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Labour’s manifesto: A golden opportunity to revolutionise our society

AMY ADDISON-DUNNE rounds up how Labour plans to put power in the hands of the people

LABOUR’S Real Change manifesto is offering a once-in-a-generation chance to transform Britain with a radical, green programme that puts power in the hands of the people.  

As Labour’s critics sneer that Jeremy Corbyn’s radical policies would take Britain back to the 1970s, this manifesto actually shows that Labour will ensure we’ll still be around in the 2070s. 

After years of the Tories trashing our public services, NHS, environment, and allowing the billionaires to rule the roost, this manifesto puts power back in the hands of the people. 

Labour has come a long way from the days of pandering to the line of “austerity cuts must be made” at the cost of our public sector. 

In contrast, it has promised investment, including a 5 per cent pay rise for all public-sector workers. 

This manifesto is forward-looking, and proposes a programme of investment. Nothing is too good for the people of Britain. 

Instead of bickering over who’s going to plant more trees like the Lib Dems and Tories seem to be, Labour understands that climate change does not happen in a vacuum. 

It has woven tackling the environmental crisis into rebuilding Britain’s industrial sector with its Green Industrial Revolution. 

It comes into everything, including job creation, our NHS, education, investment priorities, and democracy to make going green beneficial for everyone. 

On the NHS, Labour has promised a massive recruitment drive of medical staff, and the years of rampant privatisation of NHS services, the scrapping of prescription charges, and free dental check-ups. 

It intends to fix the huge crisis brought about the managed decline and privatisation of our health service. There are 100,000 vacancies in our NHS, and a shortage of 43,000 nurses. 

Damaging PFI contracts will be taken back. Our NHS was sued by billionaire Richard Branson’s Virgin Care for not being given an NHS contract, showing that the profit motive in a public service is dangerous and comes at the cost of patients’ welfare. 

Where the Tories oversaw a programme of centralisation in the ’80s, stripping local authorities of power in order to implement neoliberal policies, Labour wants to spread it across the country. 

Under the Tories, local authorities are facing the prospect of losing the general block grant — a vital part of everyday spending. 

However Labour promises a national investment bank to spread the wealth across the country, an end to funding cuts to local authorities, and giving back the power to take their services in-house again. 

A nice little sweetener in this particular policy area is the declaration of pubs as an asset of community value, and will allow community groups to buy pubs threatened with closure. 

It’s high time someone cracked down on the tax-dodging billionaires, and we all know the Tories won’t be cracking down on their biggest supporters. 

Labour has promised to come down hard on tax avoidance and evasion, and reverse corporation tax cuts (of which the Tories wanted to reduce to a shocking 19 per cent) to pay for our public services. Anyone who earns under £80,000 can expect a tax freeze. 

What could be more of a no-brainer than nationalising basic utilities? Labour has proposed to bring our mail services, water and energy and our transport into public ownership and nationalise our broadband services. 

Britain has the highest rail fares in Europe, and people pay a small fortune for basic amenities. Nationalising broadband (dubbed “broadband communism” by the BBC), would help bring more people online, and eradicate it as an extra cost to worry about. 

The broadband will be super-fast and full fibre, and allow those unable to afford internet to access the now essential utility of being online. 

Housing has been a huge problem for decades now, and Labour’s plan takes a positive approach. It is proposing an ambitious building programme of 100,000 new environmentally friendly council homes a year, a huge improvement on the measly 6,287 built last year. 

Not only this, but it plans to put a cap on rent. Since the rented sector has become less regulated, private landlords have long been allowed to take shocking liberties with their tenants. Some 40 per cent of right to buy homes are now owned by private landlords, the cost of rent is spiralling out of control, and housing standards are low. 

This manifesto proposes a crackdown on landlords to stop revenge evictions, and actually enforce laws protecting tenants. 

This Labour manifesto values education. Learning does not stop when you leave school. This new national education service (NES) it is proposing offers something for everyone. 

While scrapping the £9,000 tuition fees, introducing universal free school meals, and more funding for schools, it is also offering a lifelong entitlement to training up to education level 3, and six years training at levels 4-6; inclusive of maintenance grants for the disadvantaged. 

Tying in with the Green Industrial Revolution, Labour has also put aside provisions for workers significantly affected by the transition to retrain. 

Workers win in this manifesto. From scrapping anti-trade union legislation to compulsory employee ownership of 10 per cent of shares in a company and a place in the boardroom, this manifesto puts power into the hands of the workers. 

Labour proposes extending maternity and paternity leave, and guaranteeing full rights from day one of your job. 

Zero-hours contracts look to be a thing of the past, a real living wage of £10 per hour will be introduced. 

Not only will workers have the strength of the trade unions, but a government body to be known as the “workers’ protection agency” will be created, which will back up the strengthened trade unions and enforce the rights workers are entitled to on unscrupulous employers. 

In this manifesto, there’s something for everyone. Labour plans to democratise, rebuild and revolutionise our society. 

It transfers more power to the workers, endeavours to educate, house and enrich our nation, and ensure our economy thrives to the benefit of the people. 

It’s no wonder the billionaires are running scared. 

Highlights: 

Tax the billionaires 
Crack down on tax evasion and avoidance 
Reverse corporation tax reductions
Tax freeze for those earning under £80,000 

The NHS 
5% public-sector pay rise 
Recruitment drive for nurses and doctors 
End privatisation 
Free dental check-ups 
Abolish prescription charges 
£26 billion investment 

Green Industrial Revolution 
Hundreds of thousands of green jobs 
Investment in green energy 
Retraining workers for green jobs

Public ownership 
Royal Mail
Transport 
Water
Energy
Broadband

National education service
Education opportunities for life 
Scrapping tuition fees 
Free school meals 
Proper funding for schools

Housing 
Biggest council-housebuilding programme in decades
An end to right to buy 
Tenants’ rights 
Crack down on private developers
One million new affordable homes to rent or buy

Workers’ rights 
A real living wage of £10 per hour 
Full rights from day one of a job
10% of companies' shares collectively owned by employees
30 hours a week of free childcare for 2-4 year olds 
Banning zero-hours contracts 
Scrapping anti-trade union legislation 
Workers’ protection agency 

Local democracy and communities
National investment bank 
Restore the high street 
Pubs as community assets  
Bring services back in-house 

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