Creating an economy that works for all
Our economic strategy is about delivering a fairer, more prosperous society for the many, not just the few.
We will measure our economic success not by the presence of millionaires, but by the ability of people to make ends meet.
Labour understands that wealth creation is a collective endeavour - between investors, workers, public services, and government. Each contributes and each must share equitably in the rewards.
This manifesto is about rebalancing the economy and re-writing the .rules of a rigged system, so that the economy really works for all.
Working people in Britain today are earning less in real terms than they did ten years ago - and six million people earn less than a real living wage. Too Many· people are in insecure and low paid work and cannot make ends meet.
Labour will turn this around. With a ten-year national investment plan to upgrade Britain's economy, we will build world-leading digital, transport and energy infrastructure across the country - creating thousands of skilled and well-paid Jobs. Through our National Investment Bank and regional development banks, we will create the conditions required to flourish and grow by every region and nation of Britain..
As every business person knows, to succeed and grow it is necessary to invest. But after years of Conservative failure to modernise the economy, Britain's infrastructure is second rate and we are not doing enough to nurture business growth.
The growth created by our national investment plan, underpinned by the responsible economic management embodied in our Fiscal Credibility Rule, will create good jobs, drive up living standards, .and improve the public finances.
It is a plan that will deliver Labour's vision is of an economy that works for the many not just the few - a Britain in which no one is being held back either by poverty or lack of opportunity.
Taxation is what underpins our prosperity. All of us, including business, benefit from a healthy, educated and skilled population with access to basic services and secure housing.
We believe in the obligation to contribute to a fair taxation scheme - and will come down hard on those who seek to avoid their responsibilities.
A Labour government will guarantee to rule out rises in income tax for those earning below £80,000 a year, on personal National Insurance Contributions, and on VAT.
Under Labour's plans 95% of taxpayers will be guaranteed no increase in their income tax contributions and everyone will be protected from any increase in personal National Insurance contributions and VAT.
Only the highest 5% of earners will be asked to contribute more in tax to help fund our public services that have suffered at the hands of seven years of Tory austerity.
To date too many cuts have fallen on those with least - and we have seen child poverty rise to 4 million, homelessness rise, and the queues grow at food banks. This cannot continue.
Corporation tax in the UK is the lowest of any major developed economy, and so we will ask large corporations to pay a little more while still keeping UK corporation tax among the lowest of the major economies.
Businesses tell us that they need a more skilled workforce to boost productivity and growth - and so extra corporate tax revenues will contribute to education and skills budgets.
We will also protect small businesses by reintroducing the lower small profit rate of corporation tax. We will also exclude small businesses from costly plans to introduce quarterly reporting - and take action on late payments.
HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) also needs the resources and skills to collect the taxes owed. Labour will give HMRC the resources necessary to clamp down hard on those unscrupulous individuals and companies who seek to avoid the responsibilities that the rest of us meet.
Our Fiscal Credibility Rule
We know the importance of managing public finances, so our manifesto is fully costed, with all current spending paid for out of taxation or redirected revenue streams. This means Labour will eliminate the current budget deficit within five years.
But government must care about how we earn, as well as how we spend. At the same time as eliminating the current deficit, Labour will invest in our future, to ensure faster growth and help us to earn our way as a country again.
To maintain good fiscal health, we will task the Office for Budget Responsibility with overseeing our Fiscal Credibility Rule, which gives us freedom to invest to strengthen our economy and boost growth.
Our Fiscal Credibility Rule is based on the simple principle that Government should not be borrowing for day-to-day spending, but that investing for future growth makes good sense. It was designed in conjunction with, and is supported by, world-leading economists.
Compliance with the rule will be overseen by a strengthened and truly independent Office for Budget Responsibility, which we will make accountable to Parliament.
The Fiscal Credibility Rule will commit us on taking office to:
Historic under-investment in infrastructure is a major barrier to productivity and growth, and a major contributor to the disparity between the south-east and the rest of the country. Unlike previous governments, we will ensure that investment is fairly shared around every region and nation of the UK.
Labour will take advantage of near-record low interest rates to invest £250 billion over ten years in upgrading our economy to ensure that our transport, energy and digital infrastructure is fit for the 21st Century.
We will maintain the National Infrastructure Commission to advise government on our infrastructure programme to upgrade the British economy.
Our economy is suffering from decades of neglect by Governments refusing to give strategic oversight to support the industries, businesses, workers and people contributing to it.
We see this in the way that inequality has ballooned as the economy has shifted towards low-paid, insecure jobs. In the decline in Britain's manufacturing base and our over-reliance on the financial sector, centred around London and the South-East, and the vast regional and sectoral imbalances that have followed. While the South- East struggles with a rising cost of living crisis, many northern and coastal towns have seen their economies and communities left behind. Britain's failure to get all all our regional and local economies working can be seen in the deterioration of the current account, weak productivity growth and underinvestment in infrastructure.
Key to addressing these challenges, and creating an economy that is prosperous, stable and inclusive, is a bold and properly resourced industrial strategy. The Conservatives have adopted our language, but underneath they are offering more of the same, without the funds needed to transform our economy.
Britain can only be stronger if every nation and region is given the resources and support to succeed. Only a. Labour government with a credible industrial strategy can deliver prosperity to every corner of our country.
Our industrial strategy will be built on objective, measurable missions designed to address the great challenges of our times. In meeting these challenges, we will move beyond the narrow approaches of the past and mobilise the talents and resources of our whole country to deliver an economy fit for the future.
Labour's infrastructure investment and mission-led industrial strategy will make Britain a better place to do business, and give businesses the confidence to invest in Britain. We will also encourage private investment by removing new plant and machinery from business rate calculations.
We will deliver universal superfast broadband availability by 2022. Few things are more crucial to businesses and our economy than a fast and reliable internet connection, but 3 million households and businesses have been left incapacitated by slow internet. We will deliver a universal superfast 30mbps service availability to all households by 2022. The Conservative commitment to just 10mbps will see the 400,000 small businesses and nearly two million homes left with substandard broadband well into the next decade.
In December, the National Infrastructure Commission ranked the UK 54th in the world for 4G coverage and said the average user could get a signal "barely half the time". That isn't just frustrating, it is increasingly holding British business back as more and more of our economy requires a connected workforce.
Labour will improve mobile internet coverage and expand provision of free public wi-fi in city centres and on public transport. We will improve 4G coverage and will invest to ensure all urban areas as well as major roads and railways have uninterrupted 5G coverage.
We will appoint a Digital Ambassador to liaise with technology companies to promote Britain as an attractive place for investment and provide support to startups to scale world class digital businesses. The UK lags behind other countries in the extent to which our companies scale-up, with research suggesting that many of our companies have stagnant growth despite their best aspirations. OECD research found that while the UK ranks third for startups, it ranks only 13th for the number of businesses that scale up successfully. By one
estimate, if expanding small businesses were boosted by just 1%, they could generate 238,000 new jobs within three years and an extra £38 billion for the economy. Our Digital Ambassador will help to ensure businesses are ready to grow and prosper in the digital age.
A National Investment Bank
Labour will establish a National Investment Bank financed with an injection of initial public capital which will be leveraged using additional private sector finance to give £250bn of lending power over the next decade.
The bank will fill existing gaps in lending by private banks, particularly to small businesses, and by providing patient, long-term finance to higher-risk, R&D-intensive investments. It will also be tasked with helping to deliver our industrial strategy, by prioritising spending in line with its missions and objectives.
The first missions set by a Labour Government will be to:
In order to create a fertile ground for businesses to be able to galvanise and achieve these missions Labour will take action across the areas we know are necessary for business and industry to grow:
While our industrial strategy is a strategy for growth across all sectors, Labour recognises that certain sectors are of strategic significance to the UK economy and often underpin wider industry, both established and growing. For each strategic industry the next Labour government will establish a Council modelled on the highly successful Automotive Council to oversee its future security and growth.
Over 1,000 high street banks have closed in the last 18 months, yet the Big Four banks made over £1 1 bn profit from high street banking. Branch closures threaten our high streets, depriving communities of an essential service and damaging the local economy. Labour will change the law so that banks can't close a branch where there is a clear local need, putting their customers first.
Banks are also letting down businesses, and so in addition to the National Investment Bank, Labour will create regional development banks to support local businesses and regional industrial strategies.
A new deal for business
The majority of businesses play by the rules: they pay their workers and their taxes fairly and on time; they operate with respect for the environment and local communities.
That is why it is vital that government ensures that businesses doing the right thing are rewarded rather than undercut or outbid by those unscrupulous few that cut corners, whether on taxes or workers' conditions.
Scandals such as BHS show how the long-term growth of a company can be sacrificed for the sake of a quick buck. Shareholding has become a .short-term. activity. The average length of shareholding in FTSE companies was about seven months in the 2000s, but was 5 years in the mid-1960s.
When shareholders are looking for quick short-term return they encourage companies to cut corners. This also damages Britain's investment and productivity rates, which are way behind those of other comparable economies.
Reforming corporate governance makes good business sense. By tackling short-termism in our business culture, our shake up of corporate governance will improve investment and productivity, and ensure that businesses are run for the long-term benefit of the many rather than the short-term interests of a few.
At present directors owe a duty to promote the company for the benefit of the shareholders, and must only have regard to employees, suppliers, the environment etc. Labour proposes to amend the Companies Act 2006 so that directors owe a duty directly to these groups and will consult on who the· duty will be owed to. We want long-term growth and stability not short-term profits.
Labour will amend the takeover regime to ensure that businesses identified as being 'systemically important' are protected from hostile takeovers, and ensure that when a company is bought there is a clear plan in place to protect workers and pensioners
Labour will also legislate to reduce pay inequality by introducing an excessive pay levy on companies with high numbers of staff on very high pay.
The next Labour government will use the leverage of the £200 billion national and local government spends in the private sector to upgrade our economy, create good local jobs and reduce inequality. This will include requiring best practice from firms government does business with on:
Small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs) are hugely important to the UK economy, providing 60% of private sector jobs. They are key in delivering a meaningful industrial strategy.
Labour understands that many start-ups and SMEs face significant challenges such as access to finance and business advice, late payments, relatively high administrative burdens all of which pose significant barriers to growth.
In order to provide the support many small businesses need a Labour Government will:
Labour understands that many small businesses may struggle with the higher real living wage that we will bring in. By ring fencing the extra proceeds from tax revenues and lower eligibility for in-work benefits, we will establish a new employment allowance for business that struggle to pay a higher living wage.
