Wednesday, 3 April 2013
16 Political Policies that an Ed Miliband led Labour would do if they were in power today
- A Repeal of the NHS Bill (evidence here).
- Commitment to build 125,000+ homes (evidence here).
- Private Rent Regulation (evidence here).
- Living Wage for Public Sector Workers & shame private sector into following suit. (evidence here).
- A minimum 33-40% cut in tuition fees (evidence here).
- Rail price regulation limiting fare increases to 1% (evidence here).
- 50p rate of tax for Rich (evidence here).
- Mansion Tax for the Rich (evidence here).
- Repeat the Bankers’ Bonus Tax (evidence here).
- Reversal of #BedroomTax (evidence here line 25).
- Workfare Scrapped & replaced with ‘compulsory’ Jobs Guarantee (evidence here).
- Either a VAT cut or a ‘temporary’ VAT holiday (evidence here).
- Implement the entire report of the High Pay Commission (evidence here).
- Scrap Ofgem and introduce proper energy price regulation (evidence here).
- Support for Clean Coal Technology and Mining Communities (evidence here).
- Break up of Banks & Establish a State Owned Investment Bank (evidence here).
Above are 16 policies mooted by Labour in their time in opposition. These are things Labour say they would do if they were in power today. The 2015 Labour Manifesto has not been written, and until we see it there is no absolute guarantee that all of the things mentioned above would be in it. I suspect in some cases Labour will go even further than they state above, and Ed Miliband has said himself on house building and tuition fees that this is the minimum he could committee to at this stage. There are also some topics such as EMA, Sure Start and Elderly Care still missing from the list. I have little or no idea what Labour are planning in these areas.
The main conclusions to be drawn from the evidence of policies above are that Labour would make the rich pay much more of the share of taxation than they currently do, and that Labour would take action on rents, rail and energy to make sure that prices are not allowed to spiral out of control. Labour would also take action to correct the worst errors of the previous Tory administration especially on the NHS. Thus the aim in all three approaches is to make society fairer and to ease the cost of living crisis and to halt Tory destruction of our welfare state.
Those who do not think that the list above represents much of a radical departure from New Labour need to revisit their history books. New Labour did not tax the rich at 50p, nor did they tax their mansions. Under New Labour, private rents, energy firms and rail companies ran a predator capitalist system free to inflict whatever price reasons they deemed suitable on the population without the slightest fear that their excesses would be curbed. Public house building under New Labour was practically non-existent. The policies listed above represent a serious departure from free market capitalism and plot the Labour Party on a trajectory to reclaim its soul.
On tuition fees, the living wage, and the 'compulsory' jobs guarantee we all wish Ed Miliband's Labour would go further. We want tuition fees scrapped, a living wage enshrined in law and proper jobs that do not carry any element of compulsion. These are pressure points within the Labour movement that members can lobby and push the party to go further. No one would deny however that cuts in tuition fees, proper wages for work placements and a £7.80+ living wage all mark noticeable improvements in New Labour policy in these three areas.
These policies have all been tested in YouGov daily opinion polls. Each and every one of these policies on their own command the confidence and support of a great majority of the voting population. Labour policies are not just fairer than previous Labour governments and the Tory Party, they are also more popular.