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Labour Policies

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A Fair plan to deal with the deficit


LABOUR WILL:
  • Balance the books and deliver a surplus on the current budget and falling national debt as soon as possible in the next Parliament.
  • Reverse the 50p tax cut so that those at the top will pay a little more and introduce a lower 10p starting rate of tax, paid for by scrapping the unfair Marriage Tax Allowance.
  • Stop paying the winter fuel allowance to the richest five per cent of pensioners.
  • Cut ministerial pay until we have balanced the books.
  • Ensure every commitment in our manifesto is fully funded, with no additional borrowing.

 

Supporting growth and business


LABOUR WILL:
  • Cut business rates in 2015 and then freeze them in 2016 for over 1.5 million business properties.
  • Devolve £30 billion of funding and give control over the full revenue from the growth in business rates to powerhouse economic regions so they can back local growth.
  • Reform our banking system: taxing bank bonuses and increasing competition with at least two new challenger banks on the high street.
  • Introduce a new levy on payday lenders and use the funds raised to boost low cost alternatives like credit unions.
  • Create a British Investment Bank along with a network of regional banks to boost lending for small businesses to grow.
  • Establish an Infrastructure Commission to plan and secure the infrastructure that Britain needs.
  • Safeguard the services consumers and businesses get from the privatised Royal Mail and keep the remaining 30 per cent in public ownership.

 

Creating low carbon jobs


LABOUR WILL:
  • Create a million new high technology, green jobs by 2025.
  • Set a legal target for decarbonising electricity by 2030.
  • Strengthen the Green Investment Bank with borrowing powers.
  • Insulate five million homes over the next ten years.

 

Making work pay and tackling exploitation at work


LABOUR WILL:
  • Increase the National Minimum Wage to £8 an hour before the end of the Parliament.
  • Give Local Authorities a role in enforcing the National Minimum Wage.
  • Ban exploitative zero hour contracts so that if you work regular hours you get a regular contract.
  • Reform the employment tribunal system to ensure workplace justice is affordable.
  • Abolish the loophole that allows firms to pay agency workers less than permanent staff.
  • Launch an inquiry into blacklisting in the construction industry.

 

Opportunities for all young people


LABOUR WILL:
  • Introduce a new gold standard Technical Baccalaureate for 1618 year olds.
  •  Ensure that all young people study English and maths to 18.
  • Require every firm getting a major government contract to offer apprenticeships.
  • Give businesses more control over apprenticeships in exchange for offering more opportunities and raise the standard and quality of apprenticeships so they last a minimum of two years.
  • Require large employers hiring skilled workers from outside the EU to offer apprenticeships.
  • Create thousands more apprenticeships in the public sector.
  • Introduce new Technical Degrees delivered by universities and employers.

 

Responsible and fair social security


LABOUR WILL:
  • Introduce a Compulsory Jobs Guarantee, paid for by a bank bonus tax, to provide a paid starter job for every young person unemployed for over a year.
  • Abolish the cruel, costly and failing Bedroom Tax.
    Reform the Work Capability Assessment so it focuses on the support disabled people need to work.
  • Cap structural social security spending as part of each Spending Review so that it is properly planned and controlled.
  • Allow councils that make savings in the Housing Benefit bill to recycle them into building homes.

 

Transport


LABOUR WILL:
  • Introduce a strict cap on annual rail fare increases across all routes.
  • Legislate so a public sector operator can take on lines and challenge private train operating companies on a level playing field.
  • Devolve regional transport decision making so that areas can bring together trains, buses, ferries and trams into a single network with smart-ticketing.
  • Give city and county regions London-style powers to regulate bus services.
  • Make cycling safer and more accessible with national standards to reduce deaths and serious injuries.

 

Reforming energy markets


LABOUR WILL:
  • Freeze energy bills until 2017.
  • Fix the broken energy market, increasing competition and transparency.
  • Abolish Ofgem and replace it with a tough new energy watchdog.
  • Improve the energy efficiency of at least five million homes over 10 years.

 

An NHS with time to care


LABOUR WILL:
  • Recruit 20,000 more nurses and 8,000 more GPs paid for by a tax on properties worth £2 million or more.
  • Guarantee a GP appointment within 48 hours – and on the same day for those who need it.
  • Repeal the Tories’ Health and Social Care Act.
  • Integrate health and social care services into a system of “whole-person care”.
  • Give mental health the priority it deserves with a new right to access talking therapies enshrined in the NHS Constitution.
  • Guarantee that patients will wait no longer than one week for vital cancer tests and results by 2020.
  • Ensure that when changes are proposed to local hospital services patients and the public have a seat round the table from the very start, helping design and decide on plans for change.

 

Social Care


LABOUR WILL:
  • Integrate physical health, mental health and social care services so we can give people a personal care plan and single point of contact for those with the greatest needs.
  • Train, recruit and pay new staff through a ‘Time to Care’ fund, including 5,000 new homecare workers in the NHS to support people to stay in their home.
  • Create greater rights to care at home.
  • Work with local authorities and care providers to end timelimited 15-minute visits.
  • Tackle the exploitation of care workers, so that travel between appointments is not an excuse for paying below the minimum wage and ban exploitative zero hour contracts.