Labour's energy policy is built on three simple principles:
The UK energy system is outdated, expensive and polluting. Privatisation has failed to deliver an energy system that delivers for people, businesses or our environment.
One-in-ten households are in fuel poverty, yet according to the Competition Markets Authority customers are overcharged an enormous £2 billion every year.
Labour understands that many people don't have time to shop around, they just want reliable and affordable energy. So the next Labour Government will:
Labour will insulate four million homes as an infrastructure priority to help those who suffer in cold homes each winter. This will cut emissions, drive growth, improve health, increase energy security, save on bills and reduce fuel poverty and excess. winter deaths.
Homeowners will be offered 0% loans to improve their.property, and we will introduce revenue neutral stamp duty incentives to encourage a good energy efficiency standard at the point of sale.
For renters, Labour will improve upon Landlord Energy Efficiency regulations and re establish the Landlord Energy Saving Allow,mce to encourage the uptake of efficiency measures.
A Labour government will legislate to enforce the highest modern standards for 'zero carbon' buildings that generate as much energy on site as they use in heating, hot water and lighting. The technology is there. ·
Labour will ban tracking. To allow tracking would lock us into an energy infrastructure based on fossil fuels, long after the point in 2030 when the Committee on Climate Change says gas in the UK must sharply decline.
Emerging technologies such as carbon capture and storage will help to smooth the transition to cleaner fuels and will help to protect existing jobs as part of the future energy mix.
The UK is the world's oldest nuclear industry, and nuclear will continue to be part of the UK energy supply. We will support further nuclear projects and protect nuclear workers' jobs and pensions. There are considerable opportunities for nuclear power and decommissioning both internationally and domestically.
Tackling climate change is non-negotiable, yet recent years have seen a failure to progress towards our targets. A Labour Government will put us back on track to meet the targets in the Climate Change Act and the Paris Agreement. Building a clean economy of the future is the most important thing we must do for our children, our grandchildren and future generations.
The low carbon economy is one of the UK's fastest growing sectors, creating jobs and providing investment across each region. It employed an estimated 447,000 employees in the UK in 2015 and saw over £77 billion in turnover. With backing from a Labour government these sectors can secure dominant shares of global export markets.
Currently the UK buys and sells energy tariff free from Europe, an arrangement which saves families and businesses money and helps balance the power grid. As part of the Brexit negotiations Labour will prioritise maintaining access to the internal energy market and will retain access to Euratom, to allow continued trade of fissile material, access to and collaboration over research vital to our nuclear industry.
Labour accepts the referendum result and a Labour government will put the national interest first. We will prioritise jobs and living standards, build a close new relationship with the EU, protect workers' rights and environmental standards, provide certainty to EU nationals and give a meaningful role to Parliament throughout negotiations.
We will end Theresa May's reckless approach to Brexit, and seek to unite the country around a Brexit deal that works for every community in Britain.
We will scrap the Conservatives' Brexit White Paper and replace it with fresh negotiating priorities that have a strong emphasis on retaining the benefits of the Single Market and the Customs Union - which are essential for maintaining industries, jobs and businesses in Britain. Labour will always put jobs and the economy first.
A Labour Government will immediately guarantee existing rights for all EU nationals living in Britain and secure reciprocal rights for UK citizens who have chosen to make their lives in EU countries. EU nationals do not just contribute to our society: they are our society. And they should not be used as bargaining chips.
It is shameful that the Prime Minister rejected repeated attempts by Labour to resolve this issue before Article 50 was triggered. As a result 3 million EU nationals have suffered unnecessary uncertainty, as have the 1.2 million UK citizens living in the EU.
A Conservative Brexit will weaken workers' rights, deregulate the economy, slash corporate taxes, sideline Parliament and democratic accountability, and cut Britain off from our closest allies and most important trading partners.
Labour recognises that leaving the EU with 'no deal' is the worst possible deal for Britain and that it would do damage to our economy and trade. We will reject 'no deal' as a viable and negotiate transitional arrangements to avoid a cliff-edge for the UK economy.
The issues that affect our continent now will continue to do so in the future - and Labour will continue to work constructively with the EU and other European nations on issues such as climate change, refugee crises and counter-terrorism. We will build a close cooperative future relationship with the EU, not as members but as partners.
A Labour government will ensure that the UK maintains our leading research role by seeking to stay part of Horizon 2020 and by welcoming research staff to the UK. We will seek to maintain membership of European organisations which offer benefits to the UK such as Euratom and the European Medicines Agency. We will seek to ensure that Britain remains part of the Erasmus scheme so that British students have the same educational opportunities after we leave the EU.
We will drop the Conservatives' Great Repeal Bill, replacing it with an EU Rights and Protections Bill that will ensure there is no detrimental change to workers' rights, equality law, consumer rights or environmental protections as a result of Brexit.
Throughout the Brexit process, we will make sure that all EU-derived laws - including workplace laws, consumer rights and environmental protections - are fully protected without qualifications, limitations or sunset clauses. We will work with trade unions, businesses and stakeholders to ensure there is a consensus on this vital issue. A Labour approach to Brexit will ensure there can be no rolling back of key rights and protections and that the UK does not lag behind Europe in workplace protections and environmental standards in future.
The EU has had a huge impact in securing workplace protections and environmental safeguards. But we all know that for many Brexiteers in the Tory Party, this was why they wanted to Leave - to tear up regulations and weaken hard-fought rights and protections.
A Labour Government will never consider these rights a burden or accept the weakening of workers' rights, consumer rights or environmental protections.
We will introduce legislation to ensure there are no gaps in national security and criminal justice arrangements as a result of Brexit.
Labour recognise the vital role that cross-border agencies have played in making Britain safer and that European Arrest Warrants have been invaluable. A Labour government will seek to retain membership of the agencies and continue European Arrest Warrant arrangements.
Labour will seek a Brexit deal that delivers for the regions and nations of the UK. We will introduce a 'presumption of devolution' where powers transferred from the EU will go straight to the relevant region or nation. For many people ·and for much of our country, power can feel just as remote and unaccountable in Brussels as it does in Westminster. So a Labour government will seek to put powers as close to you as possible.
Labour will guarantee to cover any shortfall in EU Structural Funding that occurs as a result of Brexit. This will be guaranteed throughout the course of the next Parliament. This will also apply to the funding of peace and reconciliation projects in Northern Ireland.
We will also improve engagement and dialogue with the devolved administrations and seek to ensure the final Brexit deal addresses specific concerns. In particular Labour will ensure there is no return to a hard border between Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland and that there is no change in the status or sovereignty of Gibraltar.
Where Theresa May wants to shut down scrutiny and challenge, Labour will welcome it. We will work with Parliament, not against it. On an issue of this importance the Government can't hide from the public or Parliament.
A Labour approach to Brexit also means legislating to guarantee that Parliament has a truly meaningful vote on the final Brexit deal.
Labour will not make false promises on immigration numbers. Our economy needs migrant workers to keep going.
The Conservative government has scapegoated immigrants to divert from for their own failings and have made bogus promises on immigration.
When politicians fan the flames of fear it has real consequences on both recently-arrived and long-settled communities. We see this in the appalling rise in hate crimes, which shame us all.
Labour understands the historic contribution of immigrants and the children of immigrants to our society and economy.
Today, the National Health Service, our social care providers and private companies across many sectors depend on the labour of migrant workers.
We value those workers and we will never denigrate them. We also understand the importance of more skills training for British nationals, whatever their colour or creed.
Labour believes in fair rules and reasonable management of migration.
We believe fair rules mean that a distinction should be made between family connections and migrant labour. We do not believe family life should be protected only for the wealthy and so we propose to replace the income thresholds for family attachments with an obligation to survive without recourse to public funds. Labour will replace the financial threshold test for family reunion.
We will work with employers who need to recruit from abroad, but we will crack down on any employer that exploits the system to undermine wages and conditions.
We increase prosecutions and penalties for employers not paying the minimum wage, stop employers from recruiting only from overseas, and make zero hours contracts illegal.
Labour will engage with employers and trade unions in the construction and agricultural sectors especially, where many of these illegal practises persist.
We will support trade union rights and freedoms as the most effective way to stop exploitation in the workplace.
We will establish a Migrant Impact Fund for public services under additional pressure in host communities, funded by the existing visa levy and an additional, proportionate contributory element from residence visas for high net worth individuals.
A Labour government will never scapegoat refugees and asylum seekers. We will uphold all our responsibilities under the Refugee Convention and offer a safe haven to those fleeing from persecution and war.
The current arrangements for housing and dispersing refugees are not fit for purpose. They are not fair to refugees or to our host communities. We will review these arrangements.
A Labour government will also welcome international students who benefit and strengthen our education sector. They now generate more than £25 billion for the British economy and provide a significant boost to regional jobs and local businesses.
Labour is pro-trade and pro-investment. The UK's future prosperity depends on minimising tariff and non-tariff barriers that prevent us from exporting and creating the jobs and economic growth we need.
Labour will bring forward an integrated trade and industrial strategy that boosts exports, investment and decent jobs in Britain.
Labour will set our priorities in an International Trade White Paper to lead a national debate on the future of Britain's trade policy. We will ensure proper transparency and parliamentary scrutiny of all future trade and investment deals.
The EU accounts for 44% of our current exports and will continue to be a priority trading partner. As our trading relationship with the EU changes it is vital that we retain unrestricted access for our goods and services.
Through our Just Trading initiative launched in 2016, Labour will work with global trading partners to develop 'best-in-class' free trade and investment agreements that remove trade barriers and promote skilled jobs and high standards. We will ensure all future trade deals safeguard the right to regulate in the public interest and to protect public services.
Labour will build human rights and social justice into trade policy, We will ensure that trade agreements cannot undermine human rights and labour standards, and that UK Export Finance support is not available to companies engaged in bribery or corrupt practices.
We will work with other WTO members to end the dumping of state-subsidised goods on our markets. The Conservatives consistently blocked efforts to respond to dumping with the duties needed to defend our steel industry. Labour will develop the full range of trade remedies necessary to support key sectors affected by these unfair practices.
Labour will champion the export interests of SMEs, ensuring all new trade agreements include a commitment to support their market access needs. We will develop an export incentive scheme for SMEs based on international best practice, and we will ring-fence Tradeshow Access Programme grants to help SMEs reach new customers around the world.
Labour will use the full range bf export credit, finance, insurance and trade promotion tools to boost British exports and support priority industrial sectors.
