Twitter

#GE2019: Select Tweets

As we get ever closer to the General Election on Thursday, December 12th, I will be sharing a number of Labour Party  tweets in this blog post, to encourage any undecided voters to #VOTELABOUR and end the suffering that so many of us have experienced under Tory mismanagement . We need a government that will look after the many, as opposed to the select few.

Without further ado…

Vote Welsh Labour on December 12th

manifesto-min.png

There are so many reasons why we all need to pull together to ensure that we elect a Labour Government next week.

Welsh Labour is Standing Up for Wales:

  • £3.4bn extra, each year to invest in schools, the NHS and local government.

  • A green industrial revolution, creating thousands of new green jobs.

  • A £10 living wage, for all workers aged 16 and over.

  • A final say on Brexit, where Welsh Labour will campaign unequivocally to remain.

  • A ban on zero hours contracts, giving people the security they need at work.

  • Fairer taxation, with the top 5% of earners and corporations paying their fair share, whilst cracking down on tax avoidance and tax evasion.

  • Extend free social care, supporting more people when it really matters.

  • Strengthened parental rights, by extending statutory maternity leave to 12 months and doubling paternity leave.

  • Scrap tuition fees, building on the best student support package in the UK.

  • An end to the Tories’ disastrous Universal Credit, no ifs, no buts.

  • Four new bank holidays, including a public holiday for St. David’s Day.

The Welsh Labour manifesto can be viewed by clicking here. 

***

Below, I have included a tweet from Welsh Labour as I believe the video shows that the First Minister Mark Drakeford has the passion that Wales needs to build a brighter tomorrow.

 

#GE2019: The complete guide to Labour’s 2019 manifesto

The following article was taken from the excellent LabourList website, which can be viewed by clicking here.

I am taking no credit for writing the following and will not profit from it in any way (except for perhaps influencing people to vote for a Labour Government). The photo below is courtesy of the Twitter page of @jeremycorbyn.  Many thanks to the authors of the article below as it is truly essential reading for everyone.

After reading the following, I don’t understand how anyone determined to build a more prosperous future for us all could vote for anyone other than the Labour Party on Thursday December the 12th. Please make sure that you are registered to vote and take your chance to create a fairer society for us all.

#VoteLabour #JC4PM2019

***

EJ5CGTyWkAACCiW-800x450

Labour’s manifesto contains many radical policies, building on the 2017 programme as well as the commitments made and the motions passed at party conference in September. Which pledges made it, and which were left out?

Almost every one of the policies advocated in the manifesto would make a huge difference to people’s lives. But some will receive more attention than others. Here are the key pledges:

  • Build 150,000 council and genuinely affordable homes a year by the end of the first term. (Full story here.)
  • Create one million green jobs. (Full story here.)
  • Introduce a windfall tax on oil and gas companies. (Full story here.)
  • Bring the ‘Big Six’ energy companies into public ownership.
  • Bring Royal Mail back into public ownership.
  • Bring railways back into public ownership.
  • Introduce a living wage of £10 an hour.
  • Scrap Universal Credit. Stop work capability and PIP assessments.
  • Deliver free and fast full-fibre broadband for all. (Full story here.)
  • Create a National Care Service, with free personal care for over 65s.
  • Create a National Education Service, with six years of free adult education and no university tuition fees. (Full story here.)
  • Extend full voting rights to all UK residents. (Full story here.)

Labour’s manifesto also outlines the plan for Brexit – secure a new deal and put it to a legally binding referendum within six months – and says freedom of movement post-Brexit would be “subject to negotiations”.

If that is not enough detail for you, we have painstakingly combed through the manifesto and listed every single policy mentioned in the document. See the full compilation below.

A Green Industrial Revolution

Economy and energy

Investment

  • Create a Sustainable Investment Board, bringing together the Chancellor, Business Secretary and governor of the Bank of England.
  • Ask the OBR to include climate and environmental impacts into its forecasts.
  • Launch a ‘national transformation fund’ of £400bn. Rewrite the rules of the Treasury to ensure it is spent in line with climate targets.
  • £250bn ‘green transformation fund’ for renewable and low-carbon energy and transport, biodiversity and environmental restoration.
  • Establish a national investment bank, backed by a network of regional development banks, to provide £250bn of lending to enterprise, infrastructure and innovation over ten years while decarbonising the economy.
  • Make small loans available through a Post Bank based in Post Office branches.
  • Give powers to financial authorities to mobilise green investment.
  • Change the criteria a company must meet to be listed on the London Stock Exchange. Delist companies that fail to show they are tackling the climate emergency.
  • ‘Local transformation funds’ in each region to fund infrastructure projects decided at a local level.
  • Regional development banks governed by boards made up of key local stakeholders such as local chambers of commerce, trade unions and councillors to set priorities for lending.
  • Shift the political centre of gravity by establishing the national transformation fund unit, a key part of the Treasury, in the north of England. (Full story here.)

Energy

  • Put the UK on track for a net-zero-carbon energy system within the 2030s – and go faster if credible pathways can be found. (Full story here.)
  • Deliver nearly 90% of electricity and 50% of heat from renewable and low-carbon sources by 2030.
  • Build 7,000 new offshore wind turbines.
  • Build 2,000 new onshore wind turbines.
  • Build enough solar panels to cover 22,000 football pitches. (Full story here.)
  • Build new nuclear power needed for energy and security.
  • Trial and expand tidal energy.
  • Upgrade almost all UK homes to the highest energy-efficiency standards.
  • Introduce a zero-carbon homes standard for all new homes.
  • Roll out technologies such as heat pumps, solar hot water and hydrogen. Invest in district heat networks using waste heat.
  • Invest in grid enhancement and interconnectors and expand power storage to balance the grid.
  • Expand distributed and community energy.
  • Ban fracking.
  • Introduce a windfall tax on oil companies. (Full story here.)

Ownership

  • Bring water and energy systems into democratic public ownership.
  • Establish a new UK National Energy Agency that will own and maintain the national grid infrastructure and oversee the delivery of decarbonisation targets.
  • Set up 14 new Regional Energy Agencies to replace the existing district network operators.
  • Bring the supply arms of the Big Six energy companies into public ownership.

