PM sets alternative course to Corbyn

May makes case for free market economy

Theresa May in Cardiff

Theresa May: cutting public debt

Prime Minister Theresa May will today speak up for “free market economy” in a speech that will create a clear contrast to Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn’s interventionist vision for Britain.

The former Bank of England employee will return to Threadneedle street to claim that free markets are essential to boost living standards, and that her government intends to cut public debt without raising taxes significantly.

In a speech marking 20 years of Bank of England independence she will say: “A free market economy… is unquestionably the best, and indeed the only sustainable means of increasing the living standards of everyone.”

Her speech follows Mr Corbyn’s address to the Labour party conference in which he set out a plan for nationalisation of key industries and an increase in taxes on the higher paid.

The Bank of England was given political independence on 6 May 1997 by then Chancellor Gordon Brown just days after the new Labour government took office.

Prior to that interest rate decisions were taken by the chancellor, rather than by independent economists.

Mr Brown his then adviser Ed Balls will also speak during a two-day conference at the Bank.

Other central bankers including European Central Bank president Mario Draghi, Federal Reserve vice chairman Stanley Fischer, as well as International Monetary Fund managing director Christine Lagarde are also due to attend.

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