Labour is committed to growing the digital economy and ensuring that trade agreements do not impede cross-border data flows, whilst maintaining strong data protection rules to protect personal privacy.
As part of our commitment to a low carbon future, we will actively support international negotiations towards an Environmental Goods Agreement at the WTO. Labour will use trade negotiations to boost market access for British environmental goods and services, alongside support for investment into new green technologies and innovative low-carbon products.
Labour will develop capital investment schemes and other incentives to encourage investment into the UK, especially into target areas identified by the industrial strategy. We will champion the UK as a safe investment environment.
Labour will review our historic investment treaties with other countries, ensuring they are fit for purpose for the 21st century. Labour opposes parallel investor-state dispute systems for multinational corporations and we will open a dialogue with trading partners on alternative options that provide investor protection whilst guaranteeing equality before the law.
Towards a National Education Service
Education is what empowers us all to realise our full potential. When it fails, it isn't just the individual that is held back, but all of us. When we invest in people to develop their skills and capabilities, we all benefit from a stronger economy and society.
At a time when working lives and the skills our economy needs are changing rapidly, governments have the responsibility to make lifelong learning a reality by giving everyone the opportunity to access education throughout their lives.
To meet this responsibility, Labour will create a unified National Education Service (NES) to move towards cradle-to-grave learning that is free at the point of use. The NES will be built on the principle that 'Every Child - and Adult - Matters' and will incorporate all forms of education, from early years through to adult education.
When the 1945 Labour Government established the NHS it created one of the central institutions of fairness of the 20th Century. The NES will do the same for the 21st, giving people confidence and hope by making education a right not a privilege, and building bridges where the Conservatives build barriers.
Currently, there is a gap between the end of maternity leave and beginning of full time schooling. This gap can make it difficult for parents, particularly women, to return to work, unless they have access to informal childcare support. There is also extensive evidence that early years education has a major impact on child development, and that time in a formal education setting for young children can improve performance at GCSE and beyond.
Labour would seek to roll out educational provision for early years children as part of a National Education Service that is truly cradle-to-grave.
Labour introduced free childcare hours for parents, which were fully funded and resourced. Under the Conservatives, the free hours entitlement is chronically under-funded, with provision patchy and hard to navigate. Many providers now simply refuse to participate in the scheme. The result is that many parents aren't even getting the hours they're entitled to.
Conservative cuts are starving schools of the funding they need to deliver. Crippling under funding is driving up class sizes and forcing schools to cut corners. A narrow curriculum and a culture of assessment is driving away teachers, creating a recruitment and retention crisis.
Labour schools policy will be built on the following four foundations:
To give all children the best start in life, we wiff reduce class sizes under 30 for all 5, 6, and 7 year olds, and seek to extend that as resources allow.
To aid attainment, we will introduce free school meals for all primary school children, paid for by removing the VAT exemption on private school fees.
We will abandon plans to reintroduce baseline assessments and launch a commission to look into curriculum and assessment, starting by reviewing key stage 1 and 2 SATs. The world's most successful education systems use more continuous assessment, which avoids teaching for the test,
We Will tackle the teacher recruitment and retention crisis by ending the public sector pay cap, giving teachers more direct involvement in the curriculum, and tackling rising workloads by reducing monitoring and bureaucracy.
We will also consult on introducing teacher sabbaticals and placements with industry to encourage interaction between education and industry and introduce broad experiences into the classroom.
We will reintroduce national pay bargaining and the Schools Support Staff Negotiating Body and national pay bargaining.
We will put £150 million back into supporting our children in schools by scrapping the Conservatives' nonsensical plans for schools to pay the apprenticeship levy.
We will extend schools-based counselling to all schools to improve children's mental health, at a cost £90m per year.
And we will deliver a SEND strategy based on inclusivity, and embed SEND more substantially into initial teacher training so that staff, children and their parents are properly supported.
At a time when technology is changing demand for different kinds of skills, and evolving patterns of work mean that people are more likely to pursue several careers over a lifetime, it is crucial that our education system enables people to upskill and retrain over their lifetimes. As part of our dynamic industrial strategy, lifelong training will deliver productivity and growth to the whole economy while transforming the lives of individuals and communities.
To ensure that we deliver for every part of the UK, we will devolve responsibility for skills wherever there is an appetite.
Further and Adult Education
Despite claiming to be committed to delivering high quality training, the Conservatives have ruthlessly cut funding for FE colleges - our main provider of adult and vocational education - and reduced entitlements for adult learners. This has led to diminishing numbers of courses and students, and plunged the sector into crisis.
Labour would introduce free, lifelong education in FE colleges, enabling everyone to upskill or retrain at any point in life.
Our skills and training sector has been held back by repeated reorganisation, which deprives providers, learners and employers of the consistency they need to assess quality. Labour would abandon Conservative plans to once again reinvent the wheel by building new Technical Colleges, redirecting the money to increase teacher numbers in the FE sector.
We share the broad aims of the Sainsbury's Review but would ensure vocational routes incorporate the service sector as well as traditional manufacturing, working in tandem with our broad industrial strategy to deliver for the whole economy.
We will improve careers advice and open up a range of routes through, and back into, education, striking a balance between classroom and on the job training, to ensure students gain both technical and soft skills.
To implement Sainsbury's recommendations, we would correct historic neglect of the FE sector by giving the sector the investment - in teachers and facilities - it deserves to become a world-leading provider of adult and vocational education.
More specifically, we would:
Employer-led training is the most effective way of meeting our growing skills gap. Labour supports the apprenticeship levy, but will take steps to ensure that every apprenticeship is of a high quality.
Labour believes education should be free, and we will restore this principle. No one should be put off educating themselves for lack of money or through fear of debt.
There is a real fear that students are being priced out of university education. Last year saw the the steepest fall in university applications for thirty years.
Since the Conservatives came to power university tuition fees have trebled over £9,000 a year, and maintenance grants have been abolished and replaced with loans
The average student now graduates from university, and starts their working life, with debts of £44,000.
Labour will reintroduce maintenance grants for university students, and we will abolish university tuition fees.
University tuition is free in many northern European countries, and under a Labour government it will be free in Britain too
Work should provide people with security and fulfilment. But for too many people work is insecure and does not make ends meet.
The Conservatives boast about the recovery of employment, but our labour market is failing. Real terms pay is still lower than before the crash, and jobs are increasingly low skilled and insecure, with the rising proportion of zero hour contracts and agency work.
Labour will take decisive action to clamp down on exploitative practices. A Labour government will invest in enforcement through a new Ministry of Labour, and empower workers and their trade unions, because we are stronger when we stand together.
At the same time as strengthening workers' rights, we will make work more fulfilling by using public investment to upgrade our economy and create high quality jobs. While the Conservatives stand back and allow insecure work to spread, and businesses to struggle, Labour will act to guarantee good jobs and strong businesses.
The next Labour government will bring in a 20 point plan for security and equality at work:
As well as legislating against zero hours contracts, there are many more workers on short hours contracts (some only guaranteed six to eight hours per week), but who regularly work far more. We will strengthen the law so that those who work regular hours for more than 12 weeks will have a right to a regular contract. Workers need stability and security to plan their lives and their finances.
We will also scrap the changes brought in by the Conservatives in 2014 to TUPE, which weakened the protections for workers transferring between contractors.
Labour will maintain the ACAS Early Conciliation System to try to solve workplace issues quickly and amicably.
We will consult with employers and trade unions or1 legislating for statutory bereavement leave, for time off work after the loss of close family members. We will also consult on toughening the law against assaulting workers who have to enforce laws such as age related sales or ticketing arrangements, and who face regular abuse.
Labour will also consult with employers and trade unions on permitting secure online balloting for industrial action votes.
Workers in Britain are .among the easiest and cheapest to make redundant, meaning when multinational companies .are taking decisions to downsize British workers are at a disadvantage. We will consult with trade unions and industry on reviewing redundancy arrangements to .bring workers in Britain more into line with their European counterparts.
Labour will protect the current compromise on Sunday trading hours.
Self-employment can bring many benefits, freedoms and flexibilities to people - and is a vital and often entrepreneurial sector of our economy.
But there is also mounting evidence that workers are being forced into self-employment by unscrupulous employers to avoid costs and their duties to workers. Labour will clamp down on bogus self-employment by:
We would also extend the rights of employees to all workers - something that will make a substantial and immediate difference to the quality of life of people in insecure work. But there are real concerns that rapid changes to the world of work are rendering existing employment categories outdated.
Labour recognises that the law often struggles to keep up with the ever-changing new forms of employment and work, so will set up a dedicated commission to modernise the law around employment status. New statutory definitions of employment status would reduce the need for litigation and make improve compliance.
The commission will be led by legal and academic experts with representation from industry and trade unions.
After seven years of rising poverty and inequality, Labour will rebuild and transform our social security system.
Like the NHS, our social security system is there for all of us in our time of need, providing security and dignity in retirement and the basics in life should we become sick or disabled, or fall on hard times.
Dignity for Pensioners
Labour will always be on the side of pensioners and help ensure security and dignity for older people in retirement.
As the Conservatives abandon their commitments to older people, Labour will guarantee the state pension "triple lock" throughout the next Parliament. It will rise by at least 2.5% a year or be increased to keep pace with inflation or earnings, whichever is higher.
The winter fuel allowance and free bus passes will also be guaranteed as universal benefits. We will protect the pensions of UK citizens living overseas in the EU or further afield.
Women born in the 1950s have had their state pension age changed without fair notification. These women deserve both recognition for the injustice they have suffered and some kind of compensation for their losses.
We will extend pension credit to 1950s-born WASPI women who saw their pension age quietly pushed back leaving many of them in poverty.
This must never happen again. So Labour will legislate so that accrued rights to the basic state pension cannot be changed, but future benefits can.
Pension age is due to rise to 66 by the end of 2020. Labour rejects the Conservatives' proposal to increase the state pension age even further, and will commission a new review of the pension age, specifically tasked with developing a flexible retirement policy to reflect both the contributions made by people, the wide variations in life expectancy, and the different nature of working lives.
We'll restore confidence in the workplace pension system and put people rather than profit at its centre. Labour will end rip off hidden fees and charges and enable the development of large efficient pensions funds which will mean more cash for scheme members and lower costs for employers.
A Labour government will commit to an immediate review of mineworkers pension scheme and British Coal superannuation scheme surplus sharing arrangements between government and scheme beneficiaries.
Poverty in Britain is rising - due to the Conservatives' attempts to balance the books on the backs of the poorest.