Industry and innovation 

  • Instruct the committee on climate change to assess the emissions the UK imports as well as those it produces, and recommend policies to tackle them.
  • Set a target for 3% of GDP to be spent on research and development by 2030.
  • Establish a Foundation Industries Sector Council to provide a clean and long-term future for our existing heavy industries and fund R&D.
  • Support steel through public procurement, take action on industrial energy prices, exempt new capital from business rates, build three new steel recycling plants and upgrade existing production sites.
  • Require all companies bidding for public contracts to recognise trade unions, pay suppliers on time and demonstrate equalities best practice.
  • Invest in three new gigafactories and four metal reprocessing plants.
  • Invest in a new plastics remanufacturing industry, end exports of plastic waste and reduce the UK’s contribution to ocean pollution.
  • Uphold the highest environmental and social regulations, never downgrading standards as barriers to trade.

Skills 

  • Create one million well-paid, unionised green jobs in the UK. (Full story here.)
  • Make it easier for employers to spend the apprenticeship levy by allowing it be used for a wider range of accredited training.
  • Launch climate apprenticeships to enable employers to develop the skills they need. (Full story here.)
  • Make bursaries available to women, BAME people, care leavers, ex-armed forces personnel and people with disabilities to encourage them to take up climate apprenticeships.
  • Increase the amount that can be transferred to non-levy paying employers to 50% and introduce an online matching service.

Transport

  • Allow councils to regulate and take public ownership of bus networks. (Full story here.)
  • Free bus travel for under-25s where councils take control of bus networks.
  • Reinstate 3,000 bus routes that have been cut.
  • Bring railways back into public ownership, using options including franchise expiry.
  • Implement a full, rolling programme of electrification of the rail network.
  • Introduce a long-term investment plan, including Crossrail for the North.
  • Consult with local communities to reopen branch lines.
  • Complete full HS2 route to Scotland, taking full account of the environmental impacts of different route options.
  • Promote the use of freight and expand the provision of publicly owned rail freight services.
  • Increase funding available for cycling and walking.
  • Ensuring street designs provide freedom for outdoor play and introduce measures to ensure areas around schools are safer, with cleaner air.
  • Invest in electric vehicle charging infrastructure and in electric community car clubs.
  • Accelerate the transition of public sector car fleets and public buses to zero-emissions vehicles.
  • Reform taxi and private hire services, including reviewing licensing authority jurisdictions, setting national minimum standards of safety and accessibility, and updating regulations to keep pace with technological change.
  • Adopt ‘vision zero’ approach to road safety, aiming for zero deaths and serious injuries.
  • Invest to make neglected local roads, pavements and cycleways safer.
  • End nationality-based discrimination in seafarer pay.
  • Expansion of airports must pass tests on air quality, noise pollution, climate change obligations and countrywide benefits.

Environment

  • Review and improve protected area designations.
  • Introduce a Climate and Environment Emergency Bill.
  • Maintain and continuously improve existing EU standards of environmental regulation.
  • Introduce a new Clean Air Act.
  • £5.6bn to improve flood defences, prioritising North West England, Yorkshire and East Midlands.
  • Set legally binding targets to drive the restoration of species and habitats.
  • Start a programme of tree planting, with both forestry and native woodland species.
  • Fully fund the Environment Agency and other frontline environment agencies.
  • Create new national parks alongside a revised system of other protected area designations.
  • Establish a new environmental tribunal to ensure that administrative decisions are consistent with environmental and nature-recovery obligations.

Land

  • Maintain agricultural and rural structural funds but repurpose them to support environmental land management and sustainable methods of food production.
  • Invest in more county farms.

Food

  • Introduce a ‘Right to Food’.
  • Halve food bank usage within a year and remove the need for them altogether in three years.
  • Establish a National Food Commission and review the Allotments Act.
  • Re-establish an Agricultural Wages Board in England.
  • Set maximum sustainable yields for all shared fish stocks, redistribute fish quotas along social and environmental criteria.
  • If people vote to leave the EU, require the majority of fish caught under a UK quota to be landed in UK ports.
  • Aim to achieve net-zero-carbon food production in Britain by 2040.

Waste

  • Make producers responsible for the waste they create and for the full cost of recycling or disposal.
  • Reintroduce bottle-return schemes.
  • Invest in three new recyclable steel plants in areas with a proud history of steel manufacturing.

Animal welfare

  • Introduce an animal welfare commissioner.
  • Prohibit the sale of snares and glue traps.
  • End the badger cull.
  • Ban the keeping of primates as pets.
  • Work internationally to end commercial whaling.
  • Ban the importation of hunting trophies of threatened species.
  • Boost police funding to tackle rural and wildlife crime. (Full story here.)

Rebuilding our Public Services

Funding

  • Reverse some of the Tories’ cuts to corporation tax while keeping rates lower than in 2010.
  • £80,000+ a year earners to pay more income tax.
  • No increases in income tax rates for everyone else, National Insurance or VAT.
  • Launch crackdown on tax avoidance and evasion. Reform the inefficient system of tax reliefs.
  • Introduce a presumption in favour of insourcing. Take back all PFI contracts over time.
  • Maximum pay ratios of 20:1.
  • £150bn Social Transformation Fund to replace, upgrade and expand our schools, hospitals, care homes and council houses.
  • Deliver year-on-year above-inflation pay rises, starting with a 5% increase in April. (Full story here.)

NHS and social care

Quality Care for All

  • Increase expenditure across the health sector by an average 4.3% a year. (Full story here.)
  • End and reverse privatisation in the NHS.
  • Repeal the Health and Social Care Act.
  • Free annual NHS dental check-ups.
  • End mixed-sex wards.
  • Aim for net-zero through: NHS Forest of one million trees; more efficient heating and insulation systems; greater reliance on renewable energy; including more solar panelling and transition to electric paramedic vehicles; NHS fleet cars and hybrid ambulances.
  • Mandatory standards for NHS in-patient food.
  • Free hospital parking for patients, staff and visitors.

Joined-up Care

  • Expand GP training places to provide resources for 27 million more appointments each year. (Full story here.)
  • Ensure community pharmacy is supported.

