'Corbynomics guru' dismisses Jeremy Corbyn's dividend ban proposal

Posted On: 
5th February 2016

Jeremy Corbyn’s proposal to ban dividend payouts unless firms pay the living wage is not “a runner,” his economic guru has told PoliticsHome.

Richard Murphy said the proposal “didn’t fly” and that he would be “surprised” if the Labour leader raised it again.

His comments echo those of Shadow Business Secretary Angela Eagle, who said the policy "does not actually work".

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Mr Murphy, the bulk of whose ideas appeared in Mr Corbyn’s economic policy document on the Labour leadership campaign trail, said the proposal was not one of his own.

He argued companies would find it “relatively easy to work around” it, and that there are “better ways of dealing with the issue”.

“I think it was one of those ideas that has been floated which, rather like George Osborne’s suggestion he was going to withdraw some aspects of benefits for working people, didn’t fly,” he told PoliticsHome.

“Jeremy floated an idea - I don’t think we are probably going to hear of that one again. I would be surprised if we did.”

He added: “I don’t think that’s a runner. But I think every politician in opposition puts forward ideas that are not runners.”

“It's an indication of a direction of travel that I support, but a precise step I would probably not have opted for.”

BLAIRITES 'CLINGING ON'

Mr Murphy also said politics was at a “pivotal moment” and that the Blairites in the Labour party “have got to accept that change is inevitable”.

He argued public opinion on economic structures and the nature of work and wealth distribution were shifting, and that people were getting fed up of the elite running the show.

But he suggested those who are “naturally conservative” in the Labour party were “clinging on to what they think are known positions”.

“I’m not saying they are in the wrong party, I am saying they are clinging to something that is almost certainly history,” he said.

“I think they have got to accept that change is inevitable and they haven’t yet embraced it. So yes, in that sense they are on the wrong side of the argument.”