They have slashed social security over the last seven years, leaving more people in poverty, subject to a punitive sanctions regime, and reliant on food banks for support.
Labour will act immediately to end the worst excesses of the Conservative government's changes. We will:
We will also review the cuts to work allowances in Universal Credit, and also review the decision to limit tax credit and Universal Credit payments to the first two children in a family.
The Tories have completely failed on their promise of making work pay, of tackling the barriers to Work faced by disabled people.
Labour supports a social model of disability. People may have a condition or an impairment but are disabled by society. We need to remove the barriers in society that restrict opportunities and choices for disabled people.
We will build on the previous Labour government's commitment to disabled people in 2009 as signatories to the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, and incorporate it into UK law.
Labour will repeal the following cuts in social security support to disabled people through a new Social Security Bill published in our first year of office to:
We will change the culture of the social security system, from one that demonises people to one that is supportive and enabling.
As well as scrapping the Conservatives' punitive sanctions regime, we will change how Jobcentre Plus staff are performance managed.
Labour will strengthen access to justice for disabled people by enhancing the 2010 Equality Act enabling discrimination at work to be challenged. We will ensure that under the Istanbul Convention, disability hate crime and violence against disabled women is reported annually with national actions plans to address these.
Secure Homes for all
Home is at the heart of all of our lives. It's the foundation on which we raise our families, the bedrock for our dreams and aspirations. But for too many people, the housing pressures they face are getting worse not better. Britain has a housing crisis - a crisis of supply and a crisis of affordability.
After seven years of failure, the Conservatives have no plan to fix the housing crisis. Since 2010, housebuilding has fallen to its lowest level since the 1 920s, rough sleeping has risen every year, rents have risen faster than incomes, there are almost 200,000 fewer homeowners, and new affordable housebuilding is at a 24 year low.
It doesn't have to be like this. Labour will invest to build over a million new homes. By the end of the next Parliament we will be building at least 1 00,000 council and housing association homes a year for genuinely affordable rent or sale.
Labour will establish a new Department for Housing to focus on tackling the crisis and ensure housing is about homes for the many, not investment opportunities for the few. Labour's new housing ministry will be tasked with improving the number, standards and affordability of homes. We will overhaul the Homes and Communities Agency to be Labour's housing delivery body and give councils new powers to build the homes local communities need.
We will prioritise brownfield sites, and protect the green belt. We will start work on a new generation of New Towns to build the homes we need and avoid urban sprawl.
We will make the building of new homes, including council homes, a priority through our [national infrastructure fund], as part of a joined up industrial and skills strategy that ensures a vibrant construction sector with a skilled workforce and rights at work,
Labour will not only build more, we will build better. We will insulate more homes to help people manage the cost of energy bills, reduce preventable winter deaths, and to meet our climate change targets. We will consult on new rules to prevent 'rabbit hutch' homes.
Whether for rent or to buy, Labour will implement minimum space standards for new developments.
We will ensure that local plans address the need for older people's housing, ensuring that choice and downsizing options are readily available.
We will keep the Land Registry in public hands, where it belongs.
The number of home-owning households has fallen by almost 200,000 since 2010, and by 900,000 for under-45s.
Labour will back first-time buyers to buy that special first home. The number of affordable to homes to buy has plummeted by two-thirds under the Conservatives, so we will build thousands more low-cost homes reserved for first-time buyers. We will guarantee Help to Buy funding until 2027 to give long-term certainty to both first-time buyers and the housebuilding industry. We will also give local people buying their first home 'first dibs' on new homes built in their area to give them confidence that new homes will be available to them and their families.
After seven years of failure under the Conservatives, Labour will build the new homes first time buyers need - just as Labour councils have been doing right across the country, building an average of nearly 1000 new homes more than Conservative councils.
We will back those who own their homes, including home-owners who own their home as leaseholders and who are currently unprotected from rises in 'ground rents' from developers or management companies. A Labour Government will give leaseholders security from rip off ground rents and end the routine use of leasehold houses in new developments.
We will end insecurity for private renters by introducing controls on rent rises, more secure tenancies and new consumer rights for renters.
Soaring rents are a real problem - leading to more families living in temporary accommodation, more rough sleeping, and many not having enough money to save up for a deposit or for a rainy day.
Labour will make new three-year tenancies the norm, with an inflation cap on rent rises. Given the particular pressures in London we will look at giving the Mayor of London the power to give renters in London additional security.
We will also empower tenants to call time on bad landlords by giving renters new consumer rights . Renters are spending £9.6 billion a year on homes which the government classes as 'non-decent'. Around a quarter of this is paid by housing benefit. A Labour government would introduce new legal minimum standards to ensure properties are 'fit for human habitation' and empower tenants to take action if their rented homes are substandard.
We will reverse the cruel decision to abolish housing benefit for 18-21 year aids, which risks putting even more vulnerable young people on our streets.
Under the Conservatives, affordable housebuilding has fallen to a 24 year low. Labour will build the genuinely affordable homes to rent and buy that the country needs.
We will end government restrictions that stop councils building homes and begin the biggest council building programme for at least 30 years. We will ditch the Conservatives' ban on long-term council tenancies to give council tenants security in their home. We want more people have a secure tenancy in a home built to high standards.
Labour will scrap the punitive bedroom tax, which has caused many people to be evicted from their home and their community by this cruel and unnecessary measure.
More council homes have been sold off under the Conservatives, only one in five have been replaced, despite long housing waiting lists. Labour will suspend the right-to-buy lb protect affordable homes for local people, with councils only able to resume sales if they can prove they have a plan to replace homes sold like-for-like.
Homelessness is not inevitable in a country as decent and well off as ours, but since 2010 the number of people sleeping rough in shop doorways and on park benches has more than doubled. This shames us all. There can be no excuses - it must end. Full stop.
This growing homelessness shames the Conservatives most of all. The spiralling rise in street homelessness results directly from decisions made by Ministers since 2010 on housing, and on funding for charities and councils.
Labour will set out a new national plan to end rough sleeping within the next Parliament, starting by making available 4,000 additional homes reserved for people with a history of rough sleeping. We will also take action to tackle the root causes of homelessness, including safeguarding homelessness hostels and other supported housing from crude Conservatives cuts to housing benefit.
Healthcare for all
In 1945, in the aftermath of war and national bankruptcy, it was a Labour government that found the resources to create a National Health Service - our proudest achievement, providing universal healthcare for all on the basis of need, free at the point of use.
Labour will invest in our NHS, to give patients the modern, well resourced services they need for the 21st Century. Labour will ensure that NHS patients get the world class quality of care they need, and that staff are able to deliver the standards which patients expect.
We will guarantee and uphold the standards of service to which patients are legally entitled under the NHS Constitution. By guaranteeing access to treatment within 1 8 weeks we will take one million people off NHS waiting lists by the end of the Parliament. We will guarantee patients can be seen in A&E within four hours and help another million people each year. By properly resourcing the NHS, Labour will stop the routine breach of safe levels of bed occupancy and we will end the scandal of mixed sex wards. We will deliver the Cancer Strategy for England in full by 2020, helping 2.5 million people living with cancer. And by properly resourcing ambulance services we will end the scandal of slowing ambulance response times.
Labour will focus resources on community services to deliver care closer to home and deliver a truly 21 st Century health system. We will work towards a new model of community care which takes into account not only primary care but social care and mental health as well. We will increase funding to GP services to ensure patients can access the care they need. And we will halt pharmacy closures and review provision to ensure all patients have access to pharmacy services, particularly in deprived or remote communities.
Labour will tackle the growing problem of rationing of services and medicines across England, taking action to address postcode lotteries and making sure that the quality of care you receive does not depend on which part of the country you live in. We will ensure that NHS patients get fast access to the most effective new drugs and treatments. We will insist on value for money agreements with pharmaceutical companies to ensure NHS patients get fast access to new medicines.
To make sure that autistic people are able to access the whole of their community and end social isolation Labour will set the ambition of making the UK autism-friendly. We will ensure that everyone with a long-term condition, such as those with diabetes, will have the right to a specialised care plan, and access to condition management education. We will ensure high quality, personalised care for people approaching the end of their life, wherever and whenever they need it.
For our health and care services to be sustainable in the long term we need a renewed commitment to keeping people fit and well. Labour will focus our efforts on children's health, protecting the wellbeing of the nation for the decades to come.
Labour will invest in children's health, bringing in a new Government ambition for Britain's children to be the healthiest in the world. We will fight health inequalities to break the scandalous link between child ill health and poverty. We will introduce a new Index of Child Health to measure progress against international standards and report annually against four key indicators: obesity, dental health, under 5s and mental health. We will set up a new £250m Children's Health Fund to support our ambitions. As part of a drive on health prevention Labour will increase health visitor and school nurse numbers.
We will publish a n\9W childhood obesity strategy within the first hundred days, with proposals on advertising and food labelling. We will make a concerted effort towards addressing poor childhood oral health in England. We will implement a strategy for the children of alcoholics based on recommendations drawn up by independent experts.
Labour will implement a Tobacco Control Plan, focussing on issues of mental health and children smokers, along with groups in society, such as BAME and LGBT communities, with high prevalence of the use of tobacco products.
Loneliness is an increasing problem for our society, and as Jo Cox put it, "young or old, loneliness doesn't discriminate". A Labour government will create a more equal society for the many by working with communities, civil society and business to reduce loneliness.
Labour will address historic public health injustices. We will hold a public enquiry into contaminated blood. We will hold a public inquiry into medicines, medical devices and medical products licensing and regulation, including Valproate.
A Labour Government would maintain our commitment to improve sexual health services, especially HIV services which will include reducing the rates of undiagnosed and late diagnosed HIV, ending the stigma of HIV in society, and promoting the increased availability of testing and treatment.
To guarantee the best possible services for patients Labour will invest in our health and care workforce. A Labour government will step in with a long term workforce plan for our health service which gives staff the support they need to do the best for their patients.
Labour will scrap the NHS pay cap, put pay decisions back into the hands of the independent pay review body and give our NHS workers the pay they deserve. Labour will protect patients and legislate to ensure safe staffing levels in the NHS.
Labour's long term ambition is for our health system to have the best trained staff in the world, ready to deal with whatever they face in the years to come. Labour will re-introduce bursaries and funding for health related degrees. Labour will support doctors to deliver the best care possible by investing in training, education and development of doctors throughout their careers.
Labour will immediately guarantee the rights of EU staff working in our health and care services. Labour will support NHS whistleblowers to make sure health service staff are able to speak up in support of the best possible standards for patients. Labour will make it a criminal offence to attack NHS staff.
