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JOHN McDONNELL told civil servants today that Labour is “preparing for power” and “translating” the party’s 2017 general election manifesto into policy and plans for legislation.
Addressing the conference of their PCS union in Brighton, the shadow chancellor said Prime Minister Theresa May’s government was “clinging” to office.
Though he admitted having no idea when the next election could be, Mr McDonnell assured delegates that Labour is ready to change Britain.
“We are translating every part of the manifesto into an action plan and plotting the implementation of legislation,” he said.
Mr McDonnell told PCS – which is not affiliated to Labour – that “the trade union movement is coming into government with us.
“No longer will we tolerate what happened in the recent past, when some in the Labour Party saw the trade union movement as some form of embarrassing relative.
“It is the trade unions who founded the Labour Party and it is the trade unions who will support us when we implement that manifesto.”
Mr McDonnell, who is a member of the PCS parliamentary group, discussed the Civil Service pay crisis, promising members that a Labour government would properly staff HMRC at the national and local levels.
“By using an effective and properly resourced HMRC, we shall ensure the super-rich pay their proper taxes," he said.
“We shall stop tax evasion on a national scale, so that we can save the NHS, build a national education service and scrap the tuition fees that are burdening our children.”
Mr McDonnell committed Labour to scrapping the private finance initiative and outsourcing, and also vowed that the public-sector pay cap would be scrapped to ensure workers receive a decent income.
Labour’s support for any PCS strikes was also emphasised, with Mr McDonnell saying that “to win elections, you have to win respect.
"That means standing alongside people in solidarity.”
Receiving a standing ovation, Mr McDonnell declared that the “darkening twilight of neoliberalism” was over – as was the “era of greed, the rigged economy and the injustice that has engulfed society.”
He finished by telling his fellow trade unionists that “our dreams and ambitions can now be realised.”
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