Rachel Reeves: Coalition failings and Labour’s alternative

Photo credit: Agatha Torrance

Photo credit: Agatha Torrance

Rachel Reeves, Shadow Chief Secretary to the Treasury, spoke last night to over 100 people in the Bowland Auditorium for this term’s first Nouse Event. As Labour’s no 2 economic minister, she spoke about the failings of the Coalition’s cuts driven economic policy and the alternative the Labour Party offers, focusing on the importance of building a market that distributes wealth more evenly.

Firmly in grasp of the figures throughout the night, she cited research that showed Britain was 18th out of 20 industrialised countries in its pre-tax and benefit market distribution. She spoke of the need for an active industrial strategy, to provide more middle-paying jobs, and a living wage, as ways to redress this uneven predistribution.

The event was hosted in association with the Humanities Research Centre. After a short introductory talk, Reeves was interviewed by members of the Nouse Events team and then fielded questions from the floor, which ranged from the usefulness of dramatically reducing tax rates to a defense of the Coalition cuts, witheringly dealt with by Reeves.

Photo credit: Agatha Torrance

Photo credit: Agatha Torrance

One of the “rising stars” of the Labour Party, she has been MP for Leeds West since 2010. She served as Shadow Pensions Minister from October 2010 until October 2011, during which time she was named one of the 20 most influential Londoners under the age of 35 by the Evening Standard.

After degrees from Oxford and the LSE, she worked as an economist at the Bank of England and British Embassy in Washington D.C. between 2000 and 2006, and then in the private sector for HBOS until 2009.

Read the write-up on the University website

Read Nouse’s interview with Rachel Reeves

One comment

  1. When Rachel Reeves & Labour talk about benefit cuts we should all be aware that Labour introduced the so called ‘bedroom tax’ which is really a benefit reduction or ‘spare room subsidy.
    http://www.publications.parliament.uk/pa/cm200102/cmhansrd/vo011219/text/11219w19.htm#11219w19.html_spnew5
    Hansard Parliamentary Record19 Dec 2001 : Column: 376W
    Mr. Bercow: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what was the figure for expenditure on the housing benefit under occupation pilot that was not specified on page 103 of the 2001 Departmental report. [18917]
    Malcolm Wicks (Labour MP now deceased): The under-occupation pilot encourages housing benefit recipients living in under- occupied social housing to move to smaller and cheaper accommodation in order to make more efficient use of housing stock. The pilot is expected to run until 2003.
    (scroll up a little from the link to find this quote)

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