This morning Nick Clegg was asked five times to rule out a further rise in tuition fees – and he refused to do so. William Hague also said that the Tories have not ruled out another rise in tuition fees.
Five years ago the Lib Dems promised to scrap tuition fees – and then they raised them three times higher. Now they are getting ready to raise them again.
Analysis of the Tories' extreme spending plans means that they are poised to increase tuition fees yet again – to £11,500 per year.
Labour will cut tuition fees from £9,000 to £6,000. And if we fail in that task, Ed Miliband has said he will not stand for office as Prime Minister in 2020. Because there should be consequences when people’s trust is let down.
This morning Nick Clegg was asked five times to rule out a further rise in tuition fees – and he refused to do so. William Hague also said that the...
Labour's Shadow Health Minister, Andy Burnham, visited Lancaster and launched Labour’s five pledges to help improve the local Royal Lancaster Infirmary, setting out Labour’s better plan for local NHS services in the Morecambe Bay Trust. This includes, the first pledge, to recognise the special circumstances of Morecambe Bay Trust in relation to funding.
Labour has launched five pledges to help improve the local Royal Lancaster Infirmary:
- Recognise the special circumstances of Morecambe Bay Trust in relation to funding
- Work with our brilliant NHS staff to make the Royal Lancaster Infirmary a better hospital
- More doctors and nurses for our hospital
- Guarantee a GP appointment in 48 hours across the Morecambe Bay area
- Repeal the Tory Health Act that opened up our hospitals to privatisation
It's fantastic that after years of work from Labour candidates and MPs we've got a pledge from the Labour Party that Morecambe Bay's special circumstances will be recognised under a Labour government when it comes to funding. We have fantastic NHS staff locally, but the current funding doesn't meet local need or recognise the challenging geography of the Trust.
Labour's Shadow Health Minister, Andy Burnham, visited Lancaster and launched Labour’s five pledges to help improve the local Royal Lancaster Infirmary, setting out Labour’s better plan for local NHS...
Labour is today launching its better plan for rural Britain, we are setting out our policies to build a rural economy that works for working people and supports rural families and communities. The rural manifesto includes a pledge to put right the damage done by the Tories’ decision to abolish the Agricultural Wages Board, replacing it with a new taskforce to tackle low pay and protect conditions for agricultural workers.
Labour’s better plan for rural communities includes:
Tackling low-pay in agriculture by creating an industry-led taskforce on productivity and pay as well as boosting skills and apprenticeships.
Build more affordable homes by strengthening requirements on developers to build affordable housing in rural areas.
Bringing the off-grid energy sector under the remit of the regulator for the first time.
Standing up for farmers by creating a tough new supermarket watchdog by expanding the role and powers of the Groceries Code Adjudicator.
Cutting business rates for small businesses, which employ over two-thirds of the rural workforce.
Giving rural communities more power over their own bus services.
Ensuring that all parts of the country benefit from affordable, high-speed broadband by the end of the Parliament.
Devolving powers to our English county regions, giving communities the ability to shape the places they live.
By contrast, the Conservatives and Lib Dems have failed to get to grips with the challenges facing rural Britain:
Average wages are over £4500 lower a year than those in urban areas and the gap has grown by £1000 since 2010.
Developers have been allowed to end the provision of affordable housing on sites of fewer than 10 houses despite the majority of housing in rural areas being provided on small, private developer-led sites.
Rural businesses and households have seen the same soaring energy bills as the rest of the country, but have an added burden as many have no grid access, forcing them to use more expensive alternatives.
Farmers are increasingly seeing their income squeezed by powerful retailers and over 1500 dairy farmers have gone out of businesses in the last five years.
Annual transport costs are around £1000 higher in rural areas and less than half of those living in smaller rural settlements have access to a regular bus service.
Too many rural communities and businesses have been left behind without adequate broadband coverage.
Labour is today launching its better plan for rural Britain, we are setting out our policies to build a rural economy that works for working people and supports rural families...
