In this Fabian Ideas pamphlet, Stephen Beer argues that Labour’s economic credibility gap is wide but it can be closed. The party entered the 2010 General Election campaign unable to explain its approach to the economy. It lost credibility on fiscal policy with financial markets and it lost credibility with the electorate because it did not answer the concerns of people faced with declining living standards and little decline in inequality.
To restore credibility, Labour should revisit its values: everyone should be able to participate in our economic life and inequality works against this. Applying these values will require Labour to take some tough decisions.
In ‘The Credibility Deficit’, Beer argues that Labour also needs to understand economic realities, including the power of the bond markets. Stimulus measures should focus on investment to raise the productive potential of the economy and, at the heart of what we are about, on employment. Labour must support – and learn to love – a reformed City with a refreshed reputation and understanding of the common good.
You can buy a printed copy edition of The Credibility Deficit: How to rebuild Labour’s economic reputation for £9.95, plus £1 p+p, by phoning the Fabian Society bookshop on 020 7227 4900, emailing us at email@example.com or send a cheque payable to “The Fabian Society” to 11 Dartmouth Street, London, SW1H 9BN.