Sophie Wilkinson | Contributing Editor | Monday, 13 April 2015

We Read The Labour Party Manifesto So You Don’t Have To

We Read The Labour Party Manifesto So You Don’t Have To

The Debrief: Tuition fee cuts, landlord registers, circus animals and mindfulness all made it into the Labour Party manifesto...

With just 24 days to go until the election, Labour have released their manifesto, which is basically a list of politicians’ promises that will win you over in the election and hopefully actually come true should you vote them in . But what’s in Labour’s policies for you? We read the 85-page booklet so you don’t have to, and here are their top 21 promises:

1. Lower tuition fees

Labour promise to cut them from £9,000 to £6,000 a year ‘funded by restricting tax relief on pension contributions for the highest earners and clamping down on tax avoidance.’

2. Zero-hours contracts will be banned

3. Internships

They promise to ‘Tackle the growth of unpaid internships because thousands of highly able young people who cannot afford to work for free are locked out of too many of our professions’.

4. Apprenticeships

They say they'll ‘create ‘thousands more apprenticeships in the public sector, including the civil service’ (which happens to employ twice as many women as men)

5. Renting/Homes

'We will unlock a Future Homes Fund by requiring that the billions of pounds saved in Help to Buy ISAs be invested in increasing housing supply.’ But if you don’t think you can buy a house yet/ever? ‘We will legislate to make three-year tenancies the norm, with a ceiling on excessive rent rises,’ means Labour plan to make it so that your rents can’t rise dramatically year-on-year and that you’ve got the stability of renting somewhere for a decent whack of time. There’ll also be a ‘national register of private landlords’ to keep tabs on them.

6. Public transport

‘Labour will reform our transport system in order to provide more public control and put the public interest first.’ As well as looking at longer-term reform, this will involve rail fares being frozen next year and the ‘legal right for passengers…to access the cheapest ticket for their journey.’

7. NHS

There’ll be a focus on getting to the root of the problem early. They’ll ‘focus on prevention and early intervention, and joining up services from home to hospital.’

8. Mindfulness

 

Yep, it gets a mention: ‘To support young people’s health and wellbeing, we will encourage the development of social and emotional skills, for example through the use of mindfulness to build resilience.’

Oh, and about mental health: ‘We will set out a stragegy with the goal of ensuring that the great majority of patients can ccess talking therapies within 28 days.’

9. Sex Education

In case you still care because you live around people who had really shitty sex education and have no idea about what consent or a nice relationship actually is, ‘We will introduce compulsory age-appropriate sex and relationships education. We will encourage all schools to embed character education across the curriculum, working with schools to stop the blight of homophobic bullying.’

10. Education

We know it’s ages ago, but this promise made us lol: ‘guarantee all teachers in state schools will be qualified’ – like, shouldn’t all teachers be qualified?!

11. Love

 

Yep, it’s all in here: ‘Labour recognizes the vital importance of the power of people’s relationships to build the capacity for love, care and resilience.’

12. Immigration

We didn’t really think our readers cared too much about this before UKIP gained traction, so just FYI, Labour will control migration ‘to prevent the exploitation of migrant workers which undercuts local wages and increases demand for futher low-skilled migration’. Oh, and ‘People working in public services, in public facing roles, will be required to speak English.’

13. Minorities and hate crimes

‘We will work with the police to improve ethnic minority recruitment so that the police better reflect the communities they serve.’ ‘We will take a zero-tolerance approach to hate crime, such as anti-Semitism and Islamophobia. We will challenge prejudice before it grows, whether in schools, universities or on social media. And we will strengthen the law on disability, homophobic and transphobic hate crime.’

‘We will continue to promote women’s rights. We will join with those campaigning to attain gender equality, the eradication of poverty and inclusive economic growth.’

‘We will work towards the decriminalisation of homosexuality worldwide’

14. ASBOs

Instead of getting a caution, people will have to do ‘payback orders’, undoing the wrongs they’ve committed.

15. Drugs

As well as tackling addiction via a joint force of local authorities, police and health services, ‘we will ban the sale of distribution of dangerous psychoactive substances, so called ‘legal highs’.

16. Ending violence against girls and women

There’s a whole mini-chapter on this! They want to look for law changes, ‘appoint a commissioner to set minimum standards to tackle domestic and sexual violence’ and give more money to refuges and Rape Crisis Centres.

Also they will ban ‘the use of community resolutions as a response to domestic violence’ and they will sort it out so that no longer will ‘people with a history of domestic or sexual violence will not be given an unrestricted license’, which sounds kind of like it’s such a good idea it should have happened already.

Rape suspects will have their DNA recorded and stored and there’ll be better access for women to get legal aid in cases of domestic violence.

17. Animals

They’ll ‘ban wild animals in circuses’!

18. Terrorism

‘It will be mandatory for anyone returning to engage in a de-radicalisation programme designed to confront them with the consequences of their actions.’

19. Arts

All those arts jobs that seem tricky to get into? They might get that much easier to scale: ‘Institutions that receive arts funding will be required to open up their doors to young people.’

20. The youth vote

16-17 year-olds are going to get the vote by 2016! Which might backfire on Labour as they’re also looking to make Maths (and English) compulsory in schools up until age 18.

21. Representation

A lot of you might never have considered voting before because, well, politicians look nothing like you…well, Labour say that’ll change, as they’ll continue to use all-women shortlists in parliamentary selection contests, will champion people from ethnic minorities and ‘tackling homophobia with toughter laws ant home and greater engagement abroad.’

We’ll let you know about the other manifestos as and when they come, but for now, make sure you're registered to vote: gov.uk/register-to-vote and you can watch You Tube stars NikinSammy chat it through with Ed Miliband... 

 

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Follow Sophie on Twitter @sophwilkinson

Tags: Need To Know, General Election 2015