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Labour Party manifesto 2019: A summary of key policies

Charles Hymas
The Labour leader set out a radical programme of nationalising utilities and the Royal Mail, investing in public services, and new rules for businesses and homeowners - REUTERS

Jeremy Corbyn has announced a spending spree of £83billion to bring in "real change", which will be funded by raising taxes and extra borrowing.

The Labour leader vowed to take on "vested interests" in society as he set out a radical programme of nationalising utilities and the Royal Mail, investing in public services, and new rules for businesses and homeowners.

Labour's 105-page manifesto set out plans what Mr Corbyn described as a "radical and ambitious plan to transform our country in decades."

Tax hikes

The manifesto said a Labour government would "re-write the rules of the economy" and tax "those at the top" to raise money for public services.

Mr Corbyn revealed plans to hike death duties, bring in a new levy on holiday homes and cap private rents to fund the manifesto splurge.

British holiday home owners will have to pay a new taxequivalent to double their current council tax, which the party hopes will raise £560 million a year.

The Labour leader announced a new "super" income tax rate of 50 per cent on people earning £125,000 and over, as well as lowering the threshold for the additional income tax rate of 45 per cent from £150,000 to £80,000.

George Osborne's inheritance tax cut will be reversed in a raid that will hit middle class families.

Labour will impose a tax on windfall profits accrued by oil companies, in a move that could hit North Sea Oil and see petrol prices soar. 

It comes despite shadow Chancellor John McDonnell categorically ruling out a new levy on the industry just two days ago.

Labour will also tax capital gains at the same level as income tax and abolish the lower income tax rate for dividend income.

Soon after Mr Corbyn would get into office, companies would be hit by a two percentage point rise in corporation tax from 19 per cent to 21 per cent in April. It will rise again to 24 per cent the following year and 26 per cent in 2022.

Private landlords will be forced to cap rent rises at the rate of inflation, with cities being given new powers to impose further caps.

Public Services

Spending across the health sector would rise by an average 4.3% a year, Labour has pledged. NHS privatisation would be halted and reversed and moratorium imposed on bed cuts. There would be free annual NHS dental check ups and free hospital parking for patients, staff and visitors.

Expanding GP training places would aim to deliver 27 million more appointments a year with an extra £1.6 billion a year for mental health care. An extra £1 billion for public health would include 4,500 more health visitors and school nurses.

The sugar tax would be extended to milk drinks, fast food restaurants banned near schools and tougher rules imposed on junk food adverts and salt in food.

A state-controlled generic drug company would have legal rights to produce its own drugs if private versions were too expensive for the NHS.

The manifesto pledges “free personal care” for the elderly, saying “eligibility criteria” will be developed with a £100,000 cap on personal contributions to care costs.

In education policy, university tuition fees would be scrapped and maintenance grants restored. Control of education would be handed back to local councils and Ofsted replaced by a new inspection body.

All 2, 3 and 4-year-olds would be entitled to 30 hours a week of free preschool education. SATs tests would be scrapped at seven and 11 and all primary pupils would be entitled to free school meals.

Private schools would lose their tax breaks with a new social justice commission set up to advise on “integrating” them into a “comprehensive education system.”

Labour would also recruit at least 22,000 more police officers, or 2,000 more than whatever is planned by the Tories.

It opens the door to potential decriminalisation of drugs by pledging a Royal Commission to “develop a public health approach to substance misuse, focusing on harm reduction rather than criminalisation.” Judicial oversight of the security services would be strengthened.

A Labour Government would restore the 7,000 prison officers axed since 2010, ban new private prisons and bring PFI jails back in-house. 5,000 extra firefighters would be recruited.

It would introduce a presumption against prison sentences of under six months for non-violent and non-sexual offences and toughen community service.

There would be an independent review of the “shamefully low” rape prosecution rates and Labour would proceed with no-fault divorce and reintroduce the domestic abuse Bill.

