Universal public services, collectively provided through general taxation and free at the point of use for all, are how we guarantee the right to a good life.
Public services do more than make sure everyone has the basics. They create shared experiences and strengthen social bonds. They make our lives richer and more fulfilling.
A decade of Tory cuts has pushed our public services to breaking point. Labour offers real change – we will make Britain’s public services the best and most extensive in the world.
We will pay for this by creating a fairer taxation system, asking for a little more from those with the broadest shoulders, and making sure that everyone pays what they owe.
We will reverse some of the Tories’ cuts to corporation tax while keeping rates lower than in 2010.
We’ll ask those who earn more than £80,000 a year to pay a little more income tax, while freezing National Insurance and income tax rates for everyone else.
We will end the unfairness that sees income from wealth taxed at lower rates than income from work. VAT is a regressive tax that hits the poorest hardest and we guarantee no increases in VAT.
We will launch the biggest ever crackdown on tax avoidance and evasion and reform the inefficient system of tax reliefs.
Public services must also be accountable. Labour will end the current presumption in favour of outsourcing public services and introduce a presumption in favour of insourcing. And we will stop the public getting ripped off by taking back all PFI contracts over time.
When services are procured from the private sector, companies will be assessed against best practice public service criteria, including provisions for collective bargaining, fair wage clauses, adherence to environmental standards, effective equalities policies, full tax compliance and application of pay ratios. In the public sector, we will enforce maximum pay ratios of 20:1.
We will repair the damage the Tories have done to our social fabric, with a £150 billion Social Transformation
Fund to replace, upgrade and expand our schools, hospitals, care homes and council houses. Public buildings will be modernised to ensure a reduction in their carbon footprint.
Our most valuable assets are the dedicated people who work in our public services, but under this government their pay has been cut in real terms. Labour will restore public sector pay to at least pre-financial crisis levels (in real terms), by delivering year-on-year above-inflation pay rises, starting with a 5% increase, to reward and retain the people who do so much for us all.
NHS and Social Care
The National Health Service is one of Labour’s proudest achievements. The right to free-at-the-point-of-use healthcare, universal and comprehensive in scope, is socialism in action.
A decade of Tory health cuts and privatisations has pushed our greatest institution to the brink. Our hospitals are crumbling, equipment is outdated, IT systems are inadequate and community facilities are neglected.
There are 100,000 staff vacancies in NHS England, including a shortage of 43,000 nurses. There are 15,000 fewer hospital beds. Every winter, bed occupancy rates exceed dangerous levels. Patients now wait far too long to see their GP, for an ambulance or for treatment.
Our immediate task is to repair our health services. Our urgent priority is to end NHS privatisation.
Our mission is to create the conditions to prevent illness and enable people to live longer, healthier lives.
Quality Care for All
A Labour government will invest in the NHS to give patients the modern, well- resourced services they need. We will increase expenditure across the health sector by an average 4.3% a year. This investment enables us to end patient charges, guarantee the standards of healthcare patients are entitled to receive from NHS England, invest in education for the health workforce and restore public health grants.
Our investments mean we deliver the standards of care enshrined in the NHS. We will stabilise our overstretched A&E departments. We will improve stroke, heart disease and cancer survival rates by providing earlier diagnosis and improved screening rates. We will call a moratorium on bed cuts.
Every penny spent on privatisation and outsourcing is a penny less spent on patient care. Labour will end and reverse privatisation in the NHS in the next Parliament. We will repeal the Health and Social Care Act and reinstate the responsibilities of the Secretary of State to provide a comprehensive and universal healthcare system. We will end the requirement on health authorities to put services out to competitive tender.
We will ensure services are delivered in-house and also bring subsidiary companies back in-house. We will halt the fire sale of NHS land and assets.
We will publish an infrastructure plan to return NHS England to the international average level of capital investment and to ensure future decisions are transparent and balanced fairly between every region. We will complete the confirmed hospital rebuilds and invest more in primary care settings, modern AI, cyber technology and state-of-the-art medical equipment, including more MRI and CT scanners.
