Britain is a wealthy country – but few people share in it. Unlike Theresa May, Labour wants a Brexit that builds a fairer society and an upgraded economy.
We are told Britain is getting richer, and yes, in some circles that is true. Take a look behind the statistics, however, and you see that a few people at the very top of the income scale are getting substantially richer, but at the same time businesses struggle to grow, our NHS and schools are starved of cash, and we face the worst decade for pay growth since the Napoleonic wars.
According to the Sunday Times Rich List, published yesterday, there are now more billionaires in Britain than ever before. We should welcome their achievements and contribution to our economy. But Labour will measure our success not by the presence of billionaires, but by the absence of poverty and inequality: 4 million children live in poverty and more than 120,000 of those do not even have a place to call home – so somewhere in the government’s economic calculations there is a serious flaw, or rather a deliberate mistake.
The low pay that some of these billionaires inflict on working people means that most of the 4 million children in poverty have at least one parent in work. Working people can’t make ends meet because prosperity isn’t being fairly shared.
The stakes in this election are high. It’s a choice between a Conservative government that holds back the majority of businesses and people in Britain, a government whose sole aim is to protect the wealth of a privileged few. Or it’s a Labour government that will build a richer Britain, one with an upgraded economy where industry and business receive the support and investment they need to become the best in the world; and where the people share in the prosperity created, leading richer, more fulfilling lives.
We know the past seven years have been hard on most people in Britain. Middle- and low-income earners have seen a decline, and a sliding level of expectation and hope about what life and our economy can offer them.