Ed Miliband is unveiling Labour’s plan to put first time buyers first by reducing stamp duty to zero and giving them priority access on new homes built.
This is the next stage in Labour’s comprehensive programme to tackle our country’s housing crisis by building the homes local people need and taking action on rents.
The measures announced today will help first time buyers as the next Labour government embarks on the biggest house-building programme for a generation, increases the number of affordable homes, and introduces secure three-year tenancies with rents capped.
Labour’s better plan is needed to tackle a modern housing crisis in which a severe shortage of new homes being built has priced millions of people out of the property market and left many who want to buy living in private rented accommodation.
The Tories have overseen the lowest peacetime level of housebuilding since the 1920s, the lowest rate of home ownership for 30 years and a market where buy-to-let landlords and foreign investors are snapping up properties before local people get a chance.
The key elements of Labour’s comprehensive plan to help working families get the decent homes they deserve:
Put first time buyers first
- Help with your first home: Labour will reduce stamp duty to zero for first time buyers of homes worth up to £300,000 – a saving of as much as £5,000 for people seeking to get on the property ladder.
- First Call: Labour will give first time buyers that have lived in an area for more than three years “first call” on up to half of homes built in their area.
- Local First: Labour will stop foreign buyers buying up properties before local buyers get a look in by ensuring they are advertised in local areas, increasing taxes paid by foreign buyers and council tax for empty homes.
The biggest house building programme in a generation
- Labour’s plan will start construction on 1 million new homes by 2020 to deliver our promise of getting 200,000 homes built a year, with “use or lose it” powers ensuring developers build on land rather than hoarding it via the right to levy council tax on sites which remains undeveloped, as well as plans for a series of new garden cities and wider reform of the housing market.
More affordable and social housing
- Labour’s plan will build more affordable homes year-on-year by strengthening affordable housing obligations on developers which have been watered down by the Tories, prioritising capital investment and allowing Labour’s £5 billion Future Homes Fund to invest in housing associations developing affordable homes.
Action on rent
- Labour will bring in secure three-year tenancies for those who want them and cap rents so they cannot rise by more than the rate of inflation during this period. We will also ban letting agent fees - saving the average household £625 over the next parliament – and introduce a national register of landlords so that a minority of rogue owners can be identified, with tax relief restricted for those who do not meet basic standards.
Ed Miliband is unveiling Labour’s plan to put first time buyers first by reducing stamp duty to zero and giving them priority access on new homes built. This...
David Cameron has presided over the greatest loss of British influence in a generation with a foreign policy characterised by inward-looking, small-minded isolationism which too often has put short-term party political interests ahead of the national interest.
Ed Miliband has today set out how the foreign policy of the next Labour government will mark a different approach, because we are stronger as a country when we look boldly, confidently outward to the world, not turning in on ourselves or acting on our own.
Our approach will be a genuine and hard-headed multilateralism with our values at its core. That’s how Britain can succeed.
We will apply these principles to foreign policy by:
- Restoring our commitment to international institutions including the UN, NATO, the Commonwealth and the EU. This will start with the European Union – leading once again in Europe and using that strength to reform Europe. And our commitment to NATO means that we reject the extreme spending cuts that the Conservative Party propose as they would be truly catastrophic for the future of our armed forces.
- Learning lessons from the past including the 2003 Iraq War in how we use military intervention to respond to international problems which threaten security at home and abroad. As we are witnessing in Libya, one of these lessons is that any strategy for intervention must include a comprehensive transition and post conflict strategy.
- Putting reducing inequality, tackling climate change and promoting human rights at the core of Labour’s foreign policy. Labour will proudly lead the world in maintaining our commitment to giving 0.7% of GNI towards international development and on climate change set ambitious emissions targets for all countries, reviewed every five years, based on a scientific assessment of the progress towards the 2C goal.
David Cameron has presided over the greatest loss of British influence in a generation with a foreign policy characterised by inward-looking, small-minded isolationism which too often has put short-term party...
