POLITICS

Labour's Manifesto 2017 Launch: What's Changed And What's New?

Jeremy Corbyn has unveiled his official blueprint for Britain.

16/05/2017 11:39 | Updated 6 days ago

1. Nationalise the water industry

Shadow Chancellor John McDonnell confirmed this morning Labour wants to bring the industry into public ownership - a policy which didn’t appear in last week’s leaked draft manifesto.  But the pledge is not accounted for in the party’s list of costings.  McDonnell told the BBC Labour would ‘look at how this could be done’ and said one option would be to buy the firms outright - but did not want to set a price as it would be ‘commerically sensitive’.

2.  Tougher stance on immigration

As HuffPost UK reported last week, the draft manifesto was amended following a crunch meeting to make sure the party’s message on immigration was clear. The final version says freedom of movement will end under a Labour government once the UK leaves the EU and ‘fair’ immigration rules will be developed.

3.  A review of welfare cuts

The party has pledged an extra £2bn to hold a ‘review’ of cuts to Universal Credit and ‘how best to reverse them’.

4. University tuition fees scrapped

The cost of this policy has been revealed for the first time in the final manifesto - £11.2bn. University tuition fees were first introduced under Tony Blair in the late-1990s. Ed Miliband campaigned to slash tuition fees in England from £9,000 to £6,000 a year.  But Corbyn’s plans have not been universally welcomed by  young people, as our HuffPost Edelman focus group showed.

5. £37bn for the NHS

Under Corbyn, the NHS could get £6bn a year so it’s “properly funded” and will receive £37bn by the end of the next parliament. The money would be raised with new taxes on those earning over £80,000, increases in corporation tax and hikes in private medical insurance taxes. Under Miliband in 2015, Labour promised an extra £2.5bn a year for the NHS. 

PA Wire/PA Images

6. New ‘publicly-owned start-up’ energy firms

This would allow state-owned ‘challengers’ to privatised energy firms, which will be allowed to continue - a step back from re-nationalising energy companies completely, which was floated by Corbyn in his 2015 leadership pitch.  The party says it will also introduce an immediate emergency price cap to make sure dual-fuel bills don’t cost more than £1,000 a year.

7. Tax on firms with highly-paid staff

A new levy will be placed on companies “with high numbers of staff on very high pay”.

8. Increase in free childcare

A pledge of £5bn to create a universal childcare service for every family in Britain - extending the 30 hours a week offered to working parents to every family, regardless of their circumstaces.  Maternity pay would also be extended to 12 months and extra funding will made available for Sure Start and halt the closure of centres..

9. Rape clause scrapped to create a universal childcare service for every family in Britain

The so-called “rape clause” - asking new mothers who have been raped for verification if they wish to claim tax credits for more than two children - will be ended immediately. The legislation was only introduced this year and has been highly criticised.

PA Wire/PA Images
Jeremy Corbyn on a visit to a south London Sure Start centre.

 

10. Support for Trident renewal 

Continued support for the UK’s nuclear deterrent - but a paragraph on a Prime Minister’s need to be ‘extremely cautious’ when using nuclear weapons has been removed.  The final document states:

“Labour supports the renewal of the Trident nuclear deterrent. As a nuclear-armed power, our country has a responsibility to fulfil our obligations under the Nuclear NonProliferation Treaty. Labour will lead multilateral efforts with international partners and the UN to create a nuclear-free world.”

A key line about taking military action ‘as a last resort’ has also been cut from the defence section.

11. No new private prisons

Labour’s leaked draft manifesto said under a Labour government, there would be no private prisons.  The final version is slightly tweaked, pledging no new private prisons, and that no public sector prisons will be privatised.

12. 3,000 new firefighters

An additional 3,000 firefighters will be recruited and staffing levels reviewed - but costings for the recruitment have not been set out.

13. No-fault divorce

A no-fault divorce procedure would be introduced to circumnavigate some of the stress associated with ending a marriage. Couples can currently only apply for a ‘no blame’ divorce after being separated for two years, with consent from both parties.

14. No military solution to Israel-Palestine conflict

An attempt to balance the criticism aimed at both Israelis and Palestinians seems to have occurred since the leaked manifesto criticised the “wrong and illegal” expansion of Israeli settlements in the West Bank and said it represented a “threat to the very viability of the hopes of securing a successful outcome of the peace process”, the Press Association reports.

The final version of Labour’s 2017 policy continues to reiterate the 2015 commitment to a two-state solution to ensure peace in the Middle East. It also repeats the belief that there is no military solution to the conflict and “all sides must avoid taking action that would make peace harder to achieve”.

The document adds: “That means both an end to the blockade, occupation and settlements, and an end to rocket and terror attacks. Labour will continue to press for an immediate return to meaningful negotiations leading to a diplomatic resolution.”

Read the full manifesto here.

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