We will ensure data protection for NHS and patient information, a highly valuable publicly funded resource that can be used for better diagnosis of conditions and for ground-breaking research. We will ensure NHS data is not exploited by international technology and pharmaceutical corporations.
We will uphold the principle of comprehensive healthcare by providing free annual NHS dental check-ups.
We will guarantee universal healthcare by ensuring women’s and children’s health services are comprehensive, by protecting the rights of EU workers, other migrants and refugees and by ensuring all our services are made accessible to BAME, LGBT+ and disabled patients. We will end mixed-sex wards.
We will ensure our NHS becomes a net- zero-carbon service with an NHS Forest of one million trees, more efficient heating and insulation systems, greater reliance on renewable energy, including more solar panelling and a transition to electric paramedic vehicles, NHS fleet cars and hybrid ambulances.
We will introduce mandatory standards for NHS in-patient food and will provide free hospital parking for patients, staff and visitors.
As medical technologies advance, we will live with a wider array of chronic conditions. Health and care must become more joined-up, more accessible, more personal and more preventative.
We will stop Tory plans to further entrench the private sector delivery of health care under the cover of integration plans set out in the NHS Long Term Plan. Instead we will join up, integrate and co-ordinate care through public bodies.
A Labour government will develop a planned model of joined-up community care, enabling people to live longer lives in better health in their own homes. We will ensure the voices of local people and NHS staff are heard in future developments of the health system.
We will allocate a greater proportion of overall funding to close-to-home health services and build interdisciplinary, patient-focused services across primary care, mental health and social care. We will ensure patients in deprived and remote communities will have better access to primary care services. We will also ensure those living with long-term conditions can access the care they need.
To support our transition to community health care services, we will expand GP training places to provide resources for 27 million more appointments each year and ensure community pharmacy is supported.
A Labour government will provide an additional £1.6 billion a year to ensure new standards for mental health are enshrined in the NHS constitution ensuring access to treatments is on a par with that for physical health conditions.
Our mental health hospitals are not fit for purpose. Over 1,000 people with mental health problems face hospital stays in old, dormitory-style hospital wards, while less than one in four A&E departments have the facilities to deal with people experiencing a mental health crisis. We will invest £2 billion to modernise hospital facilities and end the use of inappropriate, out-of-area placements.
The legislation for detaining people with learning disabilities and mental illnesses is outdated. We will implement in full the recommendations set out in the independent review of the Mental Health Act, so that people are given choice, autonomy and the treatment they need.
We will invest more in eating disorders services and ensure NICE guidelines on eating disorders are implemented.
We will improve access to psychological therapies to ensure they deliver the quality care patients deserve. We will ensure provision of 24/7 crisis services.
Only one in four children and young people are able to receive help from a mental health professional. Our £845 million plan for Healthy Young Minds will more than double the annual spending on children and adolescent mental health services.
We will establish a network of open- access mental health hubs to enable more children to access mental health and recruit almost 3,500 qualified counsellors to guarantee every child access to school counsellors.
Life expectancy is stalling and infant mortality rates are increasing, especially among those living in our most deprived communities.
A Labour government will target a reduction in health inequalities with a comprehensive children’s health strategy. We will introduce a Future Generations Well-being Act, enshrining health aims in all policies and a new duty for NHS agencies to collaborate with directors of public health.
We will invest more than £1 billion in public health and recruit 4,500 more health visitors and school nurses. We will increase mandated health visits, ensure new mothers can have access to breastfeeding support and introduce mental health assessments in a maternal health check six weeks after birth.
We will invest in children’s oral health, tackle childhood obesity and extend the sugar tax to milk drinks. We will ban fast-food restaurants near schools and enforce stricter rules around the advertising of junk food and levels of salt in food. We will take actions to significantly reduce infant deaths and ensure families who lose a baby receive appropriate bereavement support as well as protections at work.
The re-emergence of measles is an indictment. We will urgently put in place a vaccination action plan to regain our measles-free status in WHO listings.
We will fully fund sexual health services and roll out PrEP medication.