Mental Health

  • Additional £1.6bn a year to ensure new standards for mental health are enshrined in the NHS constitution.
  • £2bn to modernise hospital facilities and end out-of-area placements.
  • Implement the recommendations in the independent review of the Mental Health Act.
  • Invest in eating disorders services. Ensure NICE guidelines on eating disorders are implemented.
  • Improve access to psychological therapies.
  • Ensure provision of 24/7 crisis services.
  • £845m plan for Healthy Young Minds.
  • Open-access mental health hubs.
  • Recruit almost 3,500 qualified counsellors to guarantee every child access to school counsellors.

Inequalities

  • Introduce a Future Generations Wellbeing Act.
  • Invest more than £1bn in public health.
  • Recruit 4,500 more health visitors and school nurses.
  • Increase mandated health visits, ensure breastfeeding support and introduce mental health assessments six weeks after birth.
  • Extend the sugar tax to milk drinks.
  • Ban fast-food restaurants near schools.
  • Enforce stricter rules around advertising of junk food and levels of salt in food.
  • Ensure families who lose a baby receive appropriate bereavement support and protections at work.
  • Urgently put in place a vaccination action plan to regain measles-free status.
  • Fully fund sexual health services and roll out PrEP medication.
  • Treat drug-related deaths, alcohol-related health problems and the adverse impacts of gambling as matters of public health. Expand addiction support services. Review evidence on minimum pricing.
  • Implement a Tobacco Control Plan and fund smoking cessation services.

Workforce

  • Introduce training bursary for nurses, midwives and allied health professionals.
  • Remove obstacles to ethical international recruitment.
  • Review tax and pension changes implemented by the Tory government.
  • Provide mental health support for staff.

Medicine

  • Establish a generic drug company.
  • Aim to increase pharmaceutical jobs in the UK.
  • Progress clinically appropriate prescription of medical cannabis.
  • Abolish prescription charges in England.

Social Care

  • Build a comprehensive National Care Service for England.
  • Provide free personal care.
  • Introduce a lifetime cap on personal contributions to care costs.
  • More than double the number of people receiving publicly funded care packages.
  • End 15-minute care visits.
  • Provide care workers with paid travel time, access to training and an option to choose regular hours.
  • Increase Carer’s Allowance for unpaid full-time carers.

National Education Service

Early Years

  • Reverse cuts to Sure Start. Create Sure Start Plus with services in all communities. (Full story here.)
  • Extend paid maternity leave to 12 months.
  • All 2, 3 and 4-year-olds entitled to 30 hours of free preschool education per week within five years.
  • Extend childcare provision for 1-year-olds.
  • Improve child development by transitioning to a qualified, graduate-led workforce, with free training for current early years workers.
  • Increase funding and fund providers directly.
  • Recruit nearly 150,000 additional early years staff.

Schools

  • Maximum class sizes of 30 for all primary school children.
  • Scrap Key Stage 1 and 2 SATs and baseline assessments.
  • Introduce an Arts Pupil Premium,
  • Review the curriculum.
  • Bring free schools and academies “back under control of the people who know them best – parents, teachers and local communities”.
  • Replace Ofsted and transfer responsibility for inspections to a new body.
  • New teacher supply service.
  • End ‘off-rolling’.
  • Regulate all education providers and reform alternative provision (AP).
  • Free school meals for all primary school children.
  • Bring back School Support Staff Negotiating Body.
  • Close tax loopholes enjoyed by elite private schools.
  • Ask the Social Justice Commission to advise on integrating private schools.

Further Education and Lifelong Learning

  • Bring back the Education Maintenance Allowance.
  • Give everyone a free lifelong entitlement to:
  • Training up to Level 3.
  • Six years training at Levels 4-6. (Full story here.)
  • Introduce additional entitlements for workers in industries significantly affected by industrial transition.
  • Restore funding for English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL) courses.
  • Restore and expand the Union Learning Fund.`

Higher Education 

  • Abolish tuition fees and bring back maintenance grants.
  • Develop a new funding formula for higher education.
  • Transform Office for Students from a market regulator to a body of the National Education Service.
  • Introduce post-qualification admissions in higher education.

Police and security

Police

  • Re-establish neighbourhood policing.
  • Recruit 2,000 more frontline officers than have been planned for by the Conservatives.
  • Reform the police funding formula
  • Keep “proportionate stop-and-search based on intelligence”.
  • Better police training on domestic abuse, offences arising from coercive control, historical abuses.
  • Establish a Royal Commission to develop a public health approach to substance misuse.
  • Introduce minimum legal standards of service for all victims of crime.

Security

  • Review the circumstances requiring judicial warrant.
  • Strengthen the powers of the Joint Intelligence and Security Committee.
  • Constrain the right of the Prime Minister to suppress publication of committee reports.
  • Review the Prevent programme.
  • Evaluate the mobile phone trials with the aim of introducing an emergency alert system.
  • Respect international law and avoid needless military interventions.
  • Prioritise agreement of a new UK-EU Security Treaty if Leave wins.

Cybersecurity

  • Overhaul cybersecurity by creating a co-ordinating minister and regular reviews of cyber-readiness.
  • Review role and remit of the National Cyber Security Centre to determine whether it should be given powers as an auditing body.
  • Review structures and roles of the National Crime Agency.

Border Security

  • Review border controls to make them more effective.

Justice

  • Restore total prison officer numbers to 2010 levels. Phase out dangerous lone working.
  • Bring PFI prisons back in-house. No new private prisons.
  • Tackle the prison maintenance backlog and develop a long-term estate strategy.
  • Set new standards for community sentences.
  • Introduce a presumption against prison sentences of six months or less for non-violent and non-sexual offences.
  • Invest in proven alternatives to custody, including women’s centres, expand problem-solving courts and plug the funding gap in the female offender strategy.
  • Reunify probation and guarantee a publicly run, locally accountable probation service.
  • Recruit hundreds of new community lawyers, promote public legal education and build an expanded network of law centres.
  • Ensure legal aid for inquests into deaths in state custody and the preparation of judicial review cases.
  • Keep the right for workers to be represented and recover their costs in cases of employer negligence leading to injury at work.
  • Halt court closures and cuts to staff, and undertake a review of the courts reform programme.
  • Tackle the disproportionate levels of BAME children in custody, review the youth custody estate, strengthen youth courts and build on the Lammy Review.
  • Appoint a Commissioner for Violence against Women and Girls.
  • Establish an independent review into shamefully low rape prosecution rates.
  • Establish a National Refuge Fund, ensure financial stability for rape crisis centres.
  • Reintroduce a Domestic Abuse Bill.
  • Improve the safety of the family court system for domestic violence victims and prohibit their cross-examination by their abuser.
  • Introduce protections for victims of so-called revenge porn.
  • Introduce a no-fault divorce procedure.
  • Uphold women’s reproductive rights and decriminalise abortions.
  • Establish public inquiries into historical injustices including blacklisting and Orgreave.
  • Ensure the second phase of the Grenfell Inquiry has the confidence of all those affected.
  • Require judicial warrants for undercover operations and retain the Mitting Inquiry into undercover policing.
  • Release all papers on the Shrewsbury 24 trials and 37 Cammell Laird shipyard workers and introduce a Public Accountability Bill.
  • Ensure fair compensation for the victims of contaminated blood.

