Editorial:

Corporations and Argentina loom large in this issue. The laws on corporations are long overdue for reform; this is a subject of the Economy section of the Green Party’sMfSS, but we need to work on it to develop more specific policy.

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Despite the amendment to remove the proposal to change the national money system, which was included in the motion to Spring Conference, quoted in my last editorial, Jonathan Dixson has chosen to go further and propose the following:

AMENDMENT A:

Delete EC662 and EC663, and replace with:

"EC662. The current banking system enables commercia2l banks and financial institutions to exert an unacceptably large influence on the economy as a whole. These commercial banking institutions work to a purely commercial agenda in which the desirability of making loans is assessed only in terms of its financial viability to the lenders.

EC663. The banking system should be largely brought under democratic control, preferably at a local level. This will allow the process to work in the best interests of the community as a whole, rather than principally in the interests of commercial banks and their shareholders."

Amendment 1: delete paras. EC662 and EC663 and renumber. Insert new sentence at start of EC664: 'A Currency Commission will be created as a new department within the Bank of England.'

EC664 The Currency Commission will be required to maintain the money supply, as a circulating medium of exchange, sufficient to meet the needs of society, and at the level needed to avoid undue inflation or deflation, or for beneficial expansion or contraction of the economy. It will be publicly accountable, open to scrutiny, and ultimately answerable to parliament.

EC665 The Currency Commision will also monitor and, where judged necessary, take steps to regulate the exchange of Sterling with other currencies, or make market interventions to ensure that stable and sustainable economic conditions are maintained.

 

AMENDMENT B:

Delete EC664 and EC665, replace with the following, and renumber accordingly:

"EC664. The Bank of England will continue to be the institution for the regulation of the national currency, and the setting of base interest rates. However, it will not focus on narrow economic indicators such as the rate of inflation, but instead will take a broader view on the impact of its decisions on the economy as a whole. Final decisions on the setting of base interest rates will be made by a democratically accountable committee made up of representatives selected from the different regions of the country."

EC666 In pursuit of our policies to support the growth of local economies, a network of local Community Banks will be established. These will be democratically accountable non-profit-making trusts, which will be able to provide low-cost finance both at district and regional levels. Any operating >surplus arising from these Community Banks will be reinvested in their local communities. Community Banks will be empowered to lend money deposited by members or to create their own local currencies.

AMENDMENT C:

In EC666, add at the beginning: "In order to help bring about the democratisation of the banking system, and". Delete the last sentence and replace with: "Community Banks will be empowered to create credit in the same way that commercial banks currently do, and will be given favourable conditions for doing so by the central bank. They will also be able to create their own local currencies, to operate alongside the national currency, where this is supported by the local communitity."

EC667 In order to bring about a more socially equitable society, it is important that poorer citizens have access to affordable credit, which can give them an opportunity to increase their basic living standards. Alongside Community Banks, measures to help facilitate this will include the promotion and support of Credit Unions and Microcredit schemes in which small groups of people cooperate to provide guaranteed small loans to each other.

 

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

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