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Transforming Britain

Labour policies boost for ordinary people
Ryan Fletcher, Thursday, May 11th, 2017

A Labour government would re-nationalise the UK’s energy industry, railways, buses and Royal Mail, the party’s leaked draft manifesto states.


In a boost for ordinary people, Labour would also set up a new Ministry of Labour and strengthen employment and trade union rights.


This includes banning zero-hour contracts, repealing the Trade Union Act and ending the public sector pay cap.


The 43-page document, which is yet to be finalised by the Labour Party, contains pledges to provide an extra £6bn a year for the NHS and £1.6bn a year for social care.


Labour would also force local authorities to build 100,000 council houses a year under a new Department for Housing, private sector rent increases would be capped at inflation and the hated bedroom tax would be banned.


Other policies include a freeze on rail fares and an end to cruel benefit sanctions.


The manifesto also gives a commitment to paying off the deficit and balancing the UK’s daily budget by the end of next Parliament.


The policies would be paid for through better taxation of large corporations and the super-rich, including raising £20bn a year by reversing the Conservative’s corporation tax cuts.


Companies “with high number of staff on very high pay” would face extra levies along with private health firms.


Individuals earning more than £80,000 a year would be charged increased rates of income tax, but for 95 percent of people there would be no extra taxation.


Last week, Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn said the manifesto would “transform” Britain.


He said, “We can transform Britain into a country that – instead of being run for the rich – is a one where everyone can lead richer lives.”


“We’re drawing a line. Three decades of privatisation – from energy and rail to health and social care – has made some people very rich. But it has not delivered richer lives for the majority.


“In the coming days, we will be setting out our plan to transform Britain – with an upgraded economy run for the many not the few.”


Unite general secretary Len McCluskey said the final manifesto, which will be released next week after a Labour vote, should contain some “really exciting” policies.


“A number of the policies we’re seeing formed are really really exciting. I’m absolutely certain that ordinary Labour voters want to see an increase in the minimum wage, the abolition of zero-hour contracts, agency workers dealt with, investment in our industries,” McCluskey said.


“Taking the railways back into public ownership is the most popular policy out there. Just ask commuters in the south east if they’re happy. You can fly anywhere in Europe and most of the west coast of America cheaper than you can get a train from the north to the south (of the UK) – it’s outrageous.”


He added, “Overall (the policies) are going to be in favour of working people and that’s the key.”


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