Communities and local government

  • Act to bring services – from bin collections to management of local leisure centres – back in-house within the next parliament.
  • Introduce a ‘rural-proofing’ process so that all our laws, policies and programmes consider their impact on rural communities.
  • Make council funding more reactive (where local areas experience a sharp rise in demand for services).
  • Revive high streets by stopping bank branch closures, banning ATM charges and giving local government new powers to put empty shops to good use.
  • Review option of a land value tax on commercial landlords as an alternative to business rates.
  • Stop Crown Post Office closures and bring Royal Mail back into public ownership at the earliest opportunity.
  • Business Development Agency will be based in the Post Bank, providing free support and advice on how to launch, manage and grow a business.
  • List pubs as Assets of Community Value so community groups have the first chance to buy local pubs when they are under threat.
  • Ensure libraries are preserved for future generations and updated with Wi-Fi and computers. Reintroduce library standards.
  • Give a new Co-operative Development Agency a mission to double the size of the co-operative sector.
  • Give local government greater freedom to set planning fees. Require the climate emergency to be factored into all planning decisions.
  • Build a properly funded, professionally staffed National Youth Service.
  • Guarantee every young person has access to local, high-quality youth work.
  • Launch a wholesale review of the care system.
  • Rebuild early intervention services and replace the Troubled Families programme with a Stronger Families programme refocused on long-term support.
  • Protect and build on Staying Put for over-18s in care and the Adoption Support Fund.

Fire and rescue

  • Recruit at least 5,000 new firefighters.
  • Establish a broadly based implementation taskforce.
  • Ensure dedicated fire controls under Fire and Rescue Service governance.
  • Provide resources for a public Fire and Rescue College.
  • Conduct a review of the Fire and Rescue Service.
  • Establish in law a standards body for fire prevention, protection and intervention, with trade union representation.
  • Reinstate separate governance arrangements for Fire and Rescue Service and police services.

Digital, culture, media and sport

Digital 

  • Free full-fibre broadband for all by 2030. (Full story here.)
  • Establish British Broadband, with two arms: British Digital Infrastructure (BDI) and the British Broadband Service (BBS).
  • Bring the broadband-relevant parts of BT into public ownership, with a jobs guarantee for all workers in existing broadband infrastructure and retail broadband work.
  • Roll out the remaining 90–92% of the full-fibre network.
  • Taxation of multinationals, including tech giants, will pay for British Broadband operating costs.
  • Enforce a legal duty of care to protect our children online, impose fines on companies that fail on online abuse and empower the public with a Charter of Digital Rights.

Culture

  • £1bn Cultural Capital Fund to transform libraries, museums and galleries across the country.
  • Make distribution of National Lottery funding more transparent.
  • Maintain free entry to museums.
  • Launch a Town of Culture competition.
  • Review the copyright framework.

Media

  • Protect free TV licences for over-75s.
  • Address misconduct and the unresolved failures of corporate governance raised by the second stage of the abandoned Leveson Inquiry.
  • Ensure Ofcom is better able to safeguard a healthy plurality of media ownership.
  • Put in place clearer rules on who is fit and proper to own or run TV and radio stations.
  • Establish an inquiry into ‘fake news’.

Sport

  • Review the ‘fit and proper person test’ for football club owners and directors and ensure that supporters’ trusts have a proper role.
  • Legislate for accredited football supporters’ trusts to be able to appoint and remove at least two club directors and purchase shares when clubs change hands.
  • Regulate safe standing in stadiums.
  • Ensure that a proportion of the Premier League’s television rights income is spent on grassroots football facilities.
  • Add ICC Cricket World Cup to the list of sporting events broadcast free-to-air.
  • Commission an independent review into discrimination in sport.

Gambling

  • Introduce a new Gambling Act: gambling limits, a levy for problem gambling funding and mechanisms for consumer compensations.

Tackle Poverty and Inequality

Work

  • Eradicate in-work poverty within the first term.
  • Rapidly introduce a real living wage of £10 for all workers over the age of 16.
  • Require large companies to set up inclusive ownership funds (IOFs) – up to 10% of companies will be owned by employees with dividend payments distributed equally and capped at £500. (Any surplus from this will be used to top up the climate apprenticeships fund.)
  • Pilot universal basic income. (Full story here.)
  • Support for self-employed people including: collective income protection insurance schemes, annual income assessments for those on universal credit, and better access to mortgages and pension schemes.
  • Tackle late payments, including banning late-payers from public procurement.

