Labour manifesto: Key points
By politics.co.uk staff
The main points of the Labour manifesto launched today include:
Public spending and tax
No major new spending commitments.
No rise in income tax.
There is no pledge on not raising VAT.
A re-established link between the Basic State Pension and earnings from 2012.
A new toddler tax credit of £4 a week from 2012 for all parents of young children.
Financial incentives would be issued to hospitals in order to link payment with quality.
Cancer screening would be radically extended and a national programme of vascular checks introduced, covering everyone aged 70-74.
Waiting time targets would become legally enforceable guarantees.
Every secondary school and half of all primary schools would be refurbished or rebuilt.
Universal primary level numeracy and literacy would be ensured.
No school would have fewer than 30 per cent of its pupils achieving 5 GCSEs at A*-C grade including in English and Maths by 2011.
Failing oo mediocre schools, hospitals and police forces will be taken over by more successful organisations if parents vote for it (in case of a school) ot they fail to meet targets.
Compulsory English tests for more migrants in public sector jobs.
Post Office bank created.
Increased rates of council house building.
A new National Care Service for the elderly
New powers for PCSOs to deal with anti-social behaviour.
State of the art medical care would be offered to every service personnel during their recovery.
Free further or higher education up to first degree level for forces personnel who have served for at least six years.
Reducing Britain’s CO2 emissions by at least 20 per cent by 2020.
Make all new homes zero-carbon from 2016.
Phasing out old high-energy light bulbs in favour of energy efficient ones by 2011.
‘Pay as you save’ home energy insulation, energy-bill discounts for pensioners and requiring landlords to properly insulate rented homes.
Move towards a ‘zero waste’ Britain, banning recyclable and biodegradable materials from landfill.
Link together new protected areas of habitat; maintain the Green Belt; increase forest and woodland areas.
A supermarkets Ombudsman; and support post offices, shops and pubs in rural communities.
Economy and industry
70,000 advanced apprenticeships and new ‘skills accounts.’
Modernising Britain’s infrastructure with high speed rail.
A green investment bank and broadband access for all.
A ‘Cadbury’ law to prevent irresponsible buying of shares and foreign take-overs of companies in sectors important to the national interest. It became clear this morning the new law would not, in fact, have prevented the sale of Cadburys.
Double paternity leave from two to four weeks.
A clamp-down on doorstep sellers.
The right to request flexible working for older workers, with an end to default retirement at 65.
No stamp duty for first-time buyers on all house purchases below £250,000 for two years, paid for by a five per cent rate on homes worth more than £1 million.
A national minimum wage rising at least in line with average earnings, and a new £40-a-week ‘better off in work’ guarantee.
200,000 jobs through the Future Jobs Fund, with a job or training place for young people who are out of work for six months, but benefits cut at ten months if they refuse to take part.
Anyone unemployed for more than two years guaranteed work, but no option of life on benefits.
Restoring trust in politics
The right to recall MPs.
Referendum on moving to the alternative vote for the House of Commons and a referendum on a democratic Second Chamber and a free vote in Parliament on reducing the voting age to 16.
Law and order
Maintain police and PCSO numbers with neighbourhood police teams in every area, spending 80 per cent of their time on the beat visible in their neighbourhood.
Intervene earlier to prevent crime, with no-nonsense action to tackle the problems caused by 50,000 dysfunctional families.
Guarantee fast and effective action to deal with anti-social behaviour, including a right to legal injunctions for repeat victims, funded by the police or council who let them down.
Expand tough ‘community payback’ for criminals who don’t go to prison, giving everyone the right to vote on the work they do.
Control immigration through Australian-style points-based system.
Media and sport
A golden decade of sport with the 2012 Olympics as a great national and world-wide celebration.
Registered Supporters Trusts enabled to buy stakes in their club bringing mutualism to the heart of football.
Operational independence for major museums and galleries, with more lottery funding returning to the arts, sport and culture after 2012.
The BBC’s independence upheld; and Britain equipped with a world-leading digital and broadband infrastructure.