Corbyn Says Hammond Must Reverse Cuts to U.K. Infrastructure

(Bloomberg) -- Jeremy Corbyn, leader of the U.K.’s opposition Labour Party, called on Chancellor of the Exchequer Philip Hammond to reverse planned cuts to infrastructure spending to boost economic growth.

Government should be investing at a time of low capital costs, Corbyn said in a speech on his economic policy at Bloomberg’s European headquarters in London Thursday. After the vote to leave the European Union, there must be an open national debate on Britain’s economic future, he said.

“It simply beggars belief that any responsible government is seeking to cut investment,” Corbyn said. “We now have to set out the best possible future for our country after the leave vote.”

Hammond will outline his spending plans when he announces his Autumn Statement on Nov. 23. Speaking to lawmakers last week, he played down the prospect of a significant fiscal boost, while signaling a readiness to ease the austerity of his predecessor, George Osborne.

Corbyn who is campaigning to retain his leadership of Labour, said Prime Minister Theresa May’s government has a “mean spirited vision” of the future. His party would embrace “a thirst for doing politics in a very different way.”