Labour will commit to over £6 billion extra in annual funding through increasing income tax for the highest 5% of earners, by increasing tax on private medical insurance, and we will free up resources by halving the fees paid to management consultants.
Labour will give boost capital funding for the NHS, to ensure that patients are cared for in buildings and equipment which are fit for the 21st Century. And we will introduce a new OBR for Health body to oversee health spending and scrutinize how it is spent.
Labour will halt the NHS "Sustainability and Transformation Plans" which are looking at closing health services across England and ask local health groups to redraw the plans with a focus on patient need rather than available finances. We will create a new quality, safety and excellence regulator - to be called "NHS Excellence".
The next Labour government will reverse privatisation of our NHS and return our health service into expert public control. Labour will repeal the Health & Social Care Act that puts profits before patients. We will reinstate the powers of the Secretary of State for Health to have overall responsibility for the NHS. We will introduce a new legal duty on the Secretary of State and on NHS England to ensure that excess private profits are not made out of the NHS at the expense of patient care.
Towards a National Care Service
A Labour government will secure a financially sustainable future for social care. We will provide funding to deal with the immediate crisis and put in place the building blocks for a National Care Service to ensure dignity and care for all.
The Conservatives have left a social care system that is increasingly fragile and unfit for purpose.
Despite rising demand, the Conservatives chose to cut council budgets, meaning £4.6 billion was cut from adult social care. There are now half a million fewer people getting publicly funded care than in 2010 and 1.2 million older people have unmet care needs.
Care costs have escalated in nursing or residential care. Self-funders are now subsidising local authority funded residents by around 40%. One in ten people over 65 now face lifetime care costs of over £100,000. Much of the burden of care is now falling on unpaid family carers.
Labour will not stand by and leave the most vulnerable in our society to fend for themselves.
To address the immediate funding crisis in social care we will provide an additional £8 billion over the lifetime of the next Parliament for social care, including £1 billion in the first year.
This will stabilise the care sector and ensure providers can pay a real living wage without cutting the quality of care.
We will also drive up the quality of care by working with councils to end 15-minute care visits and to tackle the exploitation of staff on zero-hours contracts. We will ensure care workers are paid travel time, given access to training and an option to choose regular hours.
For too long, the contribution that unpaid carers make has been taken for granted. As a first step, Labour will increase the Carer's Allowance for unpaid full-time carers to align the benefit with Jobseeker's Allowance.
The challenges of our ageing population demand a bolder ambition for social care - a National Care Service rooted in the traditions of our National Health Service, providing high quality care for all.
In our first term, following public consultation and in partnership with providers and commissioners, we will review options to create a National Care Service fit to meet the demographic and societal challenges of our modern age. This will include consulting on options for sustainable funding to ensure funding is fair in its impact upon different generations, as well as between people with varying levels of wealth.
Mental ill health is the biggest unaddressed health challenge of our age. Around one in four people in the UK will experience a mental health problem each year.
Yet, since 2010 mental health funding has been cut, the number of mental health nurses has fallen by 6,600, and remaining mental health budgets have been raided to plug holes elsewhere in the NHS.
Labour will work to reverse the damage to mental health services under this Tory government.
In order to protect services, we will ring-fence mental health budgets and ensure funding reaches the frontline.
We will end the scandal of children being treated on adult mental health wards and stop people being sent across the country, away from their support networks, to secure the treatment they need by bringing forward the ending of out of area placements to 2019.
Labour will also bring an end to the neglect of children's mental health. Half of people with mental health problems as adults present with symptoms by the age of 14. Yet, across
England only 8% of mental health funding goes to services for children and young people. In recent years referrals to Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services have increased by two-thirds and the number of young people presenting to A&E units with psychiatric conditions has doubled. Suicide is now the most common cause of death for boys aged between five and nineteen.
Labour will invest in early intervention by increasing the proportion of mental health budgets spent on support for children and young people. We will ensure that access to a counselling service is available for all children in secondary schools.
Giving mental health the same priority as physical health means not only ensuring access to services, but also making improvement to those services. Choice is important in a modern NHS and patients who receive their therapy of choice have better outcomes. Labour will therefore ask NICE to evaluate the potential for increasing the range of evidence-based psychological therapies on offer.
Safer Communities Police & Crime
Last year, there were an estimated 6.1 million incidents of crime experienced by adults in England and Wales alone. Almost every police force in the country recorded an increase in crime over the last year, with worrying rises in some of the most violent offences, including gun and knife crime and homicide.
On Theresa May's watch, police numbers have reduced by 20,000. Cuts to the police force endanger communities and endanger police officers too.
Labour's approach to policing crime will be different.
We will support the police in the performance of their duties. We will provide the equipment they need and the numbers they need. We will work with them to ensure that our communities are safer, for all of us.
We will champion community policing policies and incentivise good policing practise, working with Police and Crime Commissioners throughout the country.
Labour will recruit 10,000 more police officers to work on community beats, equivalent to at least one more for every neighbourhood in the country.
An effective anti-terrorism strategy has to command the confidence of all communities. But the current Prevent strategy has the potential to drive a wedge between the authorities and entire communities. Some feel they have been unfairly targeted and singled out because of some failings in Prevent. In government Labour will conduct a major review of the Prevent programme.
Border security is vital in preventing serious crimes including child abduction, people trafficking, drug smuggling or modern day slavery.
Contrary to the Conservative government's rhetoric, they have not taken control of our borders or strengthened our security.
Instead, they have suppressed the independent inspector's reports highlighting weaknesses in our borders because they have cut the Border Force by thousands of personnel. They want to replace our border guards with private sector landlords, teachers, medical staff and other public sector workers, forcing them to provide information to the authorities.
Labour recruit 1 ,000 more border guards to add to our safeguards and controls.
We all need access to the justice system to protect our rights, and to punish those would take away our rights and freedoms. Labour will set out to make Britain a fair society with liberties for all, governed by the rule of law, and in which the law is upheld and enforced
Justice is becoming the preserve of the rich. Those who can afford a lawyer and to go to the courts.
For the ordinary man or woman, for the football fan, the striking worker, the environmental activist, the trade unionist, the disability benefit claimant; for them, for us, all too often, justice is denied and the truth is covered up.
Labour will campaign for full inquiries into historic injustices, as we did for Hillsborough, and in government we will open inquiries into the scandal of contaminated blood, Orgreave, blacklisting, and we will release all papers relating to the Shrewsbury 24.
Justice is also being eroded by the poor decisions of privatised assessments of disabled people, by the withdrawal of legal aid, by the removal of appeal rights, by the delays arising from over-crowded courts and tribunals, and by the costs of fees acting as a barrier to justice.
The Conservatives have threatened to tear up our Human Rights Act and withdraw from the European Convention of Human Rights.
Labour will promote access to justice, seek prompt resolution of disputes and retain the statutory underpinnings that protect us all, including the Human Rights Act.
Eligibility for legal aid has been withdrawn across a whole range of legal areas, in different jurisdictions under different procedures. It has produced a chilling effect on the delivery of fair decisions in accordance with the law.
We will consider the recommendations of the Access to Justice Commission established by Lord Bach.
We will immediately re-establish entitlements to legal aid in the private law arena of the family courts. The consequences of withdrawal have been shameful, including a new requirement for victims of domestic abuse to pay doctors for certification of their injuries. Our plans will remove that requirement.
The justice system can be bewildering and imposing. There are many improvements that can be made in both the law and in the court processes. A Labour government will introduce a no-fault divorce procedure.
We will also reintroduce legal aid provisions for the preparation of Judicial Review. Judicial review is an important way of holding government to account. We believe that judges should not be denied the opportunity to check excessive abuse of executive power by the establishment for the sake of a few pounds.
Labour will extend the provision of legal aid entitlement to judicial review.
A Labour government will consult on establishing an environmental tribunal Labour will not prohibit the courts from raising monies to provide services, but we will introduce a ratio to establish the maximum difference between actual costs and charges levied.
Our criminal justice system is not working. Prisons are overcrowded and re-offending rates are too high.
The Conservatives talked of a rehabilitation revolution, and then promptly gave up, Their proposal now is to lock up more and more, ignoring the evidence that our prisons are too often dumping grounds for people who need treatment more than they need punishment.
Prison should always be a last resort, our most extreme sanction for unacceptable behaviour. It should never be a substitute for failing mental health services, or the withdrawal of funding from drug treatment centres.
The Tories claim they will build bigger, privately owned, privately managed prisons. There will be no private prisons under Labour.
We still need to be tough on crime and tough on the causes of crime, too.
What we don't need is to be is tough on the workers in the criminal justice system. Prison and probation officers have tough jobs. They need the resources to do their jobs.
Violence against prison officers is increasing. Riots and disturbances in our prisons are increasing and rising prison escapes frighten local populations.
Our proposal to lift the public sector pay cap should help to increase the recruitment and retention of prison officers.
Labour will also hire 3,000 more prison officers, while reviewing the training and professional development available.
Leading Richer Lives Local communities
Councils deliver vital local services to our communities, but their budgets have been slashed by Conservative cuts. This has led to a deterioration of local services, from bin collection to road repair, and the loss of important community assets, such as libraries, youth centres, and women's refuges.
Labour believes in devolving power to local communities, but that requires the necessary funding follows. You cannot empower local government if you impoverish it.
Labour is the party of devolution and we believe in handing back power to communities. We will devolve powers over economic development, complete with the necessary funding.
It is through the planning system that communities can shape the kinds of high streets, homes and amenities that they want. But under the Conservatives, planning has been under-resourced and disempowered, with democratic planning authorities unable to stand up to big developers. As a result, planning decisions have become too influenced by narrow economic considerations, with developers' profit taking precedence over community priorities.
A Labour government will properly resource and bolster planning authorities with fuller powers to put people and communities at the heart of planning. We will update compulsory purchase powers to make them more effective as a tool to drive regeneration and unlock planned development.
Under the Conservatives nearly £400 million has been cut from youth services and over 600 youth centres have closed. Labour will end the cuts to youth services.
Sure Start, and the support it gives to vulnerable and hard-to-reach mothers, was one of the great achievements of the previous Labour government, but under the Conservatives 1 ,200 Sure Start centres have been lost. Labour will protect Sure Start and ensure that no more centres close.
We will continue to support all training routes for social workers, including Frontline, and will prevent the private sector running child protection services. We will deliver earlier protection to victims of abuse by strengthening mandatory reporting.