Ministry for employment rights 

  • Establish a ministry of employment rights.
  • Roll out sectoral collective bargaining across the economy.
  • Give everyone full rights from day one on the job.
  • Strengthen protections for whistleblowers and rights against unfair dismissal, with extra protections for pregnant women, those going through the menopause and terminally ill workers.
  • End “bogus” self-employment and creating a single status of worker for everyone apart from those genuinely self-employed.
  • Ban overseas-only recruitment processes.
  • Introduce a legal right to collective consultation on the implementation of new technology in workplaces.
  • Ban zero-hour contracts and recognise a right for those who regularly work regular hours for more than 12 weeks to have a contract reflecting those hours.
  • Require breaks during shifts to be paid.
  • Require cancelled shifts to be paid and proper notice for changes in hours.
  • Give all workers the right to flexible working.
  • Extend statutory maternity pay from nine to 12 months.
  • Double paternity leave from two weeks to four and increasing statutory paternity pay.
  • Introduce statutory bereavement leave.
  • Introduce four new bank holidays celebrating the four patron saints’ of the UK.
  • Review family-friendly employment rights, including rights to respond to family emergencies.
  • Require employers implement plans to eradicate the gender pay gap – and pay inequalities underpinned by race and/or disability – or face fines. (Full story here.)
  • Require employers to maintain workplaces free of harassment.
  • Increase protection against redundancy.
  • Give statutory rights to equalities representatives.
  • Set up a royal commission to bring health (including mental health) and safety legislation up to date.
  • Toughen the law on abuse and violence towards public-facing staff.
  • Ban unpaid internships.
  • Allow trade unions to use secure electronic and workplace ballots.
  • Remove unnecessary restrictions on industrial action.
  • Strengthen and enforce trade unions’ right of entry to workplaces.
  • Ban union-busting, strengthen protection of trade union representatives against unfair dismissal and union members from intimidation, harassment, threats and blacklisting.
  • Repeal anti-trade union legislation including the Trade Union Act 2016.
  • Simplify the law around union recognition.
  • Give union reps adequate time off for union duties.
  • Introduce a maximum workplace temperature.
  • Bring UK law into line with the International Labour Organisation standards.

Working time 

  • Reduce average full-time weekly working hours to 32 across the economy within a decade, with no loss of pay, funded by productivity increases.
  • End the opt-out provision for the EU working time directive.
  • Set up an independent working time commission to advice on raising minimum holiday entitlement and reducing maximum weekly working time.
  • Mandate bargaining councils to negotiate reductions in working time.
  • Keep restrictions on Sunday trading in place and review unpaid overtime.

Enforcement

  • Introduce a new, unified workers’ protection agency to enforce workplace rights.
  • Keep employment tribunals free and extend their powers.
  • Introduce new labour courts with a stronger role for people with industrial experience on panels.

Rewriting the rules 

  • Amend the Companies Act to require companies to prioritise long-term growth while strengthening protections for stakeholders.
  • Ensure no quarterly reporting for businesses below the VAT threshold.
  • Require one-third of boards to be reserved for elected worker-directors and give them more control over executive pay.
  • Introduce a broader ‘public interest test’ to prevent hostile takeovers and asset-stripping.
  • Give workers a voice on public bodies such as the Competition and Markets Authority.
  • Let struggling companies go into protective administration, so they can be sold as a going concern rather than collapsing into insolvency.
  • Separate audit and accounting activities in major firms and impose more robust rules on auditors.
  • Create a new business commission to tackle regulatory capture and streamline regulation.

Social justice commission 

  • Replace the Social Mobility Commission with a Social Justice Commission, based in the Treasury.

Women and Equalities

  • Create a new Department for Women and Equalities with a full-time Secretary of State.
  • Establish a modernised national women’s commission as an independent advisory body to contribute to a Labour government.

Women

  • Close the gender pay gap by 2030. (Full story here.)
  • Make the state responsible for enforcing equal pay legislation.
  • Require all employers with over 250 employees to obtain government certification on gender equality or face further auditing and fines (lower threshold to workplaces with 50 employees by the end of 2020).
  • Increase paid maternity leave from nine to 12 months. Double paternity leave to four weeks.
  • Strengthen pregnancy protection in work – including a ban on the dismissal of pregnant women without prior approval of the inspectorate.
  • Require all large employers to have flexible working.
  • Require all large employers to have a menopause policy.
  • Introduce a right for all workers to request flexibility over their hours from the first day of employment.
  • Allow positive action for recruitment to roles where employers can justify the need for more diversity.
  • Ensure that single-sex-based exemptions in the Equality Act 2010 are understood and fully enforced in service provision.
  • Introduce ten days of paid leave for survivors of domestic abuse.
  • Provide long-term sustainable funding to women’s refuges.
  • Make misogyny and violence against women and girls a hate crime.
  • Enact Section 106 of the Equality Act so that all political parties publish diversity data about electoral candidates.

Race equality 

  • Commission an independent review into the threat of far-right extremism.
  • Extend pay-gap reporting to BAME groups.
  • Commit our National Investment Bank to addressing discrimination in access to finance.
  • Implement recommendations of the Lammy Review.
  • Create an Emancipation Educational Trust to educate around migration and colonialism.
  • Amend the law to include attacks on places of worship as a specific aggravated offence.
  • Review levels of funding for and access to the places of worship protective security funding scheme.
  • Maintain funding in real terms for the Community Security Trust.

Disability with dignity 

  • Ensure that disabled people can be independent and equal in society through the new department for women and equalities.
  • Require training for all employers about how to better support disabled people.
  • Introduce mandatory disability pay-gap reporting for companies with over 250 employees.
  • Update the Equality Act to introduce specific duties including disability leave, paid and recorded separately from sick leave.
  • Recommend that the Equality and Human Rights Commission prepare a specific code of practice on reasonable adjustments to supplement existing codes.
  • Reinstate the access to elected office fund.
  • Adopt a British sign language (BSL) Act, giving BSL full recognition in law.

LGBT+ Equality

  • Reform the Gender Recognition Act 2004 to introduce self-declaration for transgender people.
  • Ensure public services are LGBT+ inclusive and delivering on the national LGBT Action Plan.
  • Take steps to safeguard LGBT+ rights inside or outside the EU.
  • Tailor strategies and services tackling homelessness and the rough sleeping crisis to needs unique to LGBT+ homeless people.
  • Provide funding for schools to deliver mandatory LGBT+ inclusive relationships and sex education.
  • Fully fund sexual health services and roll out PrEP medication.
  • Appoint a dedicated global ambassador to the Foreign Office on LGBT+ issues.

Migration

  • Scrap the 2014 Immigration Act.
  • Provide fair compensation to those affected by the Windrush scandal.
  • End indefinite detention. Review the alternatives to the inhumane conditions of detention centres. Close Yarl’s Wood and Brook House.
  • Establish a fund of £20m to support the survivors of modern slavery, people trafficking and domestic violence.
  • Restore the overseas domestic workers’ visa.
  • If the UK leaves the EU, freedom of movement will be subject to negotiations but, recognising the social and economic benefit of EU citizens here and UK citizens abroad, Labour would seek to protect those rights.
  • End the deportation of family members of people entitled to be here.
  • End minimum income requirements separating families.