We will address drug-related deaths, alcohol-related health problems and the adverse impacts of gambling as matters of public health, treated accordingly in expanded addiction- support services. Alcoholic drinks will be labelled with clear health warnings. We will review the evidence on minimum pricing.
We will implement a Tobacco Control Plan and fund smoking cessation services.
A Labour government will end the crisis in our health and care services, plan for the future and guarantee real-terms pay rises every year.
Agenda for Change terms and conditions will be put into law alongside safe staffing limits for all staff. We will invest, train and develop NHS staff throughout their careers.
We will introduce a training bursary for nurses, midwives and allied health professionals. We will remove the obstacles to ethical international recruitment.
A Labour government will review the tax and pension changes implemented by the Tory government to ensure that the workforce is fairly rewarded and that services are not adversely affected.
We will provide mental health support for staff and create a working environment within the NHS that is safe, flexible and free from harassment, bullying or violence.
Under a Labour government the NHS will be at the forefront of the development of genomics and cell therapies so that patients can benefit from new treatments for cancer and dementia, whilst ensuring the UK continues to lead in medical developments.
The Orkambi cystic fibrosis drug is just the latest example of patients held to ransom by corporations charging extortionate prices for life-saving drugs.
We will establish a generic drug company. If fair prices are rejected for patented drugs we will use the Patents Act provisions, compulsory licences and research exemptions to secure access to generic versions, and we will aim to increase the number of pharmaceutical jobs in the UK.
We will play an active role in the medical innovation model, ensuring rewards and incentives match the areas of greatest health need.
We will ensure that all parts of the NHS, the treatment of patients, the employment of staff and medicine pricing are all fully excluded and protected from any international trade deals.
We will progress clinically appropriate prescription of medical cannabis.
We will abolish prescription charges in England.
Social care funding cuts have left 1.5 million older people without the care they need.
Almost £8 billion has been lost from social care budgets since 2010. This is having a profound impact on unpaid carers in this country, with 2.6 million carers quitting their jobs to provide care to family members. The current care system is at risk of collapse.
A Labour government will build a comprehensive National Care Service for England. We will provide community-based, person-centred support, underpinned by the principles of ethical care and independent living. We will provide free personal care, beginning with investments to ensure that older people have their personal care needs met, with the ambition to extend this provision to all working-age adults.
We will develop eligibility criteria that ensures our service works for everyone, including people with complex conditions like dementia. We will ensure no one ever again needs to face catastrophic care costs of more than £100,000 for the care they need in old age, which we will underscore with a lifetime cap on personal contributions to care costs.
We will also invest in other social care packages to reverse the damage done by Conservative cuts and provide additional care packages to support both older people and working-age adults living independently in their own homes.
Our investments in social care services will enable us to more than double the number of people receiving publicly funded care packages, improve the standard of care provided to them and remove the distinction between health and care needs.
The provision of additional care packages also means we can support autistic people and people with learning disabilities to move out from inappropriate inpatient hospital settings and provide support in their own homes Our National Care Service will work in partnership with the NHS, ensuring care is delivered for people, not for profit.
Contracts for providing care will not be awarded to organisations that do not pay their fair share of taxes and do not meet our high standards of quality care. Our focus will be on the ethical delivery of care that ensures growing public sector provision and providers who meet standards of transparency, compliance and profit capping.
Nearly one and a half million people work in the care sector, but there are over 100,000 vacancies. Labour will invest to end the social care crisis, end 15-minute care visits and provide care workers with paid travel time, access to training and an option to choose regular hours. We will increase the Carer’s Allowance for unpaid full-time carers.
National Education Service
Education makes our economy stronger, our society richer and our people more fulfilled. Whether it is businesses finding people with the right skills, a tech start-up making our economy more dynamic or more people in better paid work and able to contribute to public services, we all benefit from an educated society.
But education isn’t just vital to our economy – it lets people develop their talents, overcomes injustices and inequalities and helps us understand each other and form social bonds.
The Conservatives have starved our education system of funding, transferring costs onto students, staff and communities. They have lost sight of its value.
