Why fiscal conservatism and social justice go hand-in-hand
In the Black Labour: Why fiscal conservatism and social justice go hand-in-hand
is a new Policy Network discussion paper which aims to start a debate in the Labour movement on how to achieve fiscal sustainability. The paper’s authors, Graeme Cooke, Adam Lent, Anthony Painter and Hopi Sen, call for Labour to embrace fiscal conservatism. They argue that “Labour’s ability to advance social justice can go hand-in-hand with a clear, fiscally conservative stance.”
Following on from the Office for Budget Responsibility’s Economic and Fiscal outlook and the Chancellor's Autumn Statement, it is argued that “taxpayers, voters and lenders to the British state feel they have a right to know what the main opposition party would do about high levels of borrowings and when they would do it by. Satisfying this demand is fundamental to being regarded as a credible alternative government… It is precisely the vagueness of Labour’s position over its short to medium term plans for the deficit that confirms the voters’ worst suspicions about the Party’s lack of commitment to addressing the fiscal crisis.”
The paper was launched with a lead news story
in The Guardian
newspaper, together with an opinion piece
in the paper's comment pages.
Responses to the paper have been published here
Read the media coverage here.
This paper forms part of a series of Policy Network publications and debates on how the centre-left in British and European politics can restore its reputation for economic competence. The next debate in the series will focus on Policy Network's Southern Discomfort
research. It will take place on Tuesday, 13 December from 12.30-14.00. A public debate on In the black Labour
will take place in January. Sign-up to the Policy Network newsletter
for further details.
About the authors
Graeme Cooke is visiting fellow at the ippr. He writes here in a personal capacity
Adam Lent was formerly head of economics at the TUC and is an associate fellow of the ippr. He writes here in a personal capacity
Anthony Painter is a writer and commentator. He is author of the forthcoming report: ‘This human business: why the new bottom line is social’
Hopi Sen is a former head of communications for the Parliamentary Labour Party. He is now a consultant, writer and commentator whose work has appeared in The Guardian, Independent, Policy Network and Renewal. He also blogs at hopisen.com
If you have any queries or comments about this publication, including interview requests with any of the authors, please
contact Michael McTernan on 0207 340 2215 or email