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by Lamiat Sabin
JEREMY CORBYN declared war on bankers, billionaires, bad bosses, dodgy landlords, media moguls and tax-dodging corporations as he launched Labour's transformative manifesto yesterday.
The Labour leader said the manifesto — the “most radical in decades” — offers Britain “hope and real change” with policies that the “political establishment” and the “most powerful people” had blocked for a generation.
Mr Corbyn accepted it was "inevitable" that the country's richest would rally against the party's plans.
He told the crowd at Birmingham City University that the “vested interests” of Britain’s billionaires, a third of whom fund the Conservative Party, would understandably feel threatened by Labour’s determination to redistribute wealth and power.
He said: “Over the next three weeks they are going to tell you that everything in this manifesto is impossible. That it’s too much for you.
“Because they don’t want real change. Why would they? The system is working just fine for them. It’s rigged in their favour. But it’s not working for you.
“If your wages never seem to go up and your bills never seem to go down, if your public services only seem to get worse, despite the heroic efforts of those who work in them, then it’s not working for you.
"Labour is on your side. And there could scarcely be a clearer demonstration of that than the furious reaction of the rich and powerful.”
Labour in government intends to put more investment into public services and public workers’ pay, renationalise utilities and transport for the benefit of communities and workers, and build more than 150,000 social-rent homes per year — the most in five decades.
The 105-page manifesto also sets out plans for a “green industrial revolution,” bringing back rail, mail, water and energy into public ownership, rent controls and more protections for private tenants as well as full-fibre broadband free to everyone in the country.
It also pledges a “real living wage” of at least £10-an-hour while ending zero-hours contracts and the punishing Universal Credit benefits scheme. Trade-union rights would be strengthened and a national education service established to provide more schools funding, free life-long learning and early years care.
Labour promises additional funding for the NHS; the reversal of privatisation of healthcare and cuts to emergency services; Scotland to get a £100 billion boost and the Welsh government to be allowed to go ahead with new projects like the Swansea Bay Tidal Lagoon.
In government, Labour would also get Brexit “sorted” within six months, giving the public the final say between the option to leave with a “credible deal” or to remain in the European Union.
Mr Corbyn insisted that only people earning more than £80,000 a year would see their income tax increased to pay for Labour’s plans.
Attendees at the launch chanted “not for sale!” when Mr Corbyn mentioned that he had held up redacted reports during Tuesday night’s ITV debate detailing secret talks between British and American officials about opening up the NHS to US-based firms.
He urged those not registered to vote — particularly students — to sign up and to “get your friends and family registered too.”
The deadline for registration is 5pm on November 26 for those living in England, Scotland or Wales.
Labour's manifesto was launched as figures showed the Conservatives raised £5.67 million in big-money donations in the first week of the election campaign, 25 times more than Labour's £218,500.
Responding to the Electoral Commission figures, Labour chairman Ian Lavery said: “While the Conservative party is in the pockets of vested interests and the super-rich, we are proud that the Labour Party is funded by hundreds of thousands of people donating what they can afford to build a fairer society.
"Labour is on the side of the people and the Tories are on the side of the billionaires."
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