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Election 2019: what would Labour’s plans mean for your money?

Find out about Labour's pledges on tax, housing, pensions and more

Labour party manifesto image

Labour has launched its manifesto ahead of the 2019 general election, which will be held on 12 December.

The manifesto is called It’s Time For Real Change and sets out policies the party aims to bring in should it win the election.

Here, we provide an at-a-glance look at Labour’s plans for tax, housing, pensions, benefits and all things money-related that could hit your wallet.

We’ll also be covering the Conservatives, Liberal Democrats and SNP in separate stories, which we’ll publish once the manifestos are out. For more information on what smaller parties have planned, head here


Labour on tax

  • Additional rate of tax for those who earn more than £80,000 a year, and a new ‘super-rich’ rate payable from £125,000.
  • Freeze National Insurance and income tax rates for those who earn less than £80,000.
  • Tax capital gains and dividends at income tax rates.
  • Reverse cuts to inheritance tax.
  • Impose VAT on private school fees.
  • Introduce a tax on second homes.
  • Scrap Married Couple’s Allowance.
  • Reverse cuts to corporation tax, but keep it lower than the rate in 2010 (28%).
  • Guaranteed freeze on VAT.
  • Crackdown on tax avoidance and evasion, and reform tax reliefs system.
  • Review the option of a land value tax on commercial landlords, as an alternative to business rates.

Find out more: use the Which? tax guides and calculators to find out your current position

Labour on banking and the high street

  • Stop bank branch closures and ban ATM charges.
  • Give local government new powers to put empty shops to good use.
  • Stop Crown Post Office closures and bring the Royal Mail back into public ownership, creating a publicly owned Post Bank to be run through to Post Office network.
  • Post Banks will feature a Business Development Agency to give support and advice on how to manage and grow a business.
  • List pubs as Assets of Community Value, so community groups can buy local pubs that are under threat of closure.

Labour on benefits

  • Scrap Universal Credit, and design an alternative benefits system.
  • Stop the current benefit cap and two-child limit used in Universal Credit and child tax credit.
  • Increase Employment and Support Allowance by £30 per week for those in the work-related activity group.
  • Raise payments to support children with disabilities.
  • Increase the Carer’s Allowance for unpaid full-time carers to the level of Jobseeker’s Allowance.
  • Extend maternity leave to 12 months, and paternity leave to four weeks.

Find out more: see the Which? guides to tax credits and benefits

Labour on housing

Social and council housing

  • Build more than a million council and social housing properties over the next decade – at an annual rate of at least 150,000.
  • End the Right to Buy scheme.
  • Fund new Decent Homes programme to improve the standard of all council and housing association.
  • Scrap the bedroom tax and increase the Local Housing Allowance.

First-time buyers

  • Reform Help to Buy to focus on first-time buyers on ‘ordinary’ incomes, and give local people ‘first dibs’ to buy new homes built in their area.

Leasehold

  • End the sale of new leasehold properties, abolish unfair fees and conditions and give leaseholders the right to buy their freehold at an affordable price.

Building new homes

  • Create a new English Sovereign Land Trust, which can buy land more cheaply for low-cost housing.
  • Charge developers ‘use it or lose it’ taxes on stalled housing developments.

Renting

  • Introduce new minimum standards for rented housing.
  • New open-ended tenancies.
  • Rent controls.
  • Scrap rules that allow landlords to exclude people on housing benefits.
  • Give councils new powers to regulate short-term lets through companies like Airbnb.

Find out more: use our first-time buyer guides to discover how to get onto the property ladder

Labour on jobs and pay

  • Reduce average full-time weekly working hours to 32 within a decade, with no loss of pay.
  • Introduce a Real Living Wage of at least £10 per hour for all workers aged 16 or over.
  • Equal rights for workers from day one on the job.
  • Establish a Ministry for Employment Rights to improve workers’ rights and establish minimum standards for all workers.
  • Create new rights and freedoms for trade unions.
  • Require all employers with 250+ employees to obtain government certification on gender equality, or face auditing and fines.
  • Develop income-protection insurance schemes for self-employed workers.
  • Open the Apprenticeship Levy to a wider range of accredited training.
  • Targeted bursaries will be available to women, BAME people, care leavers, ex-Armed Forces personnel and people with disabilities.
  • Restore public sector pay to at least pre-financial-crisis levels in real terms.
  • Tackle late payments affecting small businesses and self-employed workers, including banning late-payers from public procurement.

Labour on pensions and investment

  • Maintain the state pension ‘triple lock’, guarantee Winter Fuel Payments and free bus passes.
  • Freeze state pension age at 66, reviewing retirement ages for those in physically demanding or stressful occupations.
  • Work with the Waspi women to design a compensation system.
  • Establish an independent Pensions Commission to give recommendations on how much should be saved into workplace pensions.
  • Introduce a pensions dashboard that includes information on costs and charges.
  • Ensure that pensions of UK citizens living overseas rise in line with pensions in Britain.

Labour on social care

  • Build a National Care Service for England to provide free personal care for older people.
  • Repeal the Health and Social Care Act and reinstate the responsibilities of the Secretary of State to provide a comprehensive and universal healthcare system.
  • Additional £1.6bn a year to ensure new standards for mental health, with £2bn for mental health hospital facilities
  • Invest £2bn to modernise mental health hospital facilities.

Labour on household bills

  • Protect free TV licences for over-75s.
  • Deliver free fibre broadband for all by 2030.
  • Upgrade almost all UK homes to highest energy-efficiency standards.
  • Nationalise rail, mail, water and energy services.
  • Offer free basic prescriptions.

Labour on transport

  • Introduce free bus travel for under-25s.
  • Increase council provisions to improve bus networks and reinstate cut routes.
  • Bring railways back into public ownership, improve accessibility for disabled people and ensure safe staffing levels.
  • Deliver Crossrail for the North, and HS2 route to Scotland.
  • Expand rail networks across the whole country, and electrify all trains.
  • Increase funding for cycling and walking.
  • Support the sale of ultra-low-emission vehicles, and invest in electric vehicle charging infrastructure.

Labour on schools and university

  • Abolish university tuition fees, and bring back maintenance grants.
  • Have free school meals for all primary school children, and reduce the cost of school uniforms.
  • Free lifelong entitlement to training up to Level 3, and six years training at Levels 4-6, which maintenance grants for those on lower incomes.

Early years childcare

  • Create Sure Start Plus service with centres for children under two years old.
  • Provide 30 hours of free preschool education per week for two, three and four-year-olds, with additional hours available at subsidised rates dependent on income.
  • Extend childcare provision for one-year-olds.

Labour on Brexit

  • Get an alternative deal to leave the EU, and put that deal to the public referendum vote – there will either be a choice to remain in the EU or accept the deal.
  • Rule out a no-deal Brexit, and end all no-deal preparations.
  • Grant EU nationals the automatic right to continue living and working in the UK, as a way to help ensure reciprocal treatment of UK citizens living in the EU.

What will Labour’s pledges cost?

Labour says it will spend £82.9bn on additional funding in areas such as education and social care, which will be offset by £82.9bn raised by its proposed tax changes.

Which?’s consumer agenda

Which? has outlined its agenda for the next government, which sets out six commitments that we want all political parties to make to deliver positive, tangible improvements for individuals across the UK.

This includes providing banking services that work for everyone, better protection over unsafe products and fairer pensions.

Find out more in our consumer agenda for the government.

Editor’s note: this article was updated to include Labour’s pledges on free broadband, scrapping prescription charges, overhauling water rates and insulating homes millions of homes on 9 December 2019.

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