UK Politics

General Election 2017: Labour’s Manifesto

Written by Callum Williams

Renationalisation

Labour has pledged to renationalise the Royal Mail, energy companies, the train network and water companies. Although all of these bar the railways will cost money however, all these services are essential and fundamental utilities which, are currently being exploited by multi-national corporation whose thoughts are profit not public interest. This leads to rising prices and falling quality of services causing many people to go without warmth in the winter months for example. We built this infrastructures so we should control them not the corporations. Labour’s plans to renationalise these services will cost money but they will help people and improve utility quality and access significantly.

Workers’ Rights

A key point of the Manifesto is ending ‘zero hour’ contracts (which, do not guarantee workers a set number of hours per week leading to uncertainty and poverty), introduce four new bank holidays and plans to raise the minimum wage to £10. Labour pledges to end unpaid internships, introducing a mandatory highest to lowest pay ratio of 1:20 in the public sector, give all employee’s equal rights, guarantee trade unions’ right to access the work place and abolish employment tribunals fees to allow everyone their fundamental human right, their right to justice.

Economy and Tax

Labour will raise extra money for public services by increasing corporation taxes (except for some smaller business). They will also increase income tax on the top 5% of earners as well as setting up a National Investment Bank and a National Transformation fund to invest in the economy and infrastructure.

Health and Social Care

Labour pledges to invest £30bn in extra-funding for the NHS over the course of the next parliament which, they plan to raise from their tax increases. They plan to scrap hospital parking fees, a horrendous tax on hard-working essential workers and the sick and their families. Labour also pledges to remove the NHS pay cap which, has left nurses going to food banks. They pledges to provide safe staffing levels and reduce the number of people waiting on waiting lists by “guaranteeing access to treatment within 18 weeks”. Mental health services have been criticised throughout the country with teens suicides skyrocketing. Labour have pledged ‘ring-fence’ mental health budgets and ensure all school children have access to ‘counselling services’.

Education

Labour have promised abolish tuition fees, reduce class sizes to ‘less than 30’ for all 5-7 year olds, extend 30 hours of free childcare to all two year olds, as well as providing free schools meals for all primary children (paid for by adding VAT to private school fees).

Pensions and Social Security

Labour plans to reinstate housing benefits for under 21s and scrap the bedroom tax, a horrible tax on the disabled. They will also scrap cuts to bereavement support payments. They also have pledged to guarantee the triple lock on pensions, keep the winter fuel subside and free bus passes for the elderly, Labour also promised not to raise the national retirement age

Transportation

Labour plans to invest in transport hugely by extending HS2 to Scotland, constructing a new Brighton main line and build cross-rail 2.

Housing

Labour pledges to build at least one million more homes with half having ‘social-rent’. Homeowners will be offered interest free loans for expansions and guarantee funding until 2027 for help to buy and pledge to end homelessness by making an additional 4,000 homes available for people sleeping rough on the streets.

Energy

Labour pledge to ban fracking and continue nuclear energy. They pledge that by 2030 60% of the UK’s energy will come from sources that are either renewable or release no green house gases. They will also introduce an emergency and immediate fuel price cap.

Defense

Labour plans to renew the trident system however, it wants to work with the UN and others on a nuclear disarmament “to create a nuclear-free world”. They pledge to continue the Nato commitment of spending 2% of GDP on defence.

Brexit

Perhaps the most dominant issue of the election – probably not rightly so – Labour pledges to accept the democratic decision and leave the EU and “build a close new relationship with the EU” . They plan to scrap the Tories’ white paper for Brexit and start a new one from scratch. They will priorities EU citizens rights in the UK and vice-versa. They pledge to keep many EU derived laws and make sure parliament has ‘a meaningful role’ throughout the process. They also plan to remain part of research projects such as Horizon 2020 and EU agencies that benefit the UK such as Euratom and the European Medicines Agency.

Democracy

Labour are pledging radical reforms for democracy including establishing ‘a Constitutional Convention to examine and advise on reforming of the way Britain works at a fundamental level.’ and potentially even ‘ [considering the option of] a more federalised country’. Labour also plans to reduce the voting age to 16 giving millions of young people a voice. They also pledged to extend the power of the Freedom of Information Act to private corporations who run public services.

Other Policies

Labour oppose an Indy Ref 2, create a Scottish investment bank, end the rape clause, electrify the railways, hire 3,000 more firefighters and 10,000 police officers, recruit 3,000 more prison officers and immediately stop the immoral sale of arms to the oppressive regime of Saudi Arabia.

About the author

Callum Williams

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