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Income Tax (Charge)

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 12:50 pm on 12th March 2020.

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Photo of John Martin McDonnell John Martin McDonnell Shadow Chancellor of the Exchequer 12:50 pm, 12th March 2020

The hon. Gentleman makes exactly the right point. Not everybody supported the cut in interest rates, but the most important statement from the Bank of England was about the mechanisms with regard to the banks and lending, and about making sure that liquidity continues.

The point I am making is that, when we are dealing with what is in effect a global crisis, individual solutions in individual countries are not as effective as global co-ordination. I will give an example. Whatever criticisms people may have had of Gordon Brown’s individual policies during the banking crisis—I was here then, and actually I was giving a running commentary from the Back Benches, which perhaps at times was not welcome—no one can question the international leadership that he showed. There was a focus on and determination in bringing people together, and he brought to this crisis a mechanism by which, through the different international bodies, world leaders met and agreed a global strategy. Whatever people think of the outcome or about the merits or demerits of quantitative easing and so on, it did send out a message, and the markets eventually stabilised. I regret that we have not seen such a political and diplomatic leadership commitment or, indeed, such managerial ability from the Prime Minister or the Chancellor as yet.