🗓 Date: Sunday, 25 September 2022
⏳ Time: 15:30
📍Location: Lower Galleria Room 1, ACC Liverpool, Kings Dock Street, Liverpool, England, L3 4FP
SME4Labour & Opinium Fringe: How Can Labour Get Voters To Trust Them On The Economy
It was a packed room to hear from Chris Curtis of Opinium, Pat McFadden Chief Secretary to the Treasury, Daniel Johnson MSP the finance spokesperson of the Scottish Labour Party, Jeevun Sandher economist and Kitty Ussher former treasury minister representing the IOD.
Jeevun opened by noting that Labour have suffered from not being trusted on the economy since the 2008 financial crisis, and that this was a major contributing factor in our four consecutive general election defeats. Jeevun noted that Kwasi Kwarteng’s budget has given Labour a once in a generation opportunity to recapture that trust.
Chris began by discussing the way that people have responded to the opinion pollsters about the economy. He followed on from Jeevun that the economy has been a major handicap for Labour in recent elections, specifically around the claim that Labour mismanaged the financial crisis in 2008. Despite this under Keir Starmer the Labour Party is finally beginning to take the lead on these issues.
Pat credited the work that Keir Starmer has done to restore the party’s credibility on this issue, something that is far more important than our specific policy issues. Pat noted that along with national security economy competence is vital for the chances of Labour to get in to power. Pat continued that this trust we are regaining will be vital when the next election occurs.
Kitty noted how important business and the economy are to so many people, that most people do not share the hostility towards private business that many in the Labour Party feel. Therefore Labour must be seen as pro-business if we are to succeed. Kitty continued that we cannot discuss the issues of redistribution and social spending until we have gained credibility around national debt and financial security.
Daniel finished that the fact that the Tories have destroyed their own credibility does not equate to Labour gaining our own. We cannot treat the next election as a foregone conclusion.
The meeting felt that credibility on the economy is paramount. We must gain the confidence of people on both macro & micro economic levels if we are to win power. This means by admitting where we have made mistakes but also being proud of our successes in government.