“Now is the time to say lives and Livelihoods must come first.”Apsana Begum MP
15,000 Labour activists get behind the #peoplesplan to tackle the crisis and transform our economy
By Patrick Foley, Labour Assembly Against Austerity.
Over 15,000 Labour members, activists and trade unionists have backed the “people’s plan” for tackling the deepening economic crisis, and to protect peoples jobs and livelihoods.
The plan, put forward by the Labour Assembly Against Austerity and supported by numerous MPs (full list below) argues the fight for jobs is paramount and that “We need to build a movement that demands the government takes the action needed to create full-employment with well-paid secure jobs for all.”
It also highlights the need to invest in our public infrastructure and services and tackle the “existential threat” of climate change, through a Green New Deal and the creation of hundreds of thousands green jobs.
Addressing deep, structural inequalities in our society is also highlighted, particularly in the face of equality gains for women, LGBT+ and disabled people being rolled back in the last decade of Tory rule.
Supporting the plan, Labour MP for Poplar and Limehouse, Apsana Begum, explained that the “the pandemic has shown the Tories will play divide and rule as they stand up for private profit” adding “now is the time to say lives and Livelihoods must come first.”
Jon Trickett, MP for Hemsworth, expressed the need to “invest in our future, defend existing jobs and create new jobs” pointing to the Tories’ ideologically driven failure to respond to the pandemic which has seen “ordinary people play for the crisis.”
Another supporter of the people’s plan was Kate Osborne, MP for Jarrow, who drew attention to the “decade of austerity that has left our services stretched to the limit in reposonse to COVID-19.”
As we enter another national lock down (of a kind) and the uncertainty over the government’s plan to tackle the looming economic and jobs crisis ahead, it’s vital that our movement builds an alternative and demands that there is no return to business as usual.
You can read the plan in full below:
The economic crisis we now face is set to be the worst any of us have experienced. We urgently need to transform our economy and society to ensure that people’s jobs, livelihoods and health come before private profit.
Defend livings standards and jobs – invest in our future
The fight to prevent soaring unemployment is paramount. We need to build a movement that demands the government takes the action needed to create full-employment with well-paid secure jobs for all.
This will need massive, sustained investment in our infrastructure, in council housing, transport, public services, industry and beyond.
We must eradicate financial insecurity through a minimum earnings guarantee at a decent level, ensure statutory sick pay at living wage levels, support for renters, and build a social security system that is universal and not punitive.
The crisis has shown we need trade unions more than ever. Greater union rights and freedoms will help end the exploitative zero-hour and precarious contracts that dominate our economy, save jobs and give workers a proper say in their workplace.
Rebuilding to tackle the climate catastrophe and achieve social justice:
We must rebuild in a way that tackles the existential threat of climate breakdown with ambitious, redistributive policies that put jobs, equality and improving people’s lives first. Research shows £85bn investment in green infrastructure could help create 1.24 million jobs in two years.
The state must urgently invest to create high-quality green jobs and technologies through a Green New Deal, providing a just, environmentally sustainable transition of our industries and infrastructure by safeguarding the employment of all.
Universal, publicly-owned services:
Our public services provided the vital support needed during the pandemic. But this crisis also sharply exposed how a decade of austerity and privatisation has left them at breaking point. We need to rebuild them to be the world class services our communities deserve creating hundreds of thousands of socially useful jobs at the same time. Only public ownership and universality will ensure access to our public services.
Our transport system should be integrated and upgraded, with the railways and buses publicly owned and education properly funded and free for all. NHS under-funding, staff shortages and privatisation must end. We urgently need a public, universal social care service.
Equality for all:
This pandemic has shone a spotlight on the deep structural inequalities in our society. Now is the time for real change. The dismantling of systematic inequality and liberation for all must be at the heart of how we rebuild better.
The Black Lives Matter movement has rightly pushed the structural racism to the top of the political agenda. Real government action, not just words, is now needed.
Women and disabled people have already seen a rolling back of equality gains under the Tories and these risk being further undermined, while LGBT+ people face a reactionary government which is not afraid to use the tactics of divide and rule. We must demand an end to the scapegoating of disabled people on benefits.
- MPs supporting the plan include John McDonnell, Jeremy Corbyn, Richard Burgon, Ian Lavery, Diane Abbott, Grahame Morris, Rebecca Long-Bailey, Jon Trickett, Zarah Sultana, Ian Byrne, Bell Ribeiro-Addy, Kate Osborne, Mick Whitley, Claudia Webbe, Tahir Ali and Apsana Begum.
- Labour peers supporting the plan include Shami Chakrabarti, Christine Blower, Pauline Bryan and John Hendy.
- You can add your name to the #peoplesplan here.
- Join John McDonnell, Apsana Begum, Richard Burgon and Pascale Robinson, We Own it for a discussion and analysis of the crisis and the alternatives in the #peoplesplan at 7PM on 25th November – register at “For a #PeoplesPlan to Protect Jobs & Livelihoods”