 

Protecting our environment


LABOUR WILL:
  • Set a target for decarbonisation of our electricity by 2030.
  • Strengthen the Green Investment Bank with borrowing powers.
  • Prioritise flood prevention and introduce a new climate change adaptation plan.
  • End the badger cull and maintain the ban on hunting with dogs.

 

Rural communities


LABOUR WILL:
  • Deliver Winter Fuel Payments early to pensioners using offgrid energy.
  • Bring the off-grid energy sector under the remit of the regulator.
  • Devolve billions of pounds and powers, including over public transport networks, to county regions.
  • Tackle the cost of doing business in rural areas by freezing business rates and energy bills for small and medium enterprises.

 

Solving the housing crisis


LABOUR WILL:
  • Get at least 200,000 homes built a year by 2020.
  • Build more affordable homes by prioritising capital investment in housing.
  • Give local first-time buyers priority on new homes in housing growth areas.
  • Hand local communities new powers to get homes built where they want them.
  • Get a fairer deal for private renters by guaranteeing longer term tenancies with predictable rents and banning rip-off letting agent fees on tenants.
  • Give councils greater powers to reduce the number of empty homes.

 

Tackling crime and safeguarding justice


LABOUR WILL:
  • Scrap Police and Crime Commissioners in order to protect frontline police numbers.
  • Raise policing standards with a new inspection and standards body.
  • Establish a Commissioner to set minimum standards in tackling domestic and sexual violence.
  • Reform prisons, professionalising the workforce, stamping out corruption and holding prisons to account on re-offending.
  • Enact Britain’s first Victims’ Law to put victims at the heart of justice system.

 

Childcare and the early years


LABOUR WILL:
  • Extend free childcare from 15 to 25 hours for working parents with three and four-year-olds, paid for with an increase in the bank levy.
  • Introduce a legal guarantee that parents of primary-aged children can access childcare from 8am to 6pm through their local school.
  • Reinvigorate Sure Start, reforming the way local services work together to shift from sticking-plaster services to radical early help.

 

Raising school standards for all


LABOUR WILL:
  • Guarantee parents that all teachers in state schools will be qualified.
  • Require teachers to continue building their skills and subject knowledge on the job, with more high quality training and new career paths.
  • Ensure all schools are locally accountable with new local Directors of School Standards responsible for intervening in underperforming schools.
  • End the flawed Free Schools programme and instead prioritise new schools in areas where there are shortages of school places.

 

More powers to our communities


LABOUR WILL:
  • Give football fans a voice in every club boardroom and the right to buy a significant slice of their local football club if ownership changes hands.
  • Give communities the power to limit the spread of payday lenders and prevent their high streets from becoming dominated by certain types of premises.
  • Give local areas across England London-style powers to set bus routes and fares.
  • Devolve to all parts of England, including the shires, not just the Tories limited plans for a handful of big cities.

 

Political reforms


LABOUR WILL:
  • Give 16 and 17 year olds the vote.
  • Repeal the Lobbying Act, and create a statutory register of lobbyists.
  • Take the big money out of politics by capping individual donations to parties.
  • Replace the House of Lords with a Senate of the Nations and Regions.
  • Pass an English Devolution Act, handing £30 billion of resources, and powers over skills, transport, economic development to city and county regions.
  • Implement the Smith Commission’s package of further devolution to Scotland.
  • Put devolution to Wales on a stronger statutory basis, as in Scotland.
  • Reform the Commons to better hold the Government to account and strengthen the public’s voice on legislation.

 

Equalities


LABOUR WILL:
  • Require large companies to publish their gender pay gap.
  • Strengthen the law against maternity discrimination.
  • Legislate to strengthen the law on transphobic hate crime.
  • Establish a new offence of disability hate crime.
  • Appoint an International Envoy for LGBT rights.
  • Develop and put in place a strategy for race equality at the heart of Government.

 

Immigration


LABOUR WILL:
  • Work with our partners to reform the EU to make it work better for Britain, reforming free movement so that people coming to the UK have to wait longer to receive benefits and making it easier to deport those who commit crimes.
  • Guarantee no powers will be transferred to Brussels without an in/out referendum.
  • Ensure an outward-facing Britain, using our assets to amplify our influence worldwide.
  • Lead by example on human rights, upholding them domestically through the Human Rights Act, and advocating them overseas.
  • Put reducing inequality, climate change, and promoting universal health care at the heart of international development, pushing for an ambitious agreement in 2015.

 

Security, defence & supporting our armed forces


LABOUR WILL:
  • Conduct a Strategic Defence and Security Review in 2015 to equip our Armed Forces to meet the most difficult modern security challenges.
  • Further Britain’s defence cooperation with NATO and European partners, particularly in training and procurement.
  • Introduce legislation to outlaw the discrimination and abuse of members of the Armed Forces.
  • Support the creation of an Armed Forces credit union, addressing the specific needs of Forces families.
  • Support pan-European measures for cooperation on crime, including the European Arrest Warrant.

 

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