Author – Oliver Wootton

It is important in an election you know exactly what you are voting for, to avoid the situations following BREXIT in June 2016. The official ‘Manifestos’ (A document on how a party will address issues) are due to be published soon in the lead up to the election. This will give us more clearer indications of how each parties stand, but for now, Corbyn has released 10 pledges for the Labour party which should give you an idea of Labour’s intentions as an overview. We all have probably heard about the extra 4 bank holidays but what else is in store? I have selected the top 5 to give you an idea of Corbyn’s key principles…

1. FULL EMPLOYMENT…

Well that is one BIG statement, considering the Office for National Statistics puts our unemployment level at 4.7% for Dec 2016 – Feb 2017. To put that in different terms Corbyn would have to find approximately 1,559,000 jobs to reach his pledge. The current unemployment level is based on an individual who is 16+ and who is ‘NEAT’ (Not in Education, Apprenticeship or Training). What is his proposal?

Well according to the Labour parties website “We will create a million good quality jobs” (Labour party 2017, http://www.labour.org.uk/index.php). Considering the Office for National Statistics predicted a figure of 1,559,000, I think he needs to go back and rethink the title. I may joke, but if Corbyn does achieve his goal it will still bring our unemployment level down to levels not seen since before the 1970’s! How is he proposing to achieve it? Simple, by investing £500 Billion in infrastructure and industry creating what Labour refer to as “A high skilled, high tech, low carbon economy” (ibid, ‘See reference above’), suggestions investment in high fast broadband, energy and transport were mentioned to achieve that aim. Again classic Labour pushing investment, but, lets not forget we do not want another recession! we will see when it comes to the Manifesto how he aims to pay for that £500 Billion, its got to come from somewhere…

2. A SECURE HOMES GUARANTEE…

This one is fairly straightforward, the aim for Labour is to build ‘Over a million’ new homes over the next 5 years. An additional statement detailing, at least half a million of those houses built will become councils homes. The ‘Department of Communities and Local Government’ predicted 5 million new homes would need to be built over the next 25 years to cope with the growing elderly population and increased immigration. Corbyn’s plans of at least 1 million per 5 years sits well with current government predictions. The only mention, currently at the time of writing, of any idea on how to achieve this aim has simply been “through our Public Investment Strategy’. Again leaving it up to the manifesto to tell us more.

That is not the only point on this pledge, Labour states it will introduce “rent controls, secure tenancies and a Charter of Private tenants’ rights” (ibid). Depending on whether you are a Landlord or Tenant you will have mixed opinions on this area. I can only draw from the fact that given there is a clear need for more houses, dealing with a more regulated renting market would help ease the transition whilst he builds the new houses over the next 5 years.

3. SECURITY AT WORK…

This is where things get controversial, given the Labour party is known for being a ‘party for the worker’. They have strong ties with many Trade Union groups, as such, Labour have pledged to ‘strengthen workers representation at work’. Meaning we might see more strikes and demonstrations, like the Underground and Junior Doctors.

Labour hopes to achieve stronger employment rights and remove zero hour contracts. Again these zero hour contracts have become more and more popular by employers working in ‘casual’ environments, so a reasonable alternative would need to be provided in order to protect jobs. The state of employment is a really big issue presently, organisations such as ‘Uber’ have faced court action over how their employees are represented within the company, Uber have threatened that if they can not manage there company in accordance with their ‘model’ way they will likely have to cut jobs. If Corbyn makes the same changes to Zero hour contracts, the likelihood of job losses is inevitable without an alternative. Comments in the news of Labour discussing putting up minimum wage to £10 p/h again has a knock on effect of employers being able to afford staff costs.

4. A SECURE NHS AND SOCIAL CARE…

Labour would put an end to privatisation of the NHS, i.e. stop contracts with companies such as ‘Virgin Health’. This is good, depending on your point of view. The Conservatives implemented a more ‘Quasi-privatised’ system to ensure any overflow from the NHS could be dealt with by private companies. The good point is it does take some strain off the NHS given its rise in patient numbers.

The second part of this pledge involves merging the NHS and Social care for the elderly and disabled. This is no easy task, but if it could be achieved Corbyn hopes it would create a more seamless NHS experience. More to follow here when the manifesto is released…

5. A NATIONAL EDUCATION SERVICE…

Corbyn wants to reform the education system, ‘again’. Not in the same way as Conservatives, who have seen confusion with the 1-9 marking scale rather than letter grades, as well as, the EBAC exams as opposed to GCSE’s. Labour aim to change education in a different way… mainly “free education for all” (ibid). Any suggestions on achieving that aim?

  • Labour would introduce ‘Universal childcare’ allowing, according to Corbyn, “greater sharing of caring responsibilities and removing barriers to women participating in the Labour market” (ibid). Although good in theory I am interested to see how he proposes to enact such a costly declaration. 
  • A guarantee on ‘quality’ apprenticeships and adult skills straining. No mention of how Labour would achieve that….

That is the the top 5 pledges for Corbyn, based on the Labour parties website, I will discuss more on both the Conservatives intentions as well as Labour and other minor parties when the Manifesto’s have been released.

Thank you for reading, please follow LEGAL EAGLE for a view on politics and the law in a plain talking language. Updates on the general election campaign will be soon to follow…

 

 

 

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