And we will refocus social care to work with families in local communities, to prevent children becoming at risk of care.
Labour will support further regulation of commercial fostering agencies, as well as commissioning a review into establishing a national fostering service.
Labour will fund child burial fees for bereaved parents.
Libraries are vital social assets, valued by communities across the country. We will ensure libraries are preserved for future generations and updated with wi-fi and computers to meet modern needs. We will reintroduce library standards so that government can assess and guide councils in delivering the best possible service.
Labour will end the closure of Crown Post Office branches which play a major role in serving their communities. We will also set up a commission to establish a Post Bank, owned by the Post Office and providing a full range of banking services in every community.
Labour will give communities more power to shape their town centres, by strengthening powers to protect Post Offices, community pharmacies, high street banks, local pubs and independent shops, and promote measures to decrease high street vacancies.
The Conservative government's privatisation of Royal Mail was a historic mistake, selling off another national asset on the cheap.
Labour will reverse this privatisation at the earliest opportunity, because it is a profitable company that should
still be giving a return to the many not the few, and because key national infrastructure like a postal system is best delivered in public ownership.
We will set up a National Review of Local Pubs to examine the causes for the large-scale demise of pubs, as well as the establishment of a joint taskforce that will consider future sustainability.
We will reduce the maximum stake on Fixed Odds Betting Terminals from £100 to £2. These highly addictive machines in bookmakers across the country have become a problem for many families and communities. They allow players to gamble away £100 every 20 seconds, encouraging people to chase their losses. Labour will also legislate to increase the delay in between spins on these games in order to reduce the addictive nature of the games.
Labour will hall the cuts to the Fire & Rescue service. The Conservatives have cut 1 0,000 firefighter jobs and closed dozens of fire stations. As a result, response times have got slower and lives put at risk. Labour will consult on establishing national minimum standards for the service. Labour will give the Fire and Rescue Services a statutory duty to co-ordinate flood responses.
We will consider proposals to re-introduce a national pay structure for dedicated local government staff, and give members of the Local Government Pension Scheme full trustee status to help control investments and reduce fees and charges.
This Conservative government has taken rural communities for granted, with chronic underinvestment in transport, broadband and public services, including the closure of local schools, post offices, and libraries.
Rural infrastructure and industry has been neglected. Labour will invest in broadband, housing and transport to create jobs and ensure that the nation's prosperity is felt beyond our large towns and cities.
Labour's national investment plans include coastal protections, better flood management and the broadband and 4G extensions which will underpin the future success of rural small businesses.
Rural councils deliver public services differently, and this needs to be reflected in funding allocation mechanisms. We will consider these differences in our re-evaluation of the business rate schemes.
We will introduce a rural-proofing process so that all our laws, policies and programmes consider the impact on rural communities.
Labour will support tourism at the heart of Government. The tourism industry represents 9.6% of UK employment, 4.9% of exports, and 9% of GDP, but its importance is too often forgotten. Labour will ensure that tourism becomes a national priority again. We will reinstate the cross-Whitehall ministerial group on tourism, and ensure that government ministers across departments understand how their roles fit into the national tourism agenda.
The Conservatives have failed to provide a clear, ambitious or sustainable vision for the future of the farming, food and fishing industries.
We will expand the role of the Groceries Code Adjudicator to ensure suppliers and consumers get a fair deal.
We will reconfigure funds for farming and fishing to support smaller traders, local economies, community benefits and sustainable practices.
We will allow EU workers employed across farming, fishing and food manufacturing to remain in the UK and reinstate the Seasonal Agricultural Workers Scheme.
We will introduce a new Agricultural Sector Council to underpin employment standards and wages
We will make utility companies return roads to a condition no worse than when they started digging.
Labour will invest in a modern, integrated, accessible transport system that is reliable and affordable.
Our transport systems illustrate the abject failure of Tory policies: relentless deregulation, privatisation and fragmentation.
They say we get choice and efficiency but the reality of their transport privatisations has been that services are less reliable, safety is compromised, fares have risen, ticketing has become complicated and public health has worsened.
On rail we pay the highest fares in Europe for an increasingly unreliable and overcrowded service.
The beneficiaries of public funding siphoned off through transport privatisations have been the rocketing earnings of directors, dividends for shareholders, and the coffers of overseas governments.
A different system is possible. A Labour government will prioritise public service over private profit. And we will start by bringing our railways back into public ownership, as franchises expire.
A Labour government will introduce a Public Ownership of the Railways Bill to repeal the Railways Act 1993 under which the Conservatives privatised our railways.
In public ownership, we will deliver real improvements for passengers by freezing fares, introducing free wi-fi across the network, ensuring safe staffing levels and ending driver only operation, and by improving accessibility for disabled people.
A publicly owned railway system can be the backbone of our plans for integrated transport. It will be built on the platform of Network Rail, already in public ownership, and consider establishing a new public rolling stock company.
A Labour government will complete the HS2 high speed rail line from London through Birmingham to Leeds and Manchester, and then into Scotland, consulting with communities affected about the optimal route.
A Labour government will invest to regenerate the local and regional economies across the whole country, so that every area gets its fair share of transport investment.
A Labour government will link HS2 with other new investments, such as Crossrail of the North.
To harness the economic potential of new technologies and science we will complete the Science Vale transport arc, from Oxford to Cambridge through Milton Keynes.
To prepare for global new trade arrangements, we will study the feasibility of port development in Southampton and Avonmouth as well as Liverpool, Hull and Birmingham.
In London, to ensure our capital continues to prosper, we will build Crossrail 2 and devolve responsibilities for running the commuter train lines to the Transport for London authority.
We will invest in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland, too, working with devolved administrations through the National Infrastructure Commission.
Our plans for will encourage and enable people to get out of their cars, for better health and a cleaner environment.
Across the country we will enable the creation of municipal bus companies, publicly run for passengers not profit.
We will introduce regulations to designate and protect routes of critical community value, including those that serve local schools hospitals and isolated settlements in rural areas.
We will better regulate the licensed taxi and private carriage hire sectors in the knowledge that new technologies, consumer service and public safety all require competitive playing field between these sectors to be levelled.
We will invite the National Infrastructure Commission to recommend the next stages for developing and upgrading the National Cycle Network.
We will continue to upgrade our highways and improve road works at known bottlenecks. The A1 North, the Severn Bridge and the A30 provide essential connections and require our urgent consideration.
We will refocus the roads building and maintenance programmes on road safety, connecting our communities, feeding public transport hubs and realising untapped economic potential.
Our rail freight programme on a publicly owned railway will leave our roads freer and our air cleaner.
Labour supports the expansion of aviation capacity and we will continue to support the work of the Airports Commission.
We will continue working with our neighbours through the European Union's Highways of the Seas and by negotiating to retain membership of the Common Aviation Area and Open Skies arrangements.
Investing in our environment is investing in our future. We will defend and extend existing environmental protections.
We will champion sustainable farming, food and fishing by investing in and promoting skills, technology, market access and innovation.
The Conservatives broke their promise to be the 'greenest government ever'. They have allowed tracking in national parks, evaded their responsibilities on air quality, and cut the funding for flood defences. The future of our farming, food and fishing industries hangs in the balance, to be used as negotiating leverage in Brexit negotiations.
Only a Labour government will prioritise a sustainable, long term future for our farming, fishing and food industries, invest in rural and coastal communities and guarantee the protection and advancement of environmental standards.
The Conservatives threatened bonfire of red tape, as part of Brexit, is a threat to our environmental protections and to the quality of our lives. Their record on combating climate change and environmental damage has been one of inaction and broken promises.
The balance needs resetting: our air is killing us, our farms face an uncertain future, our fish stocks are collapsing, our oceans are used as dumping grounds, our forests, Green Belt, National Parks, Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty and Sites of Special Scientific Interest are all under threat.
Labour will introduce a new Clean Air Act to deal with the Tory legacy of illegal air quality.
We will establish Blue Belts in the seas and oceans surrounding our island.
We will set guiding targets for plastic bottle deposit schemes, working with food manufacturers and retailers to reduce waste
We will protect our bees by prohibiting neonicotinoids
We will work with farmers and foresters to plant a million trees of native species to promote biodiversity and better flood management
Unlike the Conservatives who attempted to privatise them, Labour will keep our forests in public hands.
Animals in our food chain need protection. Domestic animals require stronger protection from cruelty. Wild animals need a sustainable ecosystem.
Our stewardship of the environment needs to be founded on sound principle and based on scientific assessment.
Labour's vision is for the UK to lead the world with high animal welfare standards in the wild, in farming and with domestic animals.
We will cease the badger cull which spreads Bovine TB
We will use reconfigured funding streams to promote cruelty free animal husbandry and consult on ways to ensure better enforcement of agreed standards
We will prohibit the third party sale of puppies, introduce a total ban on ivory trading, and support the ban on wild animals in circuses.
Labour banned fox hunting, Theresa May opposed it. Only a Labour government will maintain the ban.
Culture for all
Britain's creative industries are the envy of the world, a source of national pride, a driver of inward investment and tourism and a symbol of the kind of country we are now and aspire to be in the future. As Britain leaves the EU we will put our world-class creative sector at the heart of our negotiations and future industrial strategy. We need to do more to open the arts and creative industries to everyone.
We will introduce a £1 billion Cultural Capital Fund to upgrade our existing cultural and creative infrastructure to be ready for the digital age and invest in creative clusters across the country, based on a similar model to enterprise zones. The fund will be available over a five-year period, administered by the Arts Council. It will be among the biggest arts infrastructure funds ever, transforming the country's cultural landscape.
Labour will maintain free entry to museums and invest in our museums and heritage sector. Conservative cuts to the Arts Council and local authorities have created a very tough financial climate for museums, with some closing or reducing their services, and others starting to charge entry fees. The Cultural Capital Fund will have a particular focus on projects that could increase museums' and galleries' income and viability.
Labour will end the cuts to local authority budgets to support the provision of libraries, museums and galleries. We will take steps to widen the reach of the Government Art Collection so that more people can enjoy it.
We will continue to mark the ongoing centenary of the First World War, and the sacrifice of all those who died. Labour remains committed to honouring the role of !Ill who have served our country, including the Sikh, Hindu and Muslim soldiers who fought for Britain.
Labour will introduce an arts pupil premium to every primary school in England - a £1 60m per year boost for schools to invest in projects that will support cultural activities for schools over the longer-term. We will put creativity back at the heart of the curriculum, reviewing the EBacc performance measure to make sure arts are not sidelined from secondary education.
