Date of release: Wednesday, April 20, 2016

John McDonnell MP, the Shadow Chancellor, is among the speakers at next week's University of Greenwich conference about the creation of decent jobs and wage-led growth in the UK and Europe.

Hosted by the university's Greenwich Political Economy Research Centre, part of its Business School, the event takes place on Thursday 28 April.

Professor Ozlem Onaran, the centre's director, will be presenting a report putting forward a number of policies which aim to increase wages and spur sustainable growth. These include strengthening the power of trade unions, increasing statutory minimum wage to the level of a living wage, strengthening the welfare state, targeting full employment, regulating finance and implementing a public investment programme in ecological and social infrastructure.

She says: "Our research has significant policy implications ahead of the EU referendum. The UK should see the EU membership as an opportunity, and lead 'high road' labour market policies in the EU, as opposed to its current position of promoting 'low road' policies. It should use every chance to improve the cooperation among the pro-labour forces.

"Wage policy coordination among the EU member states would not only improve economic performance, but would also help tackle unsustainable growth that is either driven by debt or by being overly reliant on exports. While a higher wage policy can be implemented in a single country, the impact would be stronger if coordinated."

Other speakers include Professor Engelbert Stockhammer, from Kingston University; Professor Francis Green, from the Institute of Education; and Dr Geoff Tily, from the Trades Union Congress (TUC).

The conference will present the findings of two research projects, Wage-Led Growth in Europe? Effects of Changes in Income Distribution and Financialization on Growth, and Workers' Experience of New Employment Strategies.

According to Professor Onaran, wage moderation policies have proven to be counter-productive and have led to economic stagnation in the UK and across Europe.

She adds: "The recovery in Britain has once again been built on the shaky ground of household debt instead of wage growth. Reversing inequality would bring us a step closer to eliminating a root cause of the crisis."

The full programme for the event, Decent Jobs and Wage-led Growth in the UK and Europe, is available here (starts 2.45pm):

To book a place for the conference, please register here:

For more information about the Greenwich Papers in Political Economy, GPERC Policy Briefs, other publications, and forthcoming events:

Story by Public Relations