Does big business treat workers like “cash cows”? Jeremy Corbyn thinks so

Big banks should “serve the economy not just themselves”, he said

It was the “extractive” banking industry, not the government, which drove the economy to “the point of collapse” during the global recession, according to Jeremy Corbyn.

Speaking at the British Chambers of Commerce conference today, the Labour leader said big business has been treating its workers as “cash cows”.

He called for a “genuinely mixed economy” with ordinary people, such as technicians, entrepreneurs, designers and shop-floor workers, “in the driving seat”.

“What Labour now stands for is far more than stopping the damage being done by this government and its threat to our long-term economic future,” Corbyn said.

“We want to see a break with the failed economic orthodoxy that has gripped the establishment in this country for a generation.

“We will put public investment in science, technology and the green industries of the future front and centre stage. Only by driving up the rate of investment will we achieve the higher productivity we need for rising living standards for all.”

Describing the current state of the economy as “a house built on sand” he said Chancellor George Osborne was wrong to cut back government.

“It wasn’t government that was the problem in 2007 and 2008, when the banking sector nearly drove the entire economy to the point of collapse,” he said.

“The New Labour approach was to opt for ‘light touch regulation’ of finance – and then sit back and collect the tax revenues.

“But you cannot base a decent social policy on an unsustainable economic policy. And we cannot outsource economic policy to the City of London. That has not served our economy well, and it has not served business well.

“The banking sector has to be reformed. Finance must support the economy, not be an end in itself, and certainly not an extractive industry that looks at consumers, entrepreneurs and small businesses as a cash cow.”

Corbyn also called for better small business support and banking reform to drive better supply chains as a long-term investment in the UK.

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