Labour has pledged to:
- Toughen up the law on disability hate crime
- Reform the Work Capability Assessment and introduce a specialist Work Support programme to provide tailored support to help disabled people get back into work
- Abolish the Bedroom Tax, which has hit an estimated 45,385 disabled people in the North West
- Give teachers better training on working with children with disabilities or special educational needs
- Give mental health the same priority as physical health on the NHS, giving people the same rights to psychological therapies as they have to drugs and medical treatment
- Invite disabled people to sit on a governmental committee that develops disability policy
Labour has published ONS figures which show the key role disabled people will play in deciding the outcome of the 2015 General Election. In Lancaster and Fleetwood, there are more disabled people, 16,519, than the majority at the 2010 General Election, 333.
Too many disabled people feel let down by the Tories, left behind by the recovery and left out of public life. The Tories’ have failed to support disabled people back into work, their Work Capability Assessment has caused stress and anxiety, and their Bedroom Tax has pushed disabled people into debt. Meanwhile disability hate-crime is on the increase.
Labour has a better plan for disabled people. We have listened to disabled people and this manifesto outlines our commitment to their full inclusion and participation in all aspects of our society. We will scrap the Bedroom Tax, making hundreds of thousands of disabled people better off. We will reform the Work Capability Assessment and give disabled people the right support to get back into work. And we will give disabled people a greater voice in public life, and a greater role in shaping the policies that affect them.
Labour has pledged to: Toughen up the law on disability hate crime Reform the Work Capability Assessment and introduce a specialist Work Support programme to provide tailored support to help...
Today Labour is launching our NHS campaign week, warning that the NHS is on life support and that the Tories' double deceit means they will pull the plug on the NHS as we know it after the election.
Labour is unveiling a new poster and publishing a dossier which sets out how David Cameron is offering the British people a double deceit on NHS spending.
- The Tories' extreme spending plans, doubling the pace of cuts next year, will put the NHS at risk.
- Despite their promises, they cannot say where a penny of extra spending will come from.
The truth is that after five years of broken promises and a serious deterioration in services, the NHS as we know it cannot survive five more years of the Tories.
And we know what the Tory party would like to do given the chance - new research shows that over a quarter of Tory councillors support charging or further privatisation in the NHS. If the Tories were given the chance to carry on as they are, services would continue to decline and long waits will dramatically increase. On current trends by 2020 we will see:
- Over 20 million people waiting a week or more for a GP appointment
- Over two million a year waiting over four hours in A&E
Labour has set out a better plan to invest £2.5 billion extra each year - on top of Tory spending plans - paid for by a mansion tax on homes worth over £2 million, to fund 20,000 more nurses and 8,000 more GPs.
Today Labour is launching our NHS campaign week, warning that the NHS is on life support and that the Tories' double deceit means they will pull the plug on the...
Labour’s Manifesto starts from the idea that Britain only succeeds when working people succeed. It shows how, by securing the nation’s finances, we are able to improve the family finances of the working people of Britain.
Today’s Manifesto is different to manifestos that Labour has published in the past. Instead of a list of new spending commitments, the very first page of this Manifesto sets out our plan to secure the nation’s finances – with a Budget Responsibility Lock guaranteeing that every manifesto policy is paid for without a single penny of extra borrowing.
Where policies do cost money we have set out how they are paid for. For example:
- A £2.5 billion NHS Time to Care fund, from a mansion tax on properties over £2m, a levy on tobacco firms and closing a hedge fund tax avoidance loophole.
- 25 hours of childcare for working parents of 3 and 4 year olds, paid for by increasing the banking levy by £800 million.
- Cap class sizes for 5, 6, & 7 year olds, from ending the Free Schools programme.
- Cut business rates for small business properties, from not going ahead with another cut to Corporation Tax.
People want change, a better future, but they want to know we can make progress while securing the nation’s finances. This Manifesto answers that question with a plan for big reform, not big spending.
