Take a glance at the results of the local election results today and you’d be forgiven for thinking Labour have next to no chance of winning on June 8th. However, it’s not that simple. General Election polling had the Labour party a good 25 percentage points behind the Conservatives, a gap that would be almost impossible to close in time. The results of the local elections, though, show that Labour is in fact only 11% behind. With Theresa May on apparent self-destruct, following the most tightly-controlled, stage-managed campaign trail possible the gap suddenly doesn’t look so devastating. We have a month to catch up and Theresa May seems capable only of rocking the Brexit boat in order to look tough ahead of negotiations, something that the public will catch on to as being, basically, self-sabotage.
Her dreadful performance so far aside, has anyone actually heard any of the Conservative party’s policies going into this election? Labour has released dozens of fully-costed progressive policies that will ease the harm already done to this country by the Tories. We never seem to hear much of them of course, because the media is more concerned with catching politicians out, tripping them up for a snappy soundbite on the 6 o’clock news than actually reporting what the parties are promising. That means it is up to us to spread the word and steer the conversation away from tired personal abuse and toward policy. After all, it’s the policies we’ll be feeling the effects of for years to come, good or bad. It has to be about the policies.
So here are just a few of the fully-costed policies put forward by the Labour party in recent weeks. Please take a moment to read them and think to yourself ‘will this benefit me, my loved ones and the least-fortunate in my area?’
- Introduce free school meals for all children aged 6 – 11
- Introduce a £10 per hour minimum wage for everyone over 18s
- Renationalise the UK railways as franchises end
- Build 200,000 homes per year, including 100,000 council homes
- Reverse Tory inheritance tax cuts
- Reverse Tory corporation tax cuts
- Ban firms in tax havens bidding for government contracts
- End the public sector pay freeze
- End “sweetheart deals” by HMRC for multi-corporations
- Halt the opening of new Grammars and Free Schools
- Ban late payments to SMEs and scrap Tory business rates hike
- End the gender pay gap
- Ban zero-hour contracts for workers with regular hours
- Give all workers equal rights, whether full-time or part-time
- Ensure employers recruiting labour from abroad do not undercut UK workers
- Repeal the Trades Union Act and roll out sectoral collective bargaining
- Guarantee Unions the right to access workplaces
- Introduce 4 new Bank Holidays (on national saints’ days)
- Roll out maximum pay ratio of 20:1 in public sector workplaces
- Ban unpaid internships
- Abolish employment tribunal fees
- Double paid paternity leave to 4 weeks, and increase paternity pay
- License and fine “rogue” landlords who refuse upkeep to their properties
- Introduce £160m Pupil Arts Premium to support disadvantaged children in the Arts
- Restore Education Maintenance Allowance (EMA) for poorer pupils
- Bring back maintenance grants for university students
- Introduce safe staffing levels for nurses, resulting in a safer NHS
- Restore the Nurses’ Bursary
- Halt the tender of NHS contracts to the private sector, saving £1bn a year
- Put VAT on Independent Schools, bringing in £1.2bn a year
- Reverse Capital Gains tax cuts
A full rundown of Labour policies going into this General Election will be available in the Labour Party Manifesto 2017; you can download this document soon from the Labour party website.
I find it hard to believe that there is anything listed above that anyone could object to! When it comes to progressive policies for the many, not the few the Labour party is lightyears ahead of any of the other parties. Forget personalities – it doesn’t matter if you dislike Jeremy Corbyn; if you’d rather a Labour government to a Tory one, there’s only one real choice! – when you vote on June 8th please do so based on policy!
And if this is the first time you’ve seen these policies then please spread the word! Make sure that those around you know that Labour is offering real change that will benefit us all, while the Tories are promising nothing at all, except more hurt. Do you really think our NHS can survive another five years of Tory rule? I certainly do not. So there’s only one thing we can do to assure things change for the better and that’s VOTE LABOUR!
With thanks to Eoin Clarke on Twitter for Policies Summary