02

Labour – filling in the gaps

After three years of process seemingly designed to deliver as few details of policy as possible, on 7 March 2014, the Labour Policy Commissions released their findings. Eight policy papers, knitted together with a One Nation theme, set out the first concrete indications of how a 2015 Labour administration would govern. The papers are more than party productions – they represent a conclusion of the consultative process, and are intended to position Labour as the spearhead of a set of campaigns across UK civil society.

The papers go from the general to the very specific across a broad range of areas, but of course many of the bigger policy questions have been left for another day, allowing further debate and big announcements further down the line. Areas of commonality with Coalition policy are not spelled out but can be spotted here and there – for instance the muted opposition to free schools.

Taken as a set they advance the Labour argument that regardless of economic recovery, low wages and rising cost of living have left too many people behind, and a ‘One Nation’ approach is needed to knit the country back together again.

 

THE KEY ISSUES

Stability and Prosperity

‘Building long-term thinking into the economy’

  • Minimum wage increase and enforcement
  • Bank reform
  • 50p income tax rate
  • Cut then freeze for SME business rates
  • Legislating for ‘tough fiscal rules’
  • Corporate law reform to incentivise long-termism

 

Work and Business

‘Sustainable wealth creation.’

  • Support for manufacturing and low carbon business
  • Expansion of vocational education
  • SME access to finance through a British Investment Bank
  • Annual competition health check
  • Salary transparency in workplaces
  • Ban on zero hours contracts
  • Cap on household benefits and end to winter fuel payment for richest 5%

 

Living Standards and Sustainability

‘Greening our economy’

  • Integrating transport policy with capped fares
  • Energy price freeze, tougher regulator and simplified tariffs
  • Water industry transparency and strengthened regulator
  • Decarbonised power sector by 2030
  • No promotion of shale gas
  • More money for rural broadband
  • No to fox hunting or the badger cull

 

Stronger, Safer Communities

‘More homes and greater powers for communities’

  • Target of 200,000 new homes a year by 2020
  • Support for new towns and green cities
  • Local Authority powers to prevent land banking
  • Limits on bookmaking clusters
  • Victims’ law and victims’ taskforce
  • Cap on non-EU immigration

 

Education and Children

‘Supporting the Forgotten 50%’

  • New gold standard technical baccalaureate
  • Institutes of Technical Education
  • Local support and oversight for schools
  • Outstanding schools to partner with weaker ones
  • Greater say for local communities on new schools
  • Extending free childcare for 3-4 year olds

 

Better Politics

 ‘One Nation Politics’

  • Cap on individual donations to political parties
  • House of Lords reform
  • Votes for 16 and 17 years olds
  • Greater local authority powers over the high street
  • Tackling the gender pay gap
  • New charge of disability hate crime

 

Britain’s Global Role

‘Global race to the top not the bottom’

  • Delivering reform from within the EU
  • Support for withdrawal from Afghanistan.
  • Legislate to spend 0.7% of gross national income on foreign aid
  • Pursue a global deal to cut carbon emissions, to be put in effect by 2020

 

Health and Care

‘Ending failure in social care to prevent failure in clinical care’

  • Repeal ‘Health and Social Care Act’ 2012
  • Strengthened Health and Wellbeing Boards, improved channels for local and patient determination in service provision
  • Integrating carers more centrally into service provision
  • Prioritising mental health

 

PUBLIC CONSULTATION, NATIONAL POLICY FORUM INPUT AND POLICY COMMISSIONS

Click to enlarge

Labour processes_new-01

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