From cutting budgets of schools, disproportionately in deprived areas, to closing Sure Start centres and underfunding support for those with special educational needs and disabilities, Conservative policy has meant those in most need have lost out.
That’s why our National Education Service will be at the heart of Labour’s plan for real change. It will provide free education for everyone throughout their lives and will nurture every child and adult to find a path that’s right for them, by promoting all types of learning, skill and knowledge – technical, vocational, academic and creative.
Early years education is vital to children’s development. Children from disadvantaged backgrounds start falling behind their peers before they even start school. Early years education also helps parents – usually mothers – by providing a bridge between maternity/parental leave and school.
But the current system falls far short of what is needed. One thousand Sure Start centres have closed since 2010, while the Tories’ so-called free childcare offer is desperately underfunded and excludes many of the most disadvantaged children.
We will reverse cuts to Sure Start and create a new service, Sure Start Plus, with enough centres to provide a genuinely universal service, available in all communities, focused on the under-2s.
Labour will radically reform early years provision, with a two-term vision to make high-quality early years education available for every child. We will also extend paid maternity leave to 12 months.
Within five years, all 2, 3 and 4-year- olds will be entitled to 30 hours of free preschool education per week and access to additional hours at affordable, subsidised rates staggered with incomes. Labour will also work to extend childcare provision for 1-year-olds and to ensure that childcare provision accommodates the working patterns of all parents.
We will improve child development by transitioning to a qualified, graduate- led workforce. We value the experience of current early years workers, and will offer free training to the workforce to attain these qualifications on the job.
Achieving this vision will require significant investment. We will increase funding and end the fragmentation of the current system by funding providers directly, making things simpler and more sustainable for both parents and providers.
We will recruit nearly 150,000 additional early years staff, including Special Educational Needs Co-ordinators, and introduce a national pay scale, driving up pay for the overwhelmingly female workforce.
Maintained nursery schools provide a proven, high-quality service but they are under threat from Tory cuts. We will provide sustainable, long-term funding to secure their future.
Labour will make sure schools are properly resourced with increased long- term funding, while introducing a fairer funding formula that leaves no child worse off. We will invest to upgrade schools that have fallen into disrepair.
Labour’s funding settlement will ensure pupils are taught by a qualified teacher, that every school is open for a full five days a week, and maximum class sizes of 30 for all primary school children. We will also fund more non-contact time for teachers to prepare and plan.
Schools have faced years of budget cuts, leaving headteachers forced to beg parents for money for basic equipment. Despite promising to reverse their own cuts, the Tories latest funding announcement leaves 83% of schools still facing cuts next year.
Schools are being subjected to intensified testing, inspection, league tables and competition. These aren’t improving pupil achievement or narrowing the attainment gap, but are contributing to a growing teacher recruitment and retention crisis.
The narrowing curriculum is denying many children access to modern languages, arts and music, or technical and engineering skills that will be essential in a world shaped by climate change.
The academies system is over-centralised, inefficient and undemocratic. Parents, communities and even teachers are shut out of decisions about schools and vulnerable children are being let down. And there is no evidence that academies deliver better results.
The Conservatives have failed a generation of children with special educational needs and disabilities, who have endured years of cuts and chaos. Labour will provide the necessary funding for children with special educational needs and disabilities.
Labour will end the ‘high stakes’ testing culture of schools by scrapping Key Stage 1 and 2 SATs and baseline assessments, and refocussing assessment on supporting pupil progress.
We will introduce an Arts Pupil Premium to fund arts education for every primary school child. We will review the curriculum to ensure that it enriches students and covers subjects such as black history and continues to teach issues like the Holocaust. Pupils will learn both the science of climate and environmental emergency, and the skills necessary to deal with them.
We will end the fragmentation and marketisation of our school system by bringing free schools and academies back under control of the people who know them best – parents, teachers and local communities.
Under our system:
- Budget and day-to-day decisions will be transferred back to schools, overseen by an accountable governing body with elected representatives
- Responsibility for delivery of education and support for young people will sit with local authorities, they will manage and have responsibility for school places, including the power to open schools
- Oversight and coordination, including of continuous, peer-to-peer school improvement modelled on the London Challenge, will be carried out by regional offices of the
- All schools will be subject to a common rulebook, set out in legislation
We will replace Ofsted and transfer responsibility for inspections to a new body, designed to drive school improvement.
