Downloading PDF. Please wait... Issue 2910

The missing manifesto: the plan the Labour Party refuses to make

Labour's manifesto lacks any ambition. But so much more is entirely possible, writes Arthur Townend
Issue 2910
Keir Starmer next to a bus after Labour manifesto launch

Keir Starmer won’t deliver change (Picture: Flickr Keir Starmer)

Labour’s manifesto is full of empty promises and mild-mannered reforms. The money is there for a much more ambitious plan—but Labour aren’t going to take it. Below are missing policies which could create the social and economic change that Labour refuses to make.

Wealth taxes

Three new taxes could raise around £50 billion in tax revenue a year. A 2 percent wealth tax on assets over £10 million could generate nearly £24 billion a year and affect just 0.04 percent of the population.

Applying income tax to capital gains—a tax on the profit when you sell something that’s increased in value—would give £16.7 billion a year. And paying national insurance on capital gains would increase revenue by £10 billion a year.

Pollution taxes

Three new climate taxes could increase yearly revenue by nearly £5 billion a year. Ending subsidies for oil and gas companies would generate £2.2 billion a year. Closing the loophole in the windfall tax on the profits of oil and gas companies could yield £2 billion annually.

And Britain has the highest usage of private jets in Europe. Taxes on fuel and on passengers could raise up to £700 million a year. These three taxes alone are more than Labour’s yearly green pledge of £4.7 billion a year. END

Militarism

Military spending is 2.1 percent of Britain’s GDP. This amounts to £54.2 billion a year—pledges to raise spending to 2.5 percent will total £87 billion in 2030. Spending on the Trident nuclear weapons programme totals £205 billion. In 2022 spending amounted to £8,300 every minute. Simply ending investment in Trident will save £4 billion a year. But cutting military spending would save even more.

Nationalistion

The water industry over the last decade generated a revenue of £11.8 billion. Of every pound made by water companies, 20p is paid by tax and 15p goes to dividends. But investment into infrastructure over the same time period totalled just £4.9 billion.

Labour will invest £1.7bn a year in energy—a pittance compared to the earnings of private energy companies. The National Grid paid roughly £2 billion in dividends from 2022-23. But while private businesses rake in billions, energy prices for ordinary people have skyrocketed, with yearly energy prices jumping to over £4000 in 2022. Profiteering must end and all industries nationalised.

Invest in the NHS

Funding for the NHS could have increased by £12.2 billion by removing private contracts last year. And from 2022 to 2023, £181.7 billion was spent on the NHS, but just £10 billion of this was spent on infrastructure and development to improve its capacity.

Yet the waiting list for appointments was 7.57 million in April this year. The NHS must be invested in and all private contracts ended.

End housing crisis

Average housing costs are nine times the yearly salary. Average rent prices rose 8.5 percent in 2022-23 and a further 9 percent in 2023-24. We need price and rent controls to stop the trajectory. There are an estimated 300,000 homeless people in Britain.

Yet there are 260,000 empty homes, not including second homes. Empty homes should be requisitioned by the government to increase the supply of housing immediately.

Improve education

Since 2010, 70 percent of schools have had their spending power cut—that’s roughly £3.2 billion in real terms. Funding for schools must increase, and overworked teachers must be guaranteed better pay and reduced workloads.

And over four million children live in poverty. Removing the two child benefit cap would lift 250,000 children out of poverty overnight.

Free Palestine

The genocide in Palestine has claimed over 35,000 Palestinian lives. Britain has licensed arms worth over £574 million to Israel since 2008. These are directly used in the murder of Palestinians. Politicians and businesses who have facilitated the genocide should be held accountable.

Israel must face sanctions from Britain. The genocide must be resisted and land colonised by Israel returned to the Palestinians.

Open borders

Britain should oppose the scapegoating of migrants and support open borders. The problems of society are caused by big businesses, private industry and the rich. Open borders will reduce the need for migrants to take the treacherous journey across the channel.

It has claimed the lives of 391 people, and the government has wasted over £800 million trying to stop channel crossings since 2014. The racist scapegoating of migrants should be opposed.

Trans+ rights

Labour said it will ban conversion therapy for trans+ people. But it must go further. The recently published Cass Review was an attack on trans+ rights. It should be explicitly rejected.

There must be greater support for trans+ people including self-identification and faster, more comprehensive trans+ healthcare

Ireland, Scotland and Wales

Britain should get out of Ireland. And it should allow Scotland to have an independence referendum whenever it wants one. We are for the beak up of the British state.

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