UK Labour Party manifesto pledges a ‘green revolution’ as well as a new gambling act for the ‘digital age’
The United Kingdom is set for its third general election in four years as Brexit continues to divide and occupy the minds of the nation. The Election, which will take place on the 12th December, has been described by the Labour party as a ‘once-in-a-generation chance for real change.’
As is standard practice in the weeks before an election, each of the major parties showcase their ‘manifesto’ to the population of voters detailing the promises they will commit to if voted into government. Earlier this week the Labour party, led by Jeremy Corbyn, released their manifesto to the public and in short; it promises change.
“Some people say this is the Brexit Election,” states the manifesto which you can view for yourself here.
“But it’s also the climate election, the investment election, the NHS election, the living standards election, the education election, the poverty election, the fair taxes election. Above all, it’s the change election.”
In the paragraphs below we have plucked out the highlights of the Labour party manifesto for those who do not want to read the full 80+ page manifesto for themselves.
A Green Industrial Revolution
Labour’s green industrial revolution equates to sustainability over corporate power grabbing, at least that’s what they sell it as. The manifesto states a plan to create a National Transformation fund of 400 billion in order for the UK government to be able to hit environment and climate targets – something the current government have been well short of achieving for the past decade. Labour also intends to set up a national investment bank which will provide £250 billion of lending to companies which are in-line with decarbonising the economy. This will ensure that companies who wish to ‘do right by the environment’ will receive benefits that companies which threaten the environment will not. The manifesto also states that this initiative will create at least 1 million jobs.
‘We will deliver nearly 90% of electricity and 50% of heat from renewable and low-carbon sources by 2030,’ states the manifesto. Of course, this statement would require the current labour government to be in power for the next 12 years, however, nobody can dispute that for a country such as the UK to achieve these targets would be extremely inspiring to the rest of the world.
In order to achieve the 2030 target, Labour wrote that they will build:
- 7,000 new offshore wind turbines
- 2,000 new onshore wind turbines
- Enough solar panels to cover 22,000 football pitches.
- New nuclear power needed for energy security.
The so-called green revolution will bring an end to fracking. Fracking is the process of injecting liquid at high pressure into subterranean rocks, boreholes, etc. so as to force open existing fissures and extract oil or gas – something which the Conservative party seemingly have no problem with given their record on allowing fracking to take place across the UK. Fracking uses a variety of toxic chemicals which often escape into the atmosphere contaminating both water supplies and the air that is breathed.
Full fibre-optic broadband free to every UK citizen
The party has pledged to deliver government-sponsored free fibre-optic internet to every home in the United Kingdom by 2030. To do this Labour will take over parts of the country’s largest internet provider, Openreach, a subsidiary of the monopoly holding telecommunications giant BT. This would cost roughly £20 billion. It will be paid by taxing the giant tech companies: Facebook, Google and Amazon etc.
The plan is expected to save each household around £30 per month.
Nationalise Rail, Mail, Water and Energy companies
The would-be Labour government plan to ‘put the people’ back in charge of the vital public services which were slowly privatised from the 1980s onwards. Railway, mail, water and energy companies will become nationalised by a labour government. UK rail prices are currently amongst the highest in Europe whilst water prices continue to increase year after year. The sell off of the Royal Mail to private investors in the early 2010s by former Conservative chancellor George Osborne was proven to have completely and utterly ‘ripped off tax payers.’
It is Labours hope that bringing important public services back under control of the government will end the power of monopolies that exist within these services and bring down the ever-increasing prices that are being charged by the aforementioned monopolies.
End Food banks and bring a living wage of £10 per hour
The past decade of Conservative rule has increased foodbank usage in the country ten-fold. The Independent states that ‘nearly 5000 food packages are handed out each day.’ Whilst The Guardian writes that ‘a drastic increase in poverty have led to one in 50 UK households being forced to use food banks.’ Labour have pledged that they will bring an end to food banks and homelessness across the UK.
One way in which Labour intends to do this is by ending ‘workers poverty.’ Million of UK workers are employed via zero-hour contracts meaning that they have no fixed hours that they work per month. One month they could be required to work 40 hours, another 5 hours. Labour intend to put an end to zero-hour contracts and ensure every citizen who works will have a stable contract of employment – workers will no longer be under the boot of the companies they work for. Labour have also pledged to bring about a living minimum wage of £10 per hour for all workers.
Protect the NHS
Along with Brexit, the NHS has been one of the major talking points in the build-up to the Christmas election. Earlier this week, Jeremy Corbyn produced damning evidence that he claims proves the NHS ‘would be up for sale’ under the Tories. Due to the Conservative parties record of privatisation, it was widely anticipated that should the Conservatives win a majority, then following a no deal Brexit, Johnson and his government would align themselves with US president Donald Trump and begin a period of covertly privatising the NHS.
Labour have vowed to repair the NHS and bring an end to any thought or action of privatising it. Labour have pledged to provide an additional £1.6billion per year into mental health. Approximately one in four British people will experience a mental health problem each year whilst depression reportedly affects three out of every 100 people in the UK. They have also promised to end the social care crisis in the country which includes providing care workers with paid travel expenses, access to training and an option to choose regular hours.
In regard to the millions of workers who are employed across the NHS, Labour will ensure that each and every one of them will be guaranteed a real term pay rise every year. Workers will also be provided with their own mental health support that is ‘safe, flexible and free from harassment, bullying or violence.’
- Labour will abolish university tuition fees so that university graduates will not be saddled with £50,000+ of debt.
- Paid maternity leave extended to 12 months
- Introduce a new gambling act for online casino review websites that will be ‘fit for a digital age.’
- Pledge to build 100,000 council houses
The manifesto has come under intense scrutiny from journalist, think tanks and financial institutions. A number of economists and academics have backed Labour’s spending plans whilst others have called them impossible. However, with due to huge levels of inequality which are currently prevalent throughout large parts of the UK, Jeremy Corbyn’s manifesto has given hope to millions of those disadvantaged and forgotten citizens which Labour hope to improve the lives of – hence the slogan: ‘For The Many, Not The Few.’