Refugees

  • Work with others to resume rescue missions in the Mediterranean.
  • Co-operate with the French authorities to put an end to refugee camps.
  • Establish safe and legal routes for asylum seekers.
  • Give refugees in the UK the right to work and access to public services.

Social Security

Universal credit 

  • Scrap universal credit.
  • Design an alternative system that treats people with dignity and respect.
  • Implement an emergency package of reforms to mitigate some of the worst features of universal credit in the meantime.
  • End the five-week wait by introducing an interim payment based on half an estimated monthly entitlement.
  • Immediately suspend the vicious sanction regime.
  • Lift 300,000 children out of poverty by scrapping the benefit cap and the two child limit.
  • Protect women in abusive relationships by splitting payments and paying the child element to the primary carer.
  • Introducing fortnightly payments and paying the housing element directly to landlords.
  • End the digital barrier and offer telephone, face-to-face and outreach support.
  • Recruit 5,000 additional advisors.
  • Scrapping the bedroom tax and increasing the local housing allowance.

Disabled people 

  • Give effect to the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities and amend the Equality Act to reflect the social model of disability.
  • Stop the dehumanising work capability and PIP assessments.
  • Increase Employment and Support Allowance by £30 per week for those in the work-related activity group.
  • Raise the basic rate of support for children with disabilities to the level of child tax credits.
  • Ensure that severely disabled people without a formal carer receive extra support.
  • Increase the carers’ allowance to match the job seekers’ allowance.
  • Help disabled people back to work by bringing back specialist employment advisors.
  • Introduce a government-backed reasonable adjustments passport.
  • Review support for disabled people at work, including the access to work scheme.

Pensions

  • Design a system of recompense for the losses and insecurity WASPI women have suffered.
  • Legislate to prevent accrued rights to the state pension from being changed.
  • Abandon plans to raise the state pension age, leaving it at 66.
  • Review retirement ages for physically arduous and stressful occupations, including shift workers, in the public and private sectors.
  • Maintain the ‘triple lock’ on pensions.
  • Guarantee the winter fuel payment.
  • Free TV licenses for pensioners.
  • Free bus passes for pensioners.
  • Establish an independent pensions commission, modelled on the low pay commission, to recommend target levels for workplace pensions.
  • Create a single, comprehensive and publicly run pensions dashboard.
  • Legislate to allow the CWU-Royal Mail agreement for a collective pension scheme to proceed and allow similar schemes to proceed.
  • Stop the state taking 50% of the surplus in the Mineworkers’ Pension Scheme and introduce new sharing arrangements so that 10% goes to government and 90% stays with scheme members. (This new sharing scheme will also apply to the British coal staff superannuation scheme.)

Housing

  • Introduce £1bn fire safety fund to fit sprinklers and other fire safety measures in all high-rise council and housing association buildings.
  • Enforce removal of Grenfell-style cladding on all high-rise homes and buildings.
  • Introduce mandatory building standards and guidance.
  • Create a new Department for Housing.
  • Make Homes England a more accountable national housing agency.
  • Set up a new English sovereign land trust with powers to buy land more cheaply for low-cost housing.
  • Use public land to build this housing.
  • Introduce a new ‘use it or lose it’ tax for developers with stalled housing developments.
  • Keep the Land Registry in public ownership.
  • Make brownfield sites the priority for development. Protect the green belt.
  • Introduce a zero-carbon homes standard for all new homes. Upgrade millions of existing homes to make them more energy efficient.
  • Review the planning guidance for developments in flood risk areas.

Council and social homes 

  • Deliver a new social housebuilding programme of more than one million homes over a decade.
  • Increase housebuilding to an annual rate of at least 150,000 council and social homes per year by the end of the parliament. (Full story here.)
  • Establish a new duty on councils to plan and build these homes in their area.
  • Scrap Tory definition of ‘affordable’, which allows rents of up to 80% of market value, and replace it with a definition linked to local incomes.
  • End the conversion of office blocks to homes that sidestep planning permission through ‘permitted development’.
  • End the right to buy, along with the forced conversion of social rented homes to so-called ‘affordable rent’.
  • Review the case for reducing the amount of housing debt councils currently hold.
  • Give councils the powers and funding to buy back homes from private landlords.
  • Give tenants a stronger say in the management of their homes and make sure regeneration only goes ahead when it has the consent of residents.
  • Fund a new decent homes programme to bring all council and housing association homes up to a good standard.

Home ownership

  • Reform help to buy to focus it on first-time buyers on ordinary incomes.
  • Introduce a levy on overseas companies buying housing, while giving local people ‘first dibs’ on new homes built in their area.
  • Bring empty homes back into use by giving councils new powers to tax properties empty for over a year.
  • End the sale of new leasehold properties and abolish unfair fees and conditions.
  • Give leaseholders the right to buy their freehold, and introduce equivalent rights for freeholders on privately owned estates.

Private renters 

  • Capping rent rises with inflation.
  • Introduce open-ended tenancies to stop unfair, no-fault evictions.
  • Introduce new minimum standards for all properties, enforced through nationwide licensing.
  • Fund new renters’ unions in every part of the country.
  • Abolish rules that require landlords to check people’s immigration status or allow them to exclude people on housing benefit.
  • Give councils new powers to regulate short-term lets through companies such as Airbnb.

Homelessness 

  • End rough sleeping within five years, with a national plan driven by a prime minister-led task force.
  • Expand and upgrade hostels.
  • Make available 8,000 additional homes for people with a history of rough sleeping.
  • Raise the Local Housing Allowance in line with the 30th percentile of local rents.
  • Provide an additional £1bn a year for councils’ homelessness services.
  • Bring in a new national levy on second homes used as holiday homes to help deal with the homelessness crisis.
  • Ensure extra shelters and support are in place in all areas this winter.
  • Repeal the Vagrancy Act and amend antisocial behaviour legislation.

Constitutional issues 

  • End the hereditary principle in the House of Lords.
  • Work to abolish the House of Lords and instead establish a Senate of the Nations and Regions.
  • Establish a UK-wide Constitutional Convention, led by a citizens’ assembly, on how the nations relate to each other, how power is distributed in the UK, and how best to put power in people’s hands.
  • Make directly elected mayors more accountable to local councillors and elected representatives.
  • Re-establish regional government offices.
  • Repeal the Fixed-term Parliaments Act 2011.
  • Maintain 650 constituencies and respond to future, independent boundary reviews.
  • Reduce the voting age to 16.
  • Give full voting rights to all UK residents. (Full story here.)
  • Abandon plans to introduce voter ID.

