The Labour Party - a general election summary
Labour have released their manifesto for the 2015 general election and titled it “Britain can be better”. It is launched on the platform of making Britatin a fairer place to live and work for the “working people” of the country.
Key to the manifesto is the “Budget Responsibility Lock” which states that every policy is paid for and will not require additional borrowing. A very bold statement given their recent history, and the only party to do this explicitly.
Labour intend to support growth and business by offering a variety of financial incentives and tax cuts to the private sector. They also promise to tax bankers' bonuses in order to fund social initiatives.
Labour’s Green and Eco agenda revolves around boosting low carbon industry to create jobs and put Britain in the top echelon of Low Carbon economies. They will do this by decarbonising our electricity production by 2030, strengthening the Green Investment Bank with borrowing powers and prioritising flood prevention by producing a new plan for climate change adaptation. Labour promise to make cycling safer and more accessible.
Labour’s social agenda is very firmly based around changing the economy to make it work for the working people. To this end they intend to increase the minimum wage to £8 per hour and remove exploitative zero hour contracts and promote the Living Wage. Labour will work with businesses to introduce a Compulsory Jobs Guarantee, which will provide a paid starter job for every young person unemployed for over a year.
The NHS will be ‘rescued’ by increasing nurse and GP levels. This will be paid for by taxing properties worth £2 million or more – the mansion tax. There will be a program of changes for the mental health and social care areas of the NHS with training and recruitment programs to allow people to be cared for at home. There will be a drive to stop privatisation and place caps on private companies which supply services to the NHS.
In order to engage and create opportunity for the younger generation Labour intend giving the vote to 16 and 17 year olds, and transforming education into a more vocational standard by introducing Technical Baccalaureates. Like most of the parties they intend to create thousands of apprenticeships in the public and private sector. They also pledge to cut University tuition fees.
The Manifesto talks about controlling immigration with tougher border controls. Stress is placed on integration within and between communities, followed by a promise to stop immigrants from claiming benefits until they have lived in the UK for 2 years or more.
And because, they say, Britain will be better off remaining at the heart of a reformed EU, Labour will make the hard-headed, patriotic case for reform in Europe, not exit from Europe.
All the way through the Manifesto Labour talk about devolving power and giving decision-making to the people and local places, by staying true to the Labour beliefs and driving Britain forward with a ‘better plan for a better future’.