A new teacher supply service will tackle the waste of funds going to private supply teacher agencies thanks to the government’s failure to recruit and retain experienced teachers.
We will take action to end ‘off-rolling’, removing the perverse incentives for schools to let pupils fall out of the system, by making schools accountable for the outcomes of pupils who leave their rolls.
We will properly regulate all education providers and reform alternative provision (AP) to ensure an excellent education is the right of every child, and improve the outcomes and life chances of some of the most vulnerable children in society.
We will ‘poverty-proof’ schools, introducing free school meals for all primary school children, encouraging breakfast clubs, and tackling the cost of school uniforms.
We will bring back the School Support Staff Negotiating Body and national pay settlements for teachers.
We will close the tax loopholes enjoyed by elite private schools and use that money to improve the lives of all children, and we will ask the Social Justice Commission to advise on integrating private schools and creating a comprehensive education system.
Further Education and Lifelong Learning
With automation and the Green Industrial Revolution bringing major changes to industry, it is more important than ever that people have the opportunity to retrain and upskill throughout their lives.
Under the Tories, adult education has undergone 10 years of managed decline. England already faces a shortage of people with higher-level technical qualifications, and demand for these skills will only grow as we create new green jobs.
Instead of investing in people to prepare them for the jobs of the future, the Conservatives have slashed funding and cut opportunities.
Labour will ensure fairness and sustainability in further education, aligning the base rate of per-pupil funding in post-16 education with Key Stage 4, providing dedicated capital funding to expand provision and bringing back the Education Maintenance Allowance as the Welsh Labour Government has done.
Labour will make lifelong learning a reality, giving everyone a free lifelong entitlement to:
- Training up to Level 3
- Six years training at Levels 4-6, with maintenance grants for disadvantaged
We will introduce additional entitlements for workers in industries that are significantly affected by industrial transition.
We will make sure training delivers the right skills by giving employers a role in co-design and co-production of qualifications.
We will restore funding for English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL) courses and restore and expand the Union Learning Fund, giving workers the right to accrue paid time off for education and training.
Labour will reform existing careers advice, working towards an integrated information, advice and guidance system that covers the entire NES.
We will reverse the fragmentation and privatisation of further and adult education, incorporating it into a single national system of regulation that functions for education as our NHS does for healthcare provision.
Under the Tories, universities are treated as private businesses, left at the mercy of market forces, while top salaries soar and students pay more for less. Tuition fees have trebled and maintenance grants have been scrapped, leaving the poorest graduates with an average debt of £57,000.
Labour will end the failed free-market experiment in higher education, abolish tuition fees and bring back maintenance grants. We will fundamentally rethink the assessment of research and teaching quality, and develop a new funding formula for higher education that:
- Ensures all public HE institutions have adequate funding for teaching and research.
- Widens access to higher education and reverses the decline of part-time learning.
- Ends the casualisation of staff.
We will transform the Office for Students from a market regulator to a body of the National Education Service, acting in the public interest.
We will introduce post-qualification admissions in higher education, and work with universities to ensure contextual admissions are used across the system.
Police and Security
The primary duty of government is to keep people safe. Our communities were endangered when the Conservatives took 21,000 police officers off our streets.
Recorded crime has risen, including violent crimes like knife crime, which has risen to record high levels, up 80% in the last five years. Last year more than 11 million crimes were recorded, and the proportion of offences charged has fallen across all categories: violence, drugs, robbery, burglary, weapons possession and vehicle theft. Prosecutions have fallen to a record low level. Some offences have been decriminalised in practice. Only 1.4% of reported rapes are prosecuted.
Crime rates reflect the society we live in. Conservative cuts to services have eroded the fabric of local communities. The rate of school exclusions has increased, as has social inequality – crime rates are driven by both.