The manifesto also pledged to renationalise Royal Mail, as well as privatised services in councils - from bin collection to leisure centre management. It confirmed the pledge for free full-fibre broadband for all by 2030 by part-nationalising BT.

It pledged to revive high streets by stopping bank branch closures, banning ATM charges and giving local government new powers to put empty shops to good use. Business rates could be replaced by a land value tax.

Housing

Labour will bring in rent controls for more than 11 million people renting in the private sector, as well as introducing "open-ended" tenancies, designed to give renters greater security in their homes.

Private landlords will be forced to cap rent rises at the rate of inflation, with cities being given new powers to impose further caps.

“No-fault” evictions will also be tackled, the manifesto said, promising funding for new renters’ unions.

Labour will bring in rent controls for more than 11 million people renting in the private sector, as well as introducing "open-ended" tenancies, designed to give renters greater security in their homes.

Private landlords will be forced to cap rent rises at the rate of inflation, with cities being given new powers to impose further caps.

“No-fault” evictions will also be tackled, the manifesto said, promising funding for new renters’ unions.

The party would ban the sale of new leasehold properties and give leaseholders the right to buy the freehold of their properties “at a price they can afford."

Labour’s new social house building programme pledges to build more than a million new homes over a decade, with 150,000 council and social homes being built a year by the end of the parliament.

Right to buy, the policy introduced by Margaret Thatcher which allows council house tenants to purchase their property, would be effectively reversed, with new powers and funding for councils to buy back former council houses from private landlords.

Companies

The manifesto repeats the party’s pledge to usher in a 32 hour working week across the economy within a decade. It says there will be no loss of pay due to productivity increases.

Labour will also target the big financial services firms such as KPMG and Deloitte by forcing them to break up accountancy and auditing services.

Meanwhile large companies will be required to set up Inclusive Ownership Funds, whereby 10 per cent of the company will be collectively owned by its employees, with dividends distributed equally and capped at £500 a year, the rest paid into a Climate Apprenticeship Fund.

Labour also pledged that one-third of company boards will be reserved for elected “worker-directors”, who would have powers to control executive pay.

Survivors of domestic abuse would be entitled to 10 days’ paid leave, meanwhile a carers’ allowance would be introduced at the same rate as job seekers’ allowance.

Brexit

Labour "will get Brexit sorted in six months by giving people the final say", Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn has pledged in his manifesto.

After first revising Boris Johnson’s Brexit deal, the party will put it to a second referendum.

Britons will be presented with "a choice between a sensible leave deal or remain. We will implement whatever the British people decide", the document says.

In a section entitled "The Final Say on Brexit", the manifesto says the party will end the "scandal of billions of pounds of taxpayers’ money being wasted on no-deal preparations".

Labour would "rip up the deeply flawed deal negotiated by Boris Johnson" and replace it with a "new Brexit deal – one that protects jobs, rights and the environment, avoids a hard border in Northern Ireland and protects the Good Friday Agreement and the peace process".

Its new deal would include a "permanent and comprehensive UK-wide customs union," and "close alignment with the Single Market".

Foreign affairs and defence

Labour would introduce a new Act to prevent a Prime Minister bypassing Parliament to go to war, carry out an audit of the impact of Britain’s colonial legacy and invest an extra £400 million to promote peace and global climate agreements.

Arms sales to Saudi Arabia would be suspended immediately and human rights advisors appointed to work across Government.

There would be a judge-led inquiry into the UK complicity in rendition, torture and the operation of secret courts. Britain would apologise for the Amritsar massacre and review its role in it and the people of the Chagos Islands would be given the right to return.

Labour said it would maintain the UK’s commitment to Nato, renew the Trident nuclear deterrent and spend at least two per cent of GDP on defence. It would increase funding for UN peacekeeping operations to £100 million.

The public sector pay cap on armed forces wages would be scrapped. All surviving British nuclear test veterans would get a £50,000 lump sum.

Labour would continue to devote at least 0.7 per cent of the UK’s gross national income to foreign aid, with reduction of inequality introduced as a new additional goal.