'Trickle down' economics will fail

Unite GS Sharon Graham: Labour must be far more bold to make ‘clear blue water’ between Labour and Truss gov’t count

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As Labour conference began on Sunday (September 25) Unite general secretary Sharon Graham said the party must be far more bold to make the ‘clear blue water ‘ that now exists between them and the Truss government count.

Graham, who spoke at Unite’s Scottish Policy conference on Sunday, also told Unite members in Scotland that ‘trickle down’ economics will fail.

In the last year, Unite investigations have established that Britain’s energy giants – in supply and distribution – have made £15.8 billion in profits. Out of that total the UK’s Big 4 energy suppliers – Centrica, E.on, EDF and Scottish Power – made £9.5 billion profits. This is up 84 per cent on profits pre-pandemic. This is one area where bold Labour policies could exploit the ‘clear blue water’ that exists between the party and government priorities.

Sharon Graham said, “These figures exposing rampant profiteering, on their own, practically establish the need for the re-nationalisation of energy. A windfall tax might do something for a moment in time. But in the long term, it’s clear that piecemeal action will not solve the scale of these problems.

“Sooner or later Labour will have to back taking the energy giants back into public ownership. Better sooner, because privatisation has ended in tears pretty much across the board.”

Speaking to Unite members in Glasgow Sharon Graham also blasted the ‘trickle down economics ‘ now central to government economic strategy.

In 2008 Scottish Power was taken over by the Spanish energy giant Iberdrola. A recent Scottish newspaper investigation has established that since the takeover Scottish Power has paid out £7 billion in dividend payments to its Spanish owner.

Graham said, “How’s that for trickle down economics? £7 billion handed over from Scottish Power to Iberdrola in Spain. That’s trickle down economics alright. Trickle down from Scotland to Spanish shareholders. Proof that government trickle down policies are doomed to fail”.

She also told union members in Glasgow that the Chancellor’s ‘let it rip’ programme for City bankers’ bonuses was a warning.

“Where did the no-limits culture for City bankers get us last time around? I’ll tell you where it got us to – the 2008 financial crash,” she said. “We all know that the 10 years of austerity that followed forced workers to pay for a crisis created, not by them, but by the monumental corporate greed of Britain’s top bankers.”

By Barckley Sumner

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