And that responsible approach contrasts with an increasingly desperate Conservative campaign that is making promises it has no idea how to pay for. There is nothing more dangerous for the NHS than saying you’ll protect it with no idea where the money is coming from. It is an approach that leads to broken promises, with working people paying the price in higher taxes and public services undermined.
So this Manifesto and this election campaign show that Labour is not only the party of change, but the party of responsibility too.
It is more ambitious because it starts from a clear commitment to balance the books but does not stop there. On the foundation of a plan to secure the nation’s finances it shows how we improve the family finances of the working people of Britain by:
- Rewarding hard work – by raising the minimum wage, banning exploitative zero hour contracts, freezing energy bills and backing small businesses
- Sharing prosperity – by guaranteeing apprenticeships, cutting tuition fees, getting homes built, and devolving powers to every part of Britain.
- Building a better Britain – ensuring the NHS has time to care, opening up our politics, and being a confident outward looking nation once again.
Labour’s Manifesto starts from the idea that Britain only succeeds when working people succeed. It shows how, by securing the nation’s finances, we are able to improve the family finances...
Labour is today setting out our plans to protect neighbourhood policing. We are identifying savings which will enable police forces to safeguard over 10,000 police officers over the next three years and legislating to introduce a new Local Policing Commitment, which makes sure police forces guarantee neighbourhood policing in every area. The announcement comes as Labour launches our Crime and Justice Manifesto today.
To safeguard over 10,000 police officers, Labour will make £800 million worth of efficiency savings including scrapping expensive police and crime commissioners; ending the police subsidy of gun licenses; and mandating joint procurement and sharing support services. The Tories have ruled out all of these savings and only have a plan to cut more police.
Alongside the commitment to protect over 10,000 police officers from the cuts, Labour’s Crime and Justice Manifesto sets out plans to:
- Put victims at the heart of the criminal justice system – by introducing the country’s first ever Victims’ Law.
- Prevent crime before it occurs
- Tackle child sexual exploitation and violence against women and girls
- Build a justice system fit for the 21st Century
- Tackle extremism and the threat of terrorism
Because of the Conservatives’ decisions, neighbourhood policing – the foundation of good British policing – is at risk of disappearing, whilst increasing numbers of serious criminals are being let off the hook.
Labour has a better plan. We will make different choices, finding savings to safeguard 10,000 officers in the next three years. We will ensure victims are at the heart of the criminal justice system with the country’s first ever Victims’ Law. And we will ensure the police have the powers they need to keep us safe, including proper controls for dangerous terror suspects.
Labour is today setting out our plans to protect neighbourhood policing. We are identifying savings which will enable police forces to safeguard over 10,000 police officers over the next three...
Labour is today setting out our plans to guarantee face-to-face, 21st century careers advice for all young people, covering traditional academic routes into university and vocational options and apprenticeships. The announcement comes as Labour launches our education manifesto today.
For Britain to succeed in the 21st century, we need an education system that delivers high standards and opportunities for all children and young people. But to successfully plot a route through education and into a tough labour market young people don’t just need good qualifications - they also need the skills, information and guidance to make the right choices.
So Labour will give young people:
- Face-to-face, 21st century advice and guidance through new careers advisers for secondary schools and colleges, in contrast to this Government’s offer of a telephone line and a website.
- Integrated advice on universities, jobs and vocational education. Labour will ensure young people get advice on all the options open to them, including academic and vocational qualifications and apprenticeships, through careers advisers trained to give guidance on all routes.
- Independent advice, in the best interests of young people not schools. Young people will be guided on the best choices for them, and schools will be held to account for the advice they offer.
- Work experience and employer engagement: Good careers advice should include interaction with the world of work. So we will reverse the Government’s decision to scrap compulsory work experience for 14-16 year olds.
The Tories have let down young people, undermining careers advice and side-lining vocational education and skills.
Labour is today setting out our plans to guarantee face-to-face, 21st century careers advice for all young people, covering traditional academic routes into university and vocational options and apprenticeships. The...