The Labour Party
General Political Ideology
Centre-left Democratic Socialist party, influenced by Keynesian economics and government intervention, supports the redistribution of wealth.
On the economy, Labour have said they will balance the books, which means eliminating the deficit and eventually making a budget surplus, to pay off national debt. They also aim to reverse 50p tax rate, such that top earners pay up to 50% tax, and lower the lowest rate of tax to 10p. A key taxation policy of Labour’s is to abolish the bedroom tax.
On energy and the environment, Labour has said they will stop the winter fuel allowance to the wealthiest pensioners and creating a million, high-tech ‘green jobs by 2025, decarbonise electricity by 2030, insulate 5 million homes by 2025. Labour have also promised to introduce a new energy watchdog in order to improve energy efficiency. For the NHS, Ed Miliband has promised to recruit 20,000 new nurses, and 8,000 new GPs as well as guaranteeing a GP appointment within 48 hours and repealing the mental health and social act, as well as making mental health a priority. They’ve also pledged a maximum of one week to receive results on vital cancer tests. They’ve also vowed to scrap the Police and Crime Commissioner and reform the police.
In the light of last year’s Scottish Referendum, Labour has taken Devolution into account in its manifesto. Labour have pledged to implement the further powers to Scotland and Wales, as well as giving English Counties more devolved powers, particularly in areas such as new homes being built and public transport.
Labour plan to implement free childcare for 25 hours for working parents with 3 and 4 year old children, and introduce a legal guarantee such that primary school aged children can access childcare from 8am-6pm through their local school. The Labour Party also plan to ensure all teachers in state schools are fully qualifies, and require students to continuously train after getting qualified. They have also planned to end the Free School Programme, and strengthen laws against maternity discrimination.
On immigration and Europe, Labour have pledged to 1,000 new border staff, and will require all public sector workers to speak English. They have also promised to guarantee no more powers to be transferred to Brussels without an in-out-referendm. They also plan to lead by example on human rights, by upholding them domestically and advocating them overseas.
Labour have also pledged to legislate to stregnthen the law on transphobic hate crime, and appoint an international envoy for LGBT rights, as well as developing and putting in place strategy for race equality, and capping donations to political parties. They will also require large companies to publish gender pay gap, and give the vote to 16 and 17 year olds.
What could a Labour-lead government mean for students?
Various Labour policies, beyond just tuition fees. Initially, students with part-time jobs could be effected by the banning of zero-hour contracts, and the Labour increase of the national minimum wage to £8 an hour, as well as giving local authorities a role in enforcing the national minimum wage.
The Labour Party have also pledged to create more apprenticeships, and introduce ‘technical degrees’ for vocational subjects. They’ve also pledged that all young people study maths and english to 18, this wouldn’t necessarily mean to a-level, but would be a complementary lessons to study.
For housing, a big issue for many students Labour have pledged to build at least 200,000 new homes by 2020 – and give first-time buyers the priority on new homes in housing growth areas, which is good news for grads. They’ve also pledged to ban letting agency fees, freeze energy bills and give communities the power to limit the spread of payday lenders.
On public transport, a system students often rely on. Labour have planned to cap annual rail fares, and introduce smart ticketing for National transport, as is done in London. They also want to give local area the power to set bus routes and fares.
Of course, the biggest change for student’s under a Labour lead government would be the reduction of fees to £6,000 from 2016. So students in their first year now (or second year on a four year course) will benefit.