What are Labour’s pledges for government? | Politics News

Labour is promising to “make a real difference to people’s lives” if it wins the next general election – expected later this year.

And Sir Keir Starmer is today setting out how he plans to achieve that in what he is calling the party’s “first steps to change Britain”.

So what is on the revamped pledge card from Labour?

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Starmer promises to ‘change Britain’ in key election speech

‘Deliver Economic stability’

Pic: iStock

Being strong on the economy is normally a central pitch of the Conservative Party, and fiscal responsibility has proven a vote winner in the past.

However, after the disastrous mini-budget of former Tory prime minister Liz Truss and the fallout, which led to record inflation and soaring mortgage rates, it isn’t much of a surprise that Labour is trying to place itself as the safe pair of hands to handle the economy.

The party is promising to follow the strict fiscal rules the government already has in place – only borrowing to invest rather than using it on day-to-day spending – as it seeks to win trust from voters that Sir Keir’s team can handle the public finances.

But Labour has faced criticism from some for being too “timid” and limiting itself from making bigger and bolder spending pledges.

Both Sir Keir and his shadow chancellor Rachel Reeves are sticking to this script, however, promising money will come from the economic growth they generate, and promising to “keep taxes, inflation and mortgages as low as possible”.

‘Cut NHS waiting times’

File pic: PA
File pic: PA

The NHS regularly comes out as the biggest issue for voters ahead of an election, and with waiting times at a record high, it is clear it will be a major part of every party’s campaign.

A study by the Royal College of Emergency Medicine earlier this year said more than 250 patients in England may be dying unnecessarily each week due to long waits for A&E doctors, while more than seven million patients are waiting to have a procedure done.

The Conservatives have made progress in some areas, such as with attempts to bring cancer waiting times back below pre-pandemic levels.

But the overall figures remain shockingly high and Labour is making cutting the numbers one of its key pledges, promising to create an extra 40,000 appointments each week on evenings and weekends to take a chunk out of the figures.

However, these appointments will be covered with overtime by existing staff, and unions are warning it can only be a stopgap, with nurses and doctors already burnt out from their heavy workloads.

‘Launch a new Border Security Command’

Migrant boat in the channel
Pic: Sky News

Rishi Sunak has made his pledge to “stop the boats” a key element of his leadership, going all in on the government’s Rwanda plan to deport people who arrive via Channel crossings to the African nation.

But Labour has condemned the scheme as a “gimmick” and is instead offering its own alternative to tackle the issue.

Sir Keir announced the plan in the days after Dover MP Natalie Elphicke defected from the Tories to Labour, having said Mr Sunak’s plan was failing.

He promised to launch a new Border Security Command to tackle the gangs behind the people smuggling, granting the organisation new powers under counter-terrorism rules to make an impact.

They will allow officers to conduct stop and searches at the border, carry out financial investigations and issue search and seizure warrants targeting organised immigration crime.

‘Set up Great British Energy’

File photo dated 26/07/2022 of a ship passing wind turbines at RWE's Gwynt y Mor, the world's 2nd largest offshore wind farm located eight miles offshore in Liverpool Bay, off the coast of North Wales. The Crown Estate is to pay even more money to the Treasury after benefiting from a massive licensing round for offshore wind power last year. The company, which owns the seabed around the UK, said it made £442.6 million in net revenue profit in the year to the end of March, money that will go to h
Pic: PA

This is one of Sir Keir’s first standout policies that he announced at Labour’s party conference back in 2022 – and one that has become more relevant as energy costs soared amid the war with Ukraine.

The idea is the new, publicly-owned firm would provide additional capacity alongside the private sector to help establish the UK as a clean energy superpower.

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The party believes that not only would this guarantee long-term energy security, but it would also cut bills and provide jobs.

But after Labour watered down its other green pledges, some will be keeping a close eye on what becomes of this proposal.

‘Crack down on anti-social behaviour’

Police officers outside Carrow Road before the match. Pic: PA
Pic: PA

Another key election issue that is always raised come polling time is crime, and Labour’s pledges here are focused on the issue of anti-social behaviour.

Sir Keir is promising to recruit more neighbourhood police so residents will see more patrols on the streets.

There will also be tougher new penalties for offenders who cause issues in their area.

But on the more preventive side, the party is also promising to create a new network of youth hubs.

The Tories have made their own pledges in this area, including making offenders clean up graffiti or damage they cause within 48 hours.

So it will be up to voters to decide which approach they prefer.

‘Recruit 6,500 new teachers’

File photo dated 12/09/18 of a teacher and students in a classroom. Secondary schools with the most disadvantaged pupils have been hit hardest by funding cuts over the last decade, according to new research. The findings of an Institute for Fiscal Studies study have been called a 'damning indictment' of the Government.
Pic: PA

The final ‘first steps’ promise from the Labour leader is on education – part of his wider pledge to “break down the barriers to opportunity at every stage”.

Sir Keir has now put a figure on the number of new teachers he wants to recruit – 6,500 – saying they will focus on key subjects “to prepare children for life, work and the future”.

The party says these teachers will be paid for through Labour’s plan to end tax breaks for private schools.

But not everyone is a fan of scrapping the charitable status of the institutions, and you can expect beady eyes to be looking at Labour’s frontbench and which schools they choose to send their children to.


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