Tackling vested interests 

  • Ban donations from tax avoiders and tax evaders.
  • Close loopholes that allow the use of shell companies to funnel dark money into politics.
  • Repeal the Lobbying Act 2014 and overhaul rules governing corporate lobbying.
  • Introduce a lobbying register covering both in-house lobbyists and think tanks – extending to contacts made with all senior government employees, not just ministers.
  • Increase the financial penalties available to the Electoral Commission and require imprints for digital political adverts.
  • Stop MPs from taking paid second jobs, with limited exemptions to maintain professional registrations like nursing.
  • Replace ACOBA, the business appointments committee, with resourced and empowered new body governed by a diverse and representative board and established in law.
  • Overhaul the system of ministerial appointments to public office.
  • Extend Freedom of Information rules to cover private providers of public services.
  • Ending the six-month time limit in which the Information Commissioner can prosecute the deliberate destruction of public records.

Northern Ireland 

  • Secure the return of a genuine power-sharing government in Northern Ireland.
  • Invest an extra £1.9bn to end austerity and rebuild public services in Northern Ireland.
  • Fully implement new laws on equal marriage.
  • Implement a Bill of Rights for Northern Ireland as outlined in the Good Friday Agreement.
  • Protect Northern Irish people in Brexit negotiations by ensuring there is no return to a hard border between Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland or the creation of a regulatory border down the Irish Sea.

Wales 

  • The new constitutional convention will include the Welsh Government’s 20-point plan for the future of the UK.
  • Invest an extra £3.4bn in Wales.
  • Create jobs in Wales through environmental energy schemes such as the Swansea Bay tidal lagoon project.
  • Work with people in Ynys Môn (Anglesey)  to maximise its potential for new nuclear energy, alongside investment in renewables.
  • Use the report from the Thomas Commission on Justice to ensure the justice system works in Wales.
  • The Welsh Labour government will campaign for Remain in a future referendum.

Scotland

  • Provide Scotland with around £100bn of additional resources over two terms.
  • £10bn from the national transformation fund will be invested in the building of 120,000 council and social homes in Scotland over the next ten years.
  • Invest £6bn in retrofitting houses.
  • Provide the Scottish national investment bank with £20bn of lending power to deliver funds to local projects and small businesses.
  • In the early years, a UK Labour government will not agree to a Section 30 order request (for an independence referendum) if it comes from the Scottish government.

The Final Say on Brexit

  • Put the decision back to a legally binding referendum, within the first six months of government, and implement the decision immediately. (Full story here.)
  • Rule out no-deal Brexit.
  • Discard the deal negotiated by Boris Johnson.
  • Secure a new Brexit deal – one that protects jobs, rights and the environment, avoids a hard border in Northern Ireland and protects the Good Friday Agreement, and ensures there is no change in the status or sovereignty of Gibraltar.
  • The deal will include:
    • A permanent and comprehensive UK-wide customs union.
    • Close alignment with the single market.
    • Dynamic alignment on workers’ rights, consumer rights and environmental protections so that UK standards keep pace across Europe as a minimum.
    • Continued participation in EU agencies and funding programmes.
    • Clear commitments on future security arrangements.
  • Secure a revised withdrawal agreement that provides legal protection for citizens’ rights, meets the UK’s international obligations, and ensures a transition period which allows businesses and citizens to adapt to new arrangements.
  • Secure robust and legally binding protections for workers’ rights, consumer standards and environmental protections, and ensure level-playing field protections are maintained.
  • Introduce a withdrawal agreement and Referendum Bill.
  • Introduce legislation to ensure support and certainty for farmers, the fishing industry and protection for the natural environment.
  • Grant EU nationals the automatic right to continue living and working in the UK. (EU nationals currently living in the UK can apply for proof of status if they want to, but won’t have to.)
  • If the UK votes for Remain in a referendum, Labour would work with partners across Europe to make the case for radical reform of the EU.

A new internationalism

  • Introduce a War Powers Act to ensure that no Prime Minister can bypass parliament to commit to conventional military action.
  • Implement every single recommendation of the Chilcot Inquiry.
  • Conduct an audit of the impact of Britain’s colonial legacy.
  • Invest an additional £400m in our diplomatic capacity.

Effective diplomacy

  • Establish a judge-led inquiry into the UK’s alleged complicity in rendition and torture and the operation of secret courts.
  • Issue a formal apology for the Jallianwala Bagh massacre, and hold a public review into Britain’s role in the Amritsar massacre.
  • Allow the people of the Chagos Islands and their descendants the right to return.
  • Uphold the human rights of the people of West Papua and recognise the rights of the people of Western Sahara.

Human rights

  • Suspend the sale of arms to Saudi Arabia for use in Yemen.
  • Suspend the sale of arms to Israel for arms used in violation of the human rights of Palestinian civilians.
  • Conduct a root-and-branch reform of our arms exports regime.
  • Reform the international rules-based order to secure justice and accountability for breaches of human rights and international law.
  • Work through the UN and the Commonwealth to insist on the protection of human rights for Sri Lanka’s minority Tamil and Muslim populations.
  • Appoint human-rights advisers to work across the Foreign Office and government to prioritise a co-ordinated approach to human rights.
  • Advocate for human rights at every bilateral diplomatic meeting.

Climate diplomacy

  • Rebuild climate expertise within the Foreign Office.
  • Use the UK’s influence at the UN, EU, G7, G20, World Bank, the Commonwealth and other global institutions to promote policies to tackle the climate emergency.
  • Use UK diplomatic expertise to negotiate and deliver more ambitious global targets to deal with the climate emergency, starting with COP 26 in Glasgow next year.

Prioritising conflict prevention and building peace

  • Commit to peace in the Middle East based on a two-state solution, with a secure Israel alongside a secure and viable state of Palestine.
  • Advocate a long-term multinational political strategy, led by regional actors, to tackle the spread of extremism.
  • Build support for UN reform, including assessing and developing democratisation initiatives, and improving the engagement of the General Assembly in decision-making.
  • Prioritise our responsibility to prevent conflict by investing in local capacities for peace-building in areas of conflict.
  • Act immediately to urge negotiations towards a political resolution to conflict wherever it arises, including in the Middle East and sub-Saharan Africa.

