Shadow Chancellor John McDonnell vowed to take the sectors back under public ownership as a Labour government looks increasingly likely.
Speaking at this year’s Labour Party Conference in Brighton on Monday, McDonnell said the party would “take back” key public services from private companies.
Only a few months ago, it was the Labour Party that was showing signs of imploding. Now, as Theresa May’s cabinet fractures over Brexit, Jeremy Corbyn’s opposition looks more united than ever and is getting down to business.
Labour has also threatened to scrap private finance initiatives (PFI), whereby private companies cherry-pick profitable functions of the public sector.
PFI arrangements between hospitals and private firms have seen some National Health Service (NHS) trusts saddled with huge debts, with monster rates of interest.
“Ours will only become an economy for the many, if we significantly broaden ownership. That means supporting entrepreneurs, small businesses, the genuinely self-employed and massively expanding worker control and the co-operative sector,” McDonnell told reporters.
“Building an economy for the many also means bringing ownership and control of the utilities and key services into the hands of people who use and work in them.
“Rail, water, energy, Royal Mail: we’re taking them back.”
The pledge repeated the 2017 manifesto plans to renationalize rail companies, to create a “publicly owned, decentralized energy system,” and to open a network of publicly-owned water companies.
There was also a promise to reverse the privatization of Royal Mail “at the earliest opportunity.”
A roaring audience cheered for McDonnell when he said Labour would change the “rentier economy, where wealth is secured not by what you produce, but by the amount of rent you can charge.”