse at weekend when he ‘fanned the flames’ with unfunded tax cuts hints

Rachel Reeves, the shadow chancellor, is now being interviewed on the Today programme by Martha Kearney.

Reeves starts by talking about the fall in the value of the pound, which she says is incredibly concerning. She suggests Kwasi Kwarteng “fanned the flames” yesterday by suggesting that there could be more unfunded tax cuts to come.

It is incredibly concerning. I think many people had hoped over the weekend things would calm down but I do think the chancellor sort of fanned the flames on Sunday in suggesting there may be more stimulus, more unfunded tax cuts, which has resulted overnight in the pound falling to an all-time low against the dollar.

She says Kwarteng and Liz Truss are like two gamblers in the casino. She goes on:

Here’s the thing; they are not gambling their money, they are gambling all our money.

Q: Do you expect interest ratest to go up?

Reeves says she was an economist before she became a politician; an interest rate rise is what the markets expect, she says.

This afternoon delegates at the Labour conference will debate a motion saying Labour should go into the next election committed to proportional representation. At conference last year 80% of constituency Labour party delegates voted in favour of a similar motion, but it was narrowly defeated because the unions were overwhelmingly opposed. However, over the last 12 months some unions have changed their thinking and now the PR motion seems likely to pass.

These are from my colleague Jessica Elgot on what is coming.

New – Labour’s proportional representation motion tomorrow has been agreed – “Labour must make a commitment to introduce proportional representation for general elections in the next manifesto.”

— Jessica Elgot (@jessicaelgot) September 25, 2022

The motion also says: “During its first term in office the next Labour government must change the voting system for general elections to a form of PR. Labour should convene an open and inclusive process to decide the specific proportional voting system it will introduce.”

— Jessica Elgot (@jessicaelgot) September 25, 2022

The big HOWEVER is that although this is likely to pass, Starmer is himself opposed and could still leave it out of the manifesto

— Jessica Elgot (@jessicaelgot) September 25, 2022

My own view FWIW is the manifesto will not include specific electoral reform but there will be a door open to do it if the party want to, such as “Labour will strengthen our democracy”

— Jessica Elgot (@jessicaelgot) September 25, 2022

Labour says it would create new national wealth fund, with initial £8bn to invest in new industries

Overnight Labour has announced two business related policies.

  • Rachel Reeves, the shadow chancellor, says Labour would create a national wealth fund to invest in new industries. This would allow the taxpayer to own a share of the wealth and get a return on the investment, she says. In a statement overnight she said:

The next Labour government will create a national wealth fund so that when we invest in new industries, in partnership with business the British people will own a share of that wealth and the taxpayer will get a return on that investment. When I say I want to buy, make and sell more in Britain I mean it.

The Liberal Democrats might argue that this is one of their ideas; at their spring conference last year, Sir Ed Davey, the Lib Dem leader, proposed a sovereign green wealth fund to fund green energy projects.

In a briefing, the Labour party said it would put an initial £8bn into its fund. It said:

Alongside private investment, that financing means shovels in the ground for UK projects including eight new battery factories, six clean steel plants, nine renewable-ready ports, the world’s largest hydrogen electrolyser plant and net-zero industrial clusters in every region of the country.

Labour’s plan will build British industries in every region of the UK – with the plan for offshore wind alone injecting investment into nine clusters: Forth and Tay, Humber, East Anglia, Solent, North West and North Wales, Belfast Harbour, North East Scotland, North East England and the Celtic Sea.

The party also said it would use the UK Infrastructure Bank to run the fund.

  • Jonathan Reynolds, the shadow business secretary, says Labour would revive the industrial strategy council (which was disbanded by Kwasi Kwarteng when he was business secretary) and put it on a statutory footing. Its stratategy would have four missions: “delivering clean power by 2030; harnessing data for public good; caring for the future; building a resilient economy”. In a statement Reynolds said:

A hallmark of this Conservative government has been to act in the heat of the moment and lurch from crisis to crisis. We know business can’t operate like that.

The strategy addresses a range of concerns facing business and workers including Labour’s plans to bolster Britain’s supply chains from future shocks, transform skills, and make Brexit work.

Rachel Reeves says drop in pound confirms mini-budget ‘reckless’ head of Labour conference speech

Good morning. Rachel Reeves, the shadow chancellor has been giving interviews this morning, but the news agenda is still dominated by the mini-budget from Friday – the most transformative budget from a chancellor for decades – and in particular the market reaction to it. After a weekend when the markets were closed, currency trading has resumed and the pound is sinking, as a direct response to what Kwasi Kwarteng said three days ago. My colleague Graeme Wearden has all the details on his business live blog.

In her interviews this morning Reeves has said the fall in the value of the confirms how reckless the mini-budget was. She told Times Radio:

I started my career as an economist at the Bank of England and, like everybody else, I’m incredibly worried about what we’ve seen both on Friday with market reactions to the chancellor’s so-called mini-budget and to the reaction overnight …

The idea trickle-down economics – making those at the top richer still – will somehow filter through to everybody else has been tried before, it didn’t work then, it won’t work now.

So, financial markets are unimpressed, the British public are unimpressed and the chancellor and the prime minister need to take note because they’re not gambling with their own money, they’re gambling with all our money, and it’s reckless and it’s irresponsible as well as being grossly unfair.

Here is the agenda for the day.

10.15am: Jonathan Ashworth, the shadow work and pensions secretary, gives a speech at the start of a debate on motions covering the economy, infrastructure and pay. This will include speeches from Louise Haigh, the shadow transport secretary, at 10.20am; from Ed Miliband, the shadow secretary for climate change and net zero, at 11.40am; and from Jonathan Reynolds, the shadow business secretary, at 11.45am.

12pm: Rachel Reeves, the shadow chancellor, speaks.

2.15pm: Jo Stevens, the shadow Welsh secretary, speaks, followed by Mark Drakeford, the Welsh first minister.

2.35pm: Steve Rotheram, the metro mayor for Liverpool, speaks.

4.30pm: Lisa Nandy, the shadow levelling up secretary, speaks at the beginning of a debate on motions covering social care, equalities and electoral reform. One of the electoral reform motions says Labour should promise proportional representation in its manifesto.

4.35pm: Ian Murray, the shadow Scottish secretary, speaks, followed by Anas Sarwar, the Scottish Labour leader.

4.55pm: Peter Kyle, the shadow Northern Ireland secretary, speaks.

5.10pm: Keir Starmer and Lucy Powell, the shadow culture secretary, are questioned by Gary Neville, the former England footballer turned TV pundit.

5.50pm: Delegates vote on the motions debated in the afternoon, including the PR one.

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