Leaked Labour manifesto promises end to public sector pay cap and renationalisation

11 May 17

A draft version of Labour’s manifesto has leaked revealing the party’s plans to end the public sector pay cap, build 100,000 council homes and nationalise the railways.

Intentions to nationalise parts of the energy industry and Royal Mail, scrap tuition fees, ban zero hours contracts, strengthen trade union rights, and reject a no-deal option over Brexit are also included.

Under the leaked plans Labour would give the NHS an extra £6bn annually, invest £8bn for social care and seek to create a National Care Service over the next parliament – paid for by increasing income tax for the top 5% of earners, increasing tax on private medical insurance and reversing cuts to corporation tax.

The document is due to be finalised and today after it is approved by the shadow cabinet and the party's National Executive Committee. Formal publication is expected next week.

Andrew Gwynne, Labour's national campaigns co-ordinator, denied the leaked document was the party's manifesto, but instead a draft list of ideas.

He told ITV: “The point is today the whole of the shadow cabinet, the executive committee and other stakeholders are meeting to go through what will become our manifesto.”

Reaction to the leaked manifesto has been mixed, with some commentators observing that it represents the most left-wing policy programme in a generation and other predicting it would take the country back to the 1970s.

A Labour spokesman said: "We don't comment on leaks. Our policies will be laid out when we launch our manifesto which is a plan to transform Britain for the many, not the few."

But the Conservatives said Labour’s plans were a “total shambles” and a Jeremy Corbyn-led government would “unleash chaos”.

A spokesman said: “The commitments in this dossier will rack up tens of billions of extra borrowing for our families and will put Brexit negotiations put at risk.

“Jobs will be lost, families will be hit and our economic security damaged for a generation if Jeremy Corbyn and the coalition of chaos are ever let anywhere near the keys to Downing Street.”

Liberal Democrat foreign affairs spokesman Tom Brake said: "This manifesto became meaningless the day Jeremy Corbyn ordered his MPs to vote with the Conservatives and UKIP to give Theresa May a blank cheque on Brexit.

John O'Connell, chief executive of the TaxPayers' Alliance, said: "This manifesto is a toxic mix of nationalisations, interventions and monumental tax hikes.

“A 1970s-style agenda would be a disaster for the country and the parties should instead be offering up policies that get the economy in shape to compete in the global marketplace.

“That means tax cuts for individuals and businesses to leave more money in the pockets of those who earned it, and cutting out wasteful spending so that resources go towards essential services."


Some of the key policies in the manifesto are as follows:

Renationalisation

  • Bring the railways back into public ownership as franchises expire and repeal the Railways Act 1993 which privatised the network
  • Freeze passenger rail fares
  • Reverse the privatisation of Royal Mail "at the earliest opportunity"
  • Create at least one publicly-owned energy company in every region of the UK, with public control of the transmission and distribution grids
  • Repeal the Health and Social Care Act 2012 - which restructured the NHS - and "reverse privatisation" of the health service

Education

  • Reintroduce maintenance grants for university students and abolish university tuition fees
  • A National Education Service to provide "cradle-to-grave learning that is free at the point of use" from early years to adult education
  • Reduce class sizes to under 30 for all five, six, and seven-year-olds
  • Free school meals for all primary school children, paid for by removing the VAT exemption on private school fees

Health and social care

  • An extra £6bn annually for the NHS, funded by increasing income tax for the highest 5% of earners and increasing tax on private medical insurance
  • An Office for Budget Responsibility for health to scrutinise spending
  • An additional £8bn over the lifetime of the next parliament for social care
  • Look into creating a National Care Service for social care "rooted in the traditions of our National Health Service"

Brexit

  • Accept the EU referendum result and "build a close new relationship with the EU" prioritising jobs and and workers' rights
  • Guarantee the rights of EU nationals living in the UK and work to "secure reciprocal rights" for UK citizens elsewhere in the EU
  • A "meaningful" role for Parliament throughout Brexit negotiations
  • Negotiating priorities to have "a strong emphasis on retaining the benefits of the single market and the customs union"
  • Negotiate transitional arrangements "to avoid a cliff-edge for the UK economy" if no deal is reached
  • Keep EU-derived laws on workers' rights, equality, consumer rights and environmental protections

Defence

  • Support the renewal of the Trident submarine system
  • Work with international partners and the UN on multilateral disarmament "to create a nuclear-free world"
  • Commit to the Nato benchmark of spending at least 2% of GDP on defence

Immigration

  • Labour believes in the "reasonable management of migration" but "will not make false promises on immigration numbers"

Workers’ rights

  • A 20-point plan for security and equality at work, including an end to zero-hours contracts and equal rights for employees
  • Repeal the Trade Union Act and roll out sectoral collective bargaining, whereby industries can negotiate agreements as a whole
  • End the public sector pay cap.
  • Use public spending power to drive up standards, including only awarding public contracts to companies which recognise trade unions

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