Labour’s Manifesto starts from the idea that Britain only succeeds when working people succeed. It shows how, by securing the nation’s finances, we are able to improve the family finances of the working people across the North East & Cumbria.
Today Ed Miliband set out how our Manifesto is different to manifestos that Labour has published in the past. Instead of a list of new spending commitments, the very first page of this Manifesto sets out our plan to secure the nation’s finances – with a Budget Responsibility Lock guaranteeing that every manifesto policy is paid for without a single penny of extra borrowing.
People want change, a better future, but they want to know we can make progress while securing the nation’s finances. This Manifesto answers that question with a plan for big reform, not big spending.
Where policies do cost money we have set out how they are paid for. For example:
- A £2.5 billion NHS Time to Care fund, from a mansion tax on properties over £2m, a levy on tobacco firms and closing a hedge fund tax avoidance loophole. This will fund over 1300 extra nurses and 500 extra GPs in the North East & Cumbria.
- 25 hours of childcare for working parents of 3 and 4 year olds, paid for by increasing the banking levy by £800 million. This could help 8000 parents return to work in this region.
- Cap class sizes for 5, 6, & 7 year olds, from ending the Free Schools programme. Over 3000 infants in the North East are currently being taught in class sizes over 30.
- Cut business rates for small business properties, from not going ahead with another cut to Corporation Tax. This will help over 71,000 small businesses in the region.
Contrast that with an increasingly desperate Conservative campaign that is making promises it has no idea how to pay for. There is nothing more dangerous for the NHS than saying you’ll protect it with no idea where the money is coming from. It is an approach that leads to broken promises, with working people paying the price in higher taxes and public services undermined.
So this Manifesto and our election campaign show that Labour is not only the party of change, but the party of responsibility too.
It is more ambitious because it starts from a clear commitment to balance the books but does not stop there. On the foundation of a plan to secure the nation’s finances it shows how we improve the family finances of the working people of Britain by:
- Rewarding hard work – by raising the minimum wage, banning exploitative zero hour contracts, freezing energy bills and backing small businesses
- Sharing prosperity – by guaranteeing apprenticeships, cutting tuition fees, getting homes built, and devolving powers to every part of Britain.
- Building a better Britain – ensuring the NHS has time to care, opening up our politics, and being a confident outward looking nation once again.