Chris Leslie, the shadow chancellor, has launched a scathing attack on "Corbynomics", the anti-austerity agenda of the Labour leadership candidate Jeremy Corbyn, warning it would hurt poor people the most.
In an interview with the Independent, Mr Leslie (below) called on Labour members to reject what he called a “starry-eyed, hard-left” economic strategy, amid growing signs that Mr Corbyn could pull off a shock victory next month.
Mr Leslie claimed Mr Corbyn’s agenda would result in higher inflation and interest rates, ending in spending cuts which would persuade middle class people to opt out of public services and into private health and education.
The shadow chancellor rounded on Mr Corbyn’s proposal for “quantitative easing for people instead of banks”. He said:
Printing money and ending Bank of England independence would push up inflation, lending rates, squeeze out money for schools and hospitals and mean spending more on debt servicing. Higher inflation and a higher cost of living would hit those on the lowest incomes, the poorest people.
Chris Leslie, shadow chancellor
Mr Leslie, who is backing Yvette Cooper in Labour’s leadership election, warned:
There is nothing left-wing about running a deficit in perpetuity. If the state cannot live within its means… then taxpayers will lose faith in the public realm, will become more sceptical and cynical, and be more likely to exit and go to private health and private education.