Jeremy Corbyn’s plan to fund new schools and homes by printing money is “PFI on steroids”, leadership rival Yvette Cooper claimed today in a blistering attack.
Speaking during a Labour leadership contest debate this afternoon, Ms Cooper accused her rival for the job of “letting people down” by not having a credible economic policy.
The Shadow Home Secretary said his plans would drive up inflation, leaving millions of ordinary families worse off.
Mr Corbyn, deemed to be the favourite in the leadership contest, hit back by claiming his ideas would benefit the economy and would deliver greater value for money than the Private Finance Initiatives used by New Labour.
Addressing the Islington North MP, Ms Cooper said: “Your proposal is like PFI on steroids to do quantitative easing for infrastructure.
“This is not a way in which you can genuinely fund infrastructure.”
The row came during a leadership debate hosted by Channel 4 News.
Presenter Krishnan Guru-Murthy asked Ms Cooper what was “wrong with Corbynomics” – a economic model featuring a “National Investment Bank” to fund infrastructure projects.
Mr Corbyn has suggested funding for the Bank could come through “People’s Quantitative Easing” – essentially asking the Bank of England to print more money.
Ms Cooper said: “You’re going to push up inflation and end up with lot of families seeing their cost of living rise because you are being irresponsible with the money.
“You’ve got to be able to set out a serious alternative but it’s got to be credible.”
Mr Corbyn hit back by saying his plans would be better for the public purse than PFI, which has cost “six times the original investment in them.”
He added: “There is nothing wrong with using quantitative easing to stimulate growth.”
Ballots are already out in the leadership contest, with the result being announced at a special conference on September 12.