Labour manifesto: tax and spend to save UK

Radical: The manifesto, favouring higher borrowing and higher taxes, goes against the consensus.

Jeremy Corbyn called it a “programme of hope”. The Tories say it would take the UK “back to the 1970s”. Labour published its election manifesto yesterday. Here are five key pledges.

1/ Higher income tax for the rich. Labour’s manifesto says that taxation “underpins our shared prosperity”. A Labour government would increase income tax to 45% for people earning over £80,000, and 50% for those on more than £123,000, hoping to raise £48.6 billion from tax rises.

2/ Nationalisation. One of the most eye-catching policies is the nationalisation of England’s ten water companies. It would also bring the railways, Royal Mail and the energy system back into public ownership.

3/ More money for the NHS. The party says it is committing “to over £30 billion in extra funding over the next parliament”. Its aim is to guarantee access to treatment within 18 weeks and to shorten A&E waiting times. The party opposes any privatisation of the NHS.

4/ Scrapping tuition fees. Labour’s manifesto includes the proposal to scrap tuition fees, which have risen to over £9,000 in the last seven years. “Labour also plans to reintroduce maintenance grants for students”,

5/ No Brexit without a deal. Labour says it aims to “prioritise jobs and living standards and to build a close new relationship with the EU”. Of the negotiations, the party says that no deal is the worst possible deal for Britain.

A winning formula?

“Labour’s policies are actually very popular”, say some. Labour has correctly sensed that the public mood has turned away from free markets and low taxes. These are policies that appeal to almost everyone bar the very rich. This manifesto might be the turning point in the campaign.

“The public will see straight through this nonsense”, reply others. The policies are insufficiently costed and would deter wealth creation in Britain. And anyway, campaigns do not really matter. The public’s perception of the potential prime ministers, Jeremy Corbyn and Theresa May, is the key

You Decide

  1. Would you vote for the Labour Party?

Activities

  1. Jeremy Corbyn is a self-described “socialist”. In a sentence or two, write down what you understand this term to mean.

Some People Say...

“If something looks too good to be true, it probably is.”

What do you think?

Q & A

What do we know?
Labour has concentrated on churning out as many popular, left-wing policies as possible in this election campaign. Most people agree that this is the first election in a while where no-one has accused the two parties of being identical.
What do we not know?
Whether Labour’s policies, many of which have proven to be popular, will really make much difference at this election.

Word Watch

Water companies
The water industry was privatised in 1989 by Margaret Thatcher’s government. Under Labour it would be taken into public ownership either by buying the shares of the existing companies or by a compulsory measure.
The railways, Royal Mail and the energy system
Like the water industry, all were in public ownership until being sold off, or privatised, by Conservative governments.
Potential prime ministers
Corbyn has rarely scored more than 20% when voters are asked who would make the best prime minister between him and Theresa May.

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