Defence and security

  • Increase funding for UN peacekeeping operations to £100m.
  • Maintain our commitment to NATO and close relationship with European partners.
  • Support the renewal of Trident.
  • Lead multilateral efforts to create a nuclear-free world.
  • Spend at least 2% of GDP on defence.
  • Scrap the public sector pay cap, which resulted in a real-terms pay cut for the armed forces.
  • Ensure decent housing for forces members and their families.
  • Guarantee better access for all forces children to good quality local schools.
  • Consult on creating a representative body for the armed forces, akin to the Police Federation. (Full story here.)
  • Pay a lump sum of £50,000 to each surviving British nuclear-test veteran.
  • Ensure that black and Asian soldiers who fought in Britain’s colonial armies receive a full apology and look at ways to compensate them for the discriminatory demob payments they received compared to their white counterparts.
  • Procurement that supports UK defence manufacturing including aerospace and shipbuilding.
  • Publish a defence industrial strategy white paper.
  • Create a climate sustainability committee within the Ministry of Defence.
  • Publish a strategy to accelerate the safe and sustainable recycling of our old nuclear submarines.

International solidarity and social justice

  • Reset our relationships with countries in the Global South based on principles of redistribution and equality.
  • Create standalone Department for International Development, with an aid budget of at least 0.7% of gross national income.
  • Give DfID a strong position in cross-government decision making, including a permanent seat on the export control joint unit responsible for licensing arms exports.
  • Uphold basic rights to education, health and clean water by establishing a new unit for public services within DfID.
  • Promote fairer international tax rules and help countries in the Global South build progressive tax systems.
  • Support trade unions internationally.
  • Support ongoing UN efforts to introduce a binding international treaty on business and human rights.
  • Triple funding for grassroots women’s organisations.
  • Establish an independent ombudsman to tackle abuse in the development sector.
  • Increase spending on international climate finance to £4bn a year and support calls for compensation to those nations already suffering loss and damage.
  • Stop all aid spending on fossil fuel production overseas, redirecting it towards clean, renewable energy.
  • End all UK Export Finance support to fossil fuel projects, and reject any trade deals that conflict with government’s climate principles.
  • Transform the CDC Group plc (DfID’s vehicle for encouraging private sector investment) into a green development bank mandated to fight poverty, inequality and climate change.
  • Establish an aid-funded food sovereignty fund.
  • Support sustainable local food and agriculture markets.
  • Implement UK arms export controls to the highest standard. End exports that might be used in violation of human rights or international humanitarian law.
  • Ensure government procurement contracts are not granted to companies complicit in serious human rights abuses.
  • Require all UK trade agreements to be consistent with international humanitarian law.
  • Introduce legislation to ensure transparency and parliamentary scrutiny of trade and investment agreements.
  • Reject any trade agreements that undermine labour standards or environmental protections.
  • Rule out UK Export Finance support to companies engaged in bribery or corruption.
  • Promote fairer international patent regimes that do not prevent countries from accessing essential medicines.
  • Support efforts to increase the transparency of medicines pricing so governments can negotiate fair prices.
  • Ensure that all medicines developed with the support of UK taxpayer money are accessible to people in the global south.

#GE2019: Register to Vote

This is vitally important. Please make sure that you are registered to vote in the defining Election of our generation. The tweet below shows why this is the most important thing you can do with a lazy Sunday.

When December 12th comes around, it is integral that all of us make our voices heard and end the Tory tyranny that has blighted Britain since 2010 by making sure we #VoteLabour.  

Every Little Helps…

It is now or never. I really want to do everything I can and use every ounce of energy that I can muster, to ensure that the Labour Party win the 2019 General Election and Jeremy Corbyn is installed as the next Prime Minister. I will do all I can to make this dream a reality, but as I write I am panicking that my social media saturation and minimal donations to the election fund will not be enough.

I know I should be knocking on front doors and discussing why the Labour Party can best represent the views of voters. The fact is that I cannot physically do this, due to my physical disability and the fact that I am hard of hearing.

Such hearing difficulties also mean that I am unable to phone potential voters. It is a very frustrating position to be in as I feel I have a duty to do all I can to make a difference, but what I can actually do is not enough by my own high standards.

One of the main things that I feel could make a huge difference to the outcome of this General Election is ensuring that younger voters register to vote and have their say on who they want to shape their future. I live very close to Glyndwr University and am giving a lecture on Art and Activism on Wednesday 13th November. This will no doubt be slightly political and I would like to offer my services to my Labour Party comrades to help out at Glyndwr and ensure that students register to make their voice heard.

Anyone else with any ideas of how I can help JC claim his rightful place at Number 10, Downing Street should feel free to make suggestions…

Support Staff Urgently Needed

It’s that time of the week again folks, when I have to dust off this job advertisement and ask for support staff to come forward and apply for job with your’s truly.

Applicants should contact Nathan Lee Davies via the contact page on this blog, Twitter or Facebook. 

*** 

Rate of Pay: Flat Rate: £9.50 per hour

Times Required: There are various hours available, to be arranged at interview.

Holiday and Sickness Cover is also available regularly as well as sleep-ins, so variable hours will be available. You will be notified of these as early as possible. 

About the employer:

This post is to support a sociable 42-year-old man living in the Wrexham area. He uses a wheelchair and lives with Friedreich’s Ataxia. Subsequently he requires support to remain independent.

Summary of duties:

To provide support to access various social and recreational activities. You must therefore have a clean driving license. You will need to support with his personal care, including toileting, washing, dressing and preparing meals. He is a very creative individual and requires support to develop his ideas. Due to his poor dexterity he struggles to type quickly – as a writer this is most frustrating – therefore you should have good word-processing skills.

The post will include 5.6 weeks paid annual leave (pro-rata)

Police records check funded by the employer will be required.

The person they are looking for:

The ideal person will have a good sense of humour and should also display plenty of energy, initiative and enthusiasm. In addition, applicants should be patient and trustworthy with a flexible and empathetic attitude. A positive attitude and clear understanding of confidentiality is essential. Promoting the independence of the client will be the main focus for any support.