Labour will launch a nationwide creative careers advice campaign in schools to demonstrate the range of careers and opportunities available and the skills required in the creative industries, from the tech sector to theatre production.
Being a performer is a great career, but too often the culture of low or no pay means it is hard for those without well-off families to support them. We will work with trade unions and employers to agree sector specific advice and guidelines on pay and employment standards that will make the sector more accessible to all.
We will improve diversity on and off screen, working with the film industry and public service and commercial broadcasters to find rapid solutions to improve diversity.
We recognise the serious concern about the "value gap" between producers of creative content arid the digital services that profit from its use, and will work with all sides to review the way creators and artists are rewarded for their work in the digital age.
Music venues play a vital role in supporting the music industry's infrastructure and ensuring a healthy music industry continues in Britain. Labour will review extending the £1,000 pub relief business rates scheme to small music venues.
We all need to work harder to keep children safe online. Labour will ensure that tech companies are obliged to take measures that further protect children and tackle online abuse. We will ensure that young people understand and are able to easily remove content they shared on the internet before they turned 18.
The BBC is a national asset which we should all be proud of. Unlike the Conservatives, Labour will always support it and uphold its independence. We will ensure the BBC and public service broadcasting has a healthy future. Labour is committed to keeping Channel 4 in public ownership and will guarantee the future of Welsh-language broadcaster S4C.
Victims of phone hacking have been let down by a Conservative government that promised them justice, but failed to follow through. We will implement the recommendations of part one of the Leveson Inquiry and commence part two of the inquiry that will look into the corporate governance failures that allowed the hacking scandal to occur.
Local newspapers and broadcasting in Britain are an important part of our democracy and our culture. We are concerned about closures of local media outlets and the reductions in number of local journalists. Labour will hold a national review into local media.
Sport must be run in the interests of those who participate in it and love it, not just for a privileged few. We will give football supporters the opportunity to have. a greater say in how their clubs are run, legislating for accredited supporters trusts to appoint and remove at least two club directors and to purchase shares when clubs change hands. We will review fan participation in sports governance more widely.
Sporting events must be open and accessible to all. We will push sports authorities to make rapid improvements on access provision for disabled fans.
Labour will ensure the Premier League delivers on its promise to invest 5% of its television rights income into the grassroots to help the next generation of players and coaches, and improve facilities and pitches. The Premier LE;lague has so far failed to do so, despite lucrative new domestic and international TV deals.
We will work with interested cities to back a UK bid to host the 2022 Commonwealth Games, following the announcement that D.urban will no longer stage the event.
The broken ticketing market in the UK means tickets sell out instantly and are put up at vastly inflated prices on ticket tout websites. Labour will enforce anti-bots legislation and implement the recommendations of the Waterson Review to ensure fairness for fans.
As we change our constitutional relationship with Europe we must also adjust our own arrangements. Just as many felt that power was too centralised and unaccountable in Brussels, so many feel that about Westminster.
A Labour government will establish a constitutional convention to examine and advise reform of the way Britain works at a fundamental level.
We will consult on its form and terms of reference but our aim is clear: we will invite recommendations to check the privileges of the elite and give power back to the people.
This is about where power and sovereignty lies - in politics, the economy, the justice system, and in our communities.
Labour will establish a Constitutional Convention to take forward the debate about a new constitutional settlement for the entire UK, with England as much as a priority as Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.
The Convention will look at extending democracy locally, regionally and nationally.
Our fundamental belief is that the second chamber should be democratically elected. In the interim period we will seek to end the hereditary principle and reduce the size of the current House of Lords as part of a wider package of constitutional reform to address the growing democratic deficit across Britain.
We will extend the Freedom of Information Act to private companies that run public services
We will reduce the voting age to 16. At 16 you are eligible to pay tax, get married or even join the army. You deserve a vote.
We will safeguard our democracy by repealing the Lobbying Act, which has gagged charities, and introduce a tougher statutory register of lobbyists.
We need a relationship of equals with devolved administrations. Labour will create a role for a Minister for England, who will sit under the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government, and will work with the Secretary of State for Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland. We will restore regional offices to increase contact between central and local government on the ground.
Labour will also remove the requirement for directly elected mayors in combined authorities, while keeping that as an option.
Labour opposes a second Scottish independence referendum and will campaign tirelessly to ensure that the desire to remain a part of the UK is respected.
We will set up an inquiry into blacklisting, and will also urge the government at Holyrood to hold an inquiry into the actions of Scottish police forces during the miners' strikes.
We are proud of the achievements of the Welsh Labour Government and its record of delivery. In government we will work in partnership with the administration in Cardiff to stand up for the people of Wales, protect public services, and ensure a fair funding settlement.
The peace we have today Northern Ireland is due to the courageous endeavours of those on all who sides who have been brave enough to build it.
The Good Friday Agreement, which Labour helped to negotiate, is one of the greatest achievements of Labour in office.
Labour is committed to supporting Stormont and the full operation of the Northern Ireland Assembly, and working with all sides to deliver a more peaceful and prosperous country.
A more equal society
A more equal society is not just about the money in our bank accounts, it is about respect for each other and the right of everyone not to be held back by prejudice or discrimination.
Labour has fought for equality throughout our existence - our first leader, Keir Hardie, backed the suffragettes, and it was Labour governments that brought in the Equal Pay Act, the Race Relations Acts, and the Equality Acts. We established the Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC) to eliminate discrimination.
The Conservatives cuts to the EHRC, slashing its budget by two-thirds, reveals their real attitude to issues of equality and discrimination.
These cuts have been made amid the rise in hate crime recorded by the police in the last year. The commission has recognised status by the United Nations in its important role in holding government and organisations to account on their duties under the Equalities Act.
Labour will make the EHRC truly independent, not part of the Government it is meant to scrutinise, and give it the appropriate funding to carry out its functions.
Labour will also consult on making terminal illness a protected characteristic under the Equality Act to protect against workplace discrimination, building on the Dying to Work campaign.
A Labour Government will consult on an Economic Equality Bill to tackle entrenched inequality. The Conservatives have talked the talk on equality while implementing economic policies that make life harder for women, black and ethnic minorities, the disabled and the LGBT community. Labour's analysis of the Conservatives autumn statement showed that 86 per cent of the gains made by the government through tax and benefit cuts changes came from women, an increase from 81 per cent the previous year.
The advances for women in Britain and around the world have been fought and won by determined women working together for real change often in the face of resistance and even abuse.
Labour has a proud record on progressing women's rights and freedoms. We brought in the Equal Pay Act, the Sex Discrimination Act, the Equality Act, the minimum wage and introduced Sure Start. Ours will be a Government for women, with a Cabinet of at least 50% women, that fights inequality and misogyny in every part of society. Women's rights, human rights, will be at the heart of Labour's fight for a fairer and more equal Britain.
Labour will continue to ensure a woman's right to choose a safe, legal abortion - and we will legislate to extend that right to women in Northern Ireland.
Violence against women and girls continues to be a global epidemic affecting an estimated one in three women worldwide. In the UK, on average two women are killed by their current or a former partner every week. Under the Conservatives, over a third of all local authority funding to domestic and sexual violence was already cut by 2012.
Labour will appoint a new commissioner to enforce minimum standards in tackling domestic and sexual violence. A Violence Against Women Commissioner would also provide stable central funding for women's refuges and rape crisis centres and encourage sharing of best practice between local authorities.
Maternity discrimination under the Conservatives is out of control, almost doubling in the past ten years. Many mothers a reluctant to raise complaints about discrimination and unfair treatment.
Unlawful maternity and pregnancy discrimination is now more common in Britain's workplaces than ever before, with 54,000 pregnant women and new mothers forced out of their jobs in 201 5. We will also reverse the unfair employment tribunal fees which literally price people out of justice. And Labour will extend the time period for applying for maternity discrimination to the employment tribunal from three to six months.
Labour has a proud record championing the fight for LGBT equality. We abolished Section 28, equalised the age of consent, created civil partnerships, and it was only through Labour votes that equal marriage became law. However, there is still a long way to go issues such as education, equal access to public services, levels of LGBT hate crime, and mental and physical wellbeing.
A Labour government will reform the Equality Act 2010 to ensure it protects Trans people by changing the protected characteristic of 'gender assignment' to 'gender identity' and remove other outdated language such as 'transsexual'.
Labour will bring the law on LGBT hate crimes into line with hate crimes based on race and faith, by making them aggravated offences.
To tackle bullying of LGBT young people, Labour will ensure that all teachers receive initial and ongoing training on the issues.students face and how to address them. And we will ensure that the new guidance for relationships and sex education is LGBT inclusive.
Likewise, we will ensure all frontline health and social care professionals receive ongoing training to understand and meet the needs of LGBT patients and service users. Labour will ensure that NHS England completes the trial programme to provide PrEP as quickly as possible, and fully roll out the treatment to high risk groups to help reduce HIV infection.
The Labour Party is the party of equality. We seek to build a society free from all forms of racism, anti-Semitism and lslamophobia.
We should all be deeply troubled by the rise in racially aggravated attacks and race hate crime this year. Anti-Semitic incidents are also on the rise once more and we are committed to combating this trend with adequate resources and firm political will.
Commissioning a report on our own Party was an unprecedented step in British politics, demonstrating a commitment to tackling prejudice wherever it is found. Labour is already acting on recommendations, including reform of internal disciplinary procedures to make
them firmer and fairer, and expansion of training to tackle anti-Semitism. On a matter of such importance, Labour urges all democratic political parties to do the same.
We will end racism and discrimination against Gypsy, Roma and Traveller communities, and protect the right to lead a nomadic way of life.
Black and Asian workers still suffer a massive pay gap. By introducing equal pay audit requirements on large employers, Labour will close the pay gap. By making the minimum wage a real living wage, we will benefit ethnic minority workers who are more likely to be on low pay.
We will implement the Parker Review recommendations to increase ethnic diversity on the boards of Britain's largest companies.
Over the last seven years of Conservative government, disabled people have borne the brunt of cuts to benefits and services.
And people with disabilities have been vilified with divisive rhetoric like 'scroungers' and 'shirkers'. In this climate, recorded disability hate crime has increased.
Last year the UN published a report concluding that the Conservative government had committed "grave, systematic violations of the rights of persons with disabilities."
Currently 4.2 million disabled people live in poverty in Britain, and the disability employment gap remains stubbornly high.
