The Financial Times posts endorsement of Labour Party in upcoming UK general election

  • The FT had supported Theresa May and the Conservative Party in the 2017 general election.
  • The publishing of the endorsement is somewhat of a surprise given the paper’s free market orientation.

The Financial Times posted a letter from 163 economists endorsing the Labour Party in the upcoming UK general election.

Founded in 1888, FT has traditionally been a stalwart advocate of free markets. The paper was a supporter of Margaret Thatcher and the conservative party’s economic policies of the 1980’s. FT also endorsed Theresa May and the conservative party in the 2017 UK general election.

But the authors of the statement stress that this historical moment calls for drastic action. “The UK economy needs reform. For too long it has prioritised consumption over investment, short-term financial returns over long-term innovation, rising asset values over rising wages, and deficit reduction over the quality of public services,” they write.

The specter of climate change, a hard Brexit, and a stagnating economy lead them to conclude “what the UK economy needs is a serious injection of public investment.” They argue current policies have not been working, and point out that “we have had 10 years of near zero productivity growth. Corporate investment has stagnated. Average earnings are still lower than in 2008.”

In order to kick start the British economy and deal with the looming threat of climate catastrophe, the writers argue the next government should undertake “the large-scale and rapid decarbonisation of energy, transport, housing, industry and farming.” They also advocate for a higher minimum wage, adding workers to corporate boards, and raising the corporate income tax rate.

They conclude by noting the Labour Party is the only party which has identified these threats and developed plans to combat them. The UK general election is scheduled for December 12, 2019.

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