UK POLITICS: Manifesto: Labour Party Key Election Pledges

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By Politicoscope May 17, 2017 09:00

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Labour Party launched its election manifesto to renationalise mail, rail and water services, increase tax. Here’s key summary of Labour Party pledges.

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UK POLITICS: Manifesto: Labour Party Key Election Pledges

Britain’s opposition Labour Party launched its manifesto on Tuesday for a June 8 election, promising to renationalise mail, rail and water services, increase tax on the highest earners and clamp down on corporate excess.

The party, which is lagging behind the ruling Conservatives in opinion polls, also said it was the only party that “has a plan to make Brexit work for ordinary people”.

Below is a summary of the key Labour Party pledges:

TAX

– increases in income tax for the highest 5 percent of earners, with no rises for those earning below 80,000 pounds ($103,000) a year

– no increases in the rate of the Value Added Tax sales tax (now 20 percent).

– no rise in personal national insurance contributions

– raise corporation tax (now 19 percent) to 26 percent by 2020-21 and introduce a lower rate for small businesses

NATIONALISATION

– bring private rail companies back into public ownership

– regain control of energy supply networks

– replace water system with network of regional publicly-owned water companies

– renationalise Royal Mail

BREXIT

– prioritise jobs and living standards

– protect workers’ rights and environmental standards

– immediately guarantee rights of EU nationals living in Britain and secure reciprocal rights for UK citizens in the EU

– give parliament a “meaningful role” during negotiations, including a vote on the final Brexit deal

– seek to retain access to the EU’s single market and customs union

– reject ‘no deal’ as a viable option

– negotiate transitional arrangements if needed to avoid ‘cliff-edge’ for UK economy

– legislate to ensure no gaps in national security and criminal justice arrangements as a result of Brexit

– no return to a hard border between Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland, and no change in sovereignty of Gibraltar

IMMIGRATION

– prioritise jobs and prosperity over immigration targets

– end to EU freedom of movement

– develop and implement a new system based on economic need, working with businesses, trade unions and devolved governments to identify specific labour and skill shortages

– crack down on unscrupulous employers, stopping overseas-only recruitment practices and ending workplace exploitation

BANKING AND FINANCE

– create a National Investment Bank to deliver 250 billion pounds of lending

– overhaul regulation of the financial system, putting a ring-fence between investment and retail banking

– launch a consultation on breaking up state-owned Royal Bank of Scotland to create new local public banks

– prevent banks from closing branches where there is a local need for them

COMPANIES

– change company law so directors owe a duty to employees, customers, the environment and the wider public, rather than just to shareholders

– amend takeover regime to ensure businesses identified as systemically important have a clear plan in place to protect workers and pensioners when a company is taken over

– introduce an Excessive Pay Levy on companies with staff earning more than 330,000 pounds

– scrap quarterly reporting for small businesses

– introduce a ‘right to own’ making employees the buyer of first refusal when the company they work for is up for sale

INDUSTRIAL STRATEGY

– invest 250 billion pounds over the next 10 years in infrastructure

– ensure 60 percent of UK energy comes from zero-carbon or renewable sources by 2030

– meet OECD target to spend 3 percent of GDP on research and development by 2030

ENERGY

– cap energy costs

– regain control of energy supply networks and support creation of publicly owned energy companies

– ban fracking

– support further nuclear energy projects and seek to retain access to EU body Euratom when leaving the bloc

– prioritise maintaining access to EU’s internal energy market

EDUCATION

– extend free childcare provisions

– boost investment in schools

– free school meals for all primary school pupils

– seek to boost the number of apprenticeships

– scrap university tuition fees

WORKERS’ RIGHTS

– ban zero hours contracts and unpaid internships

– introduce four new public holidays

– raise minimum wage for all workers aged over 18

– introduce a maximum pay ratio of 20:1 in the public sector and companies bidding for public contracts

– double paid paternity leave to four weeks

– consult on making it harder to make workers redundant

WELFARE

– guarantee state pension will rise for the next five years by at whichever is the highest of 2.5 percent a year, inflation or earnings

– reverse several welfare cuts, including to disability payments and housing support for under-21s

HOUSING

– build at least 100,000 council and housing association homes a year by the end of the next parliament in 2022

– build thousands of low cost homes reserved for first-time buyers, with priority for those who live locally

– introduce controls on rent rises for private renters, increase tenancy lengths and ban letting agency fees for tenants

HEALTHCARE

– commit more than 30 billion pounds in extra funding for the National Health Service over the next five years

– increase tax on private medical insurance

– increase the social care budget by 8 billion pounds over the next five years

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SCOTLAND

– oppose a second independence referendum for Scotland

DEFENCE AND FOREIGN POLICY

– put conflict resolution and human rights at the heart of foreign policy

– pledge to meet NATO target of spending at least 2 percent of GDP on defence

– support the renewal of Britain’s Trident nuclear deterrent while working with international partners to seek to create a nuclear-free world

– Reuters

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By Politicoscope May 17, 2017 09:00

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