Labour believes in the social model of disability - that it is society which disables people, and it is our job to remove those barriers. The previous Labour government signed the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (UNCRPD). The next Labour government will sign the UNCRPD into U_K law.
Labour will act to tackle discrimination, remove barriers and ensure social security delivers dignity and empowerment, not isolation and stigma.
Labour will give British Sign Language full recognition as a recognised language.
A Global Britain
Labour will put conflict resolution and human rights at the heart of foreign policy, commit to working through the United Nations, end support for aggressive wars of intervention and back effective action to alleviate the refugee crisis.
We will build human rights and social justice into trade policy, honour our international treaty obligations and encourage others to do the same.
Labour believes Britain's foreign policy should be guided by the values of peace, universal rights and international law. Today, these values and institutions are being tested. Recent developments in politics at home and abroad have demonstrated the temptation to turn away from the world is great. As we leave the European Union, keeping Britain global is our country's most urgent task.
We face the most complex, interwoven security and development challenges of our time; ongoing wars across the Middle East, unprecedented numbers of refugees, the threat of nuclear conflict, a devastating food crisis across East Africa and beyond, and more combative governments in the US and Russia.
Britain has an interest in and an influence over what happens on the world stage. The lessons of the past, including those from the Chilcot Inquiry, show us why our response to the questions of global peace and security must be different.
The Conservatives have no answers to the challenges we face.
A Labour government will pursue a triple commitment to all the interwoven foreign policy instruments of development, defence and diplomacy. We will strengthen Britain's commitment to the UN.
Labour recognises that, in leaving the EU, Britain will face both challenges and opportunities. We are deeply ambitious for our country's future and will draw on our diplomatic strengths and international networks to make Britain a champion of multilateral engagement.
We will reclaim Britain's leading role in tackling climate change, working hard to preserve the Paris Agreement and deliver on international commitments to reduce emissions while mitigating the impacts of climate change on developing countries.
We will appoint dedicated global ambassadors for women's rights, LGBT rights and religious freedom to lead the government's work to fight discrimination and promote equality globally - working alongside a Labour government's Minister for Peace and Disarmament.
Conservative cuts mean Britain now spends less per head on diplomacy than Germany, France, Australia or Canada. Labour was central to securing international spending targets on defence and development. Now our leadership is required again. A Labour government will commit to secure a new global agreement for a minimum target of government spending on diplomacy and conflict resolution.
From Yemen to Sudan, Afghanistan to Iraq and across the Middle East to Africa, in recent years millions of people have been killed, injured or displaced through wars and military intervention. In Syria alone, after six years of war, more than 400,000 people have been killed. Labour will strain sinew to end the conflict and get the diplomatic process back on track, while giving our full support to international efforts to investigate, prosecute and convict the perpetrators of war crimes.
Labour is committed to a comprehensive peace in the Middle East based on a two-state solution, that means a secure Israel alongside a secure and viable state of Palestine. The expansion of Israeli settlements on the Palestinian West Bank is not only wrong and illegal, but represents a threat to the very viability of the hopes of securing a successful outcome of the peace process. We cannot accept the continued humanitarian crisis in the Occupied Palestinian Territories, and we will support Palestinian recognition at the UN.
At the heart of Labour foreign policy will b e a strong commitment to reducing human suffering as a result of conflict. The next Labour government will publish a strategy for protecting civilians in conflict. This will set out detailed plans for our work on conflict prevention and resolution, post-conflict peacebuilding, and justice for the victims of war crimes. As part of these efforts we will work to strengthen multilateral institutions, particularly the UN.
While strengthening our commitment to the UN, we also acknowledge its shortcomings, particularly in light of repeated abuses of the veto power by some permanent members of the UN Security Council. We will work with allies and partners from around the world to build support for UN reform in order to make its institutions more effective and responsive.
Labour supports the contribution of a responsible arms industry to the UK economy. However, we also believe that strong export controls have a vital role to play in sustaining a legitimate trade in arms. The UK has played a key role in the creating of many international treaties banning cluster munitions, landmines, and the development of the Arms Trade Treaty (ATT). But the Conservatives risk becoming the first country facing legal action for failing to abide by its rules.
Labour will implement the ATT to a consistently high standard, including ceasing arms exports to countries where there is concern that they will be used to commit war crimes and human rights violations.
The next Labour government will act immediately to suspend any further arms sales to Saudi Arabia, and its coalition partners, until they can prove that they are willing and able to comply with international humanitarian law.
Labour remains committed to an independent inquiry into Britain's military role in the 1 984 raid on the Golden Temple in Amritsar.
The primary duty of any government is to protect and defend its citizens. We live in a period of growing international tensions. A strong, viable and sustainable defence and security policy must be strategic and evidence led.
A Labour government will order a complete strategic defence review when it comes into office - to assess of the threats facing Britain and the necessary defence requirements.
We will ensure that our Armed Forces are properly equipped and resourced to respond to wide- ranging security challenges. Labour will commit to effective UN peacekeeping, including support for a UN Emergency Peace Service.
As the security threats and challenges we face are not bound by geographic borders, it is vital that as Britain leaves the EU we maintain our close relationship with our European partners. We will continue to work with the EU on a range of operational missions to promote and support global and regional security.
The last Labour government consistently spent above the NATO benchmark of 2% of GDP on defence.
Conservative spending cuts have put Britain's security at risk, shrinking the army to its smallest size since the Napoleonic wars. The scrapping of Nimrod, HMS Ark Royal and the Harrier jump jets, have weakened our defences and cost British taxpayers millions.
Labour's commitment to spending at least 2% of GDP on defence will guarantee our Armed Forces have the necessary capabilities to fulfil the full range of obligations, and ensure our conventional forces are versatile and able to deploy rapidly in a range of roles.
Labour supports the renewal of the Trident submarine system. But any prime minister should be extremely cautious about ordering the use of weapons of mass destruction which would result in the indiscriminate killing of millions of innocent civilians. As a nuclear armed power, our country has a responsibility to fulfil our international obligations under the Nuclear Non Proliferation Treaty. Labour will lead multilateral efforts with international partners and the UN to create a nuclear free world.
The UK defence industry is world-leading and Labour will continue to support development and innovation in this sector and ensure that it can continue to rely on a highly skilled workforce. We are committed to a procurement process that supports our steel industry and other manufacturing that provides good quality jobs throughout the supply chain. Labour will publish a Defence Industrial Strategy white paper, including a National Shipbuilding Strategy.
The first duty of any government is to protect its citizens. But we also have a duty to protect our Armed Forces personnel. That's why we will never send them into harm's way unless all other options have been exhausted.
Our Armed Forces are suffering from rent rises in services housing, pay restraint, and changes to tax and benefits, which is putting real pressure on service personnel and their families. We will ensure our Armed Forces get the pay and living conditions that their service merits.
Our Armed Service personnel deserve better. Dedicated servicemen and servicewomen are at the heart of our defence policy. Labour will immediately examine recruitment and retention policies in order to stem the exodus that we have seen under the Conservatives, reducing the size of the army from over 100,000 to just 80,000 today. In government we will publish new strategic equality objectives to ensure to ensure our personnel reflects our diverse society.
Service personnel who are injured whilst serving should have prompt access to support and compensation. Our nation owes a duty to all who serve in the Armed Forces and we will ensure that the legal duty owed by Ministry of Defence to all personnel is met in full.
A Labour Government will roll out a Homes Fit For Heroes programme that will insulate the homes of our disabled veterans for free. The scheme will provide disabled veterans appropriate insulation or efficiency measures, from cavity or solid wall insulation, to loft insulation or a boiler upgrade. We will drive up standards in Service Accommodation and take action where private companies have failed to deliver. We will consult with the individual services to give them greater autonomy over their housing choices and we will review the Forces Help to Buy scheme with a view to improving it.
Labour has a proud record on international development. We will continue to meet the UK's commitment to spend 0.7 per cent of GDP.
Labour will take robust action to end the self-regulation of DflD private contractors, establishing new rules and enforcing them to ensure aid is used to reduce poverty for the many, not to increase profits for the few.
Labour will develop a targeted development agenda based on the principles of redistribution, social justice and poverty reduction. We can make our world a better place.
We fully support the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) agreed by the international community as a global agenda for poverty eradication and environmental protection. Labour will develop a cross-government strategy for ensuring the SDGs are implemented, and report annually to Parliament on our performance.
In the wake of Brexit, and in fulfilment of our national obligations under the SDGs, Labour will guarantee the world's least developed countries continued access to the UK market to protect their vital export revenues.
There are now more refugees and displaced people around the world than any time since the Second World War. This is a failure of diplomacy, conflict resolution and of human rights, which is why they will be at the heart of Labour's foreign policy.
The Conservatives have completely failed to show any leadership on this issue. In the first 1 00 days of government will produce a cross-departmental strategy on the refugee crisis so that we meet our international obligations.
The current global tax system is deeply unjust. Africa's economies alone lose more than £46 billion a year through corruption and tax evasion - more than 10 times what they receive in aid. Labour will act without hesitation to take decisive action on tax havens. We will introduce strict standards of transparency for crown dependencies and overseas territories, including a public register of owners, directors, major shareholders and beneficial owners for all companies and trusts.
A Labour development strategy will work in partnership with communities in the Global South to develop long-term strategies for strengthening economies and societies. We would reinstate the Civil Society Challenge Fund to support trade unions, women's associations and other civil society organisations which are the most effective forces in winning human rights and workers' rights.
Jobs in global supply chains can be of enormous importance to working people across the Global South, but human rights abuses and exploitation of lower environmental standards and workers' rights is too common. Labour is .committed to ensuring respect for human rights, workers' rights and environmental sustainability in the operations of British businesses around the world, and we will work to tighten the rules governing corporate accountability for abuses in global supply chains.
A Labour government will work with business to ensure the provisions of the Modern Slavery Act are fully respected, including reporting on due diligence in the supply chains of all companies covered.by the Act. Labour will extend the remit of the Groceries Code Adjudicator beyond direct suppliers to ensure fair treatment for all those producing goods for the UK's largest supermarkets.
At least a billion people suffer each year because they cannot obtain the health services they need, and another 1 00 million are pushed below the poverty line as a result of paying for the services they receive. A Labour government will establish a Centre for Universal Health Coverage, providing global partnerships, support and encouragement to countries that want UHC, helping them to generate adequate sources of funding and the systems required for delivery.
We will invest in new public health driven research and development to find effective and affordable treatments for diseases in the developing world, and we will invest in fighting TB, HIV, malaria, HIV/AIDS and neglected tropical diseases.