A Jeremy Corbyn-led Britain would usher in “socialism with an iPad,” Labour’s Shadow Chancellor has pledged as he set out his vision to make Britain a leading power in technology alongside new safeguards for the army of online and self-employed workers.
John McDonnell said he wants to see the UK economy more diversified and make sure it is not only the financial centre of Europe but its technological capital too.
In a speech ahead of George Osborne’s Spending Review next Wednesday, Mr McDonnell also warned that the Government’s failure to invest in infrastructure was threatening the future prosperity of the country, pointing out that infrastructure investment under the Tories had fallen to 1.6 per cent of GDP.
— John McDonnell MP (@johnmcdonnellMP) November 20, 2015
He vowed to spend at least 3.5 per cent of UK GDP on infrastructure if Labour is elected into Government in 2020.
While acknowledging the new opportunities that the internet had created for entrepreneurs, he said they must be accompanied by new measures to protect workers in these industries.
Mr McDonnell said online enterprises and mobile applications such as Airbnb, which allows people to temporarily rent out their homes, were part of the so-called “gig economy” that allowed us to make “better us of the assets we own” but warned that they also posed new threats to workers due to the casual nature of working in the online industry.