Where the Conservatives have failed, a Labour government will take action to address the causes of crime and end the epidemic. We will invest in our communities and public services to build the stronger, fairer society that keeps us all safer. Rebuilding our criminal justice services, we will focus on crime prevention and early interventions, giving people the best chance of rehabilitation.
We will rebuild our youth services and guarantee young people’s access to youth workers. We will invest in a youth justice system in which schools, local authorities, health authorities and youth services work together to divert young people away from the pathways towards crime.
A Labour government will invest in policing to prevent crime and make our communities safer, and we will enforce the laws protecting police and other emergency workers from violent assault.
We will rebuild the whole police workforce, recruiting more police officers, police community support officers and police staff. We will re-establish neighbourhood policing and recruit 2,000 more frontline officers than have been planned for by the Conservatives. We will work with police forces to invest in a modern workforce to tackle the rise in violent crime and cybercrime under the Tories. To deliver these priorities, Labour will work with police and crime commissioners to reform police funding and share new resources fairly, and to ensure that local needs are met.
The Tory approach to policing has been different: reckless, remote, authoritarian, ineffective policing on the cheap. It has led to what HM Inspectorate of Constabulary described as dangerous, disturbing practices, with investigations shelved, vulnerable victims let down and dangerous suspects remaining at large.
We will retain local democratic accountability for police forces and reform the police funding formula to ensure sufficient, sustainable resources are fairly allocated. We will agree resources with the police authorities to combat crime and restore community policing by consent.
Effective police work requires the police to serve their communities and work collaboratively with youth workers, mental health services, schools, drug rehabilitation programmes and other public agencies. A police force working within our communities, with the capacity to gather local intelligence, is also the frontline of our domestic security – the first eyes and ears of effective counter-terrorism.
We will work to eliminate institutional biases against BAME communities. Proportionate stop-and-search based on intelligence is a needed tool of effective policing, but the use of expanded powers means black and Asian men are still more likely to be stopped and searched, poisoning relations between the police and the local communities they serve.
We will ensure better police training on domestic abuse and offences arising from coercive control, as well as historical abuses and other crimes neglected by the reduced forces operating under Tory austerity.
A Labour government will establish a Royal Commission to develop a public health approach to substance misuse, focusing on harm reduction rather than criminalisation.
We will introduce minimum legal standards of service for all victims of crime.
We will address the failure of the Conservatives to take effective measures against a growing problem of extreme or violent radicalisation.
We will ensure closer counter terrorism co-ordination between the police and the security services, combining neighbourhood expertise with international intelligence.
We will ensure the powers exercised by the security services are proportionate and used in accordance with human rights. We will review the circumstances requiring judicial warrant. We will ensure agencies are accountable and strengthen the powers of the Joint Intelligence and Security Committee. We will constrain the right of the Prime Minister to suppress publication of committee reports.
A Labour government will review our security strategies.
We will review the Prevent programme to assess both effectiveness and potential to alienate communities and consider alternatives including safeguarding programmes to protect those vulnerable to the recruitment propaganda and ideologies of the far-right and others who promote terror as a political strategy.
We will review the Protect programme to ensure that public authorities take appropriate security measures, without alienating the communities they serve.
We will evaluate the mobile phone trials with the aim of introducing an emergency alert system.
We will use our diplomatic services, our aid budgets and our international standing to promote peaceful solutions to conflicts and tackle the risks arising from poverty, natural catastrophes and population displacements. Our national security is linked to global threats. We will respect international law and avoid needless military interventions.
Our security co-operation arrangements with EU neighbours are essential for our safety. If the British people confirm their decision to leave, we will prioritise agreement of a new UK-EU Security Treaty.
Cybercrime and cyberwarfare are growing, all around the world. Every aspect of our lives, from the NHS to our nuclear facilities, from transport systems to communications networks is vulnerable.
A Labour government, ever more dependent on digital technology, will overhaul our cybersecurity by creating a co-ordinating minister and regular reviews of cyber-readiness.
We will review the role and remit of the National Cyber Security Centre to determine whether it should be given powers as an auditing body, with the ability to issue warnings to private and public sector organisations and designate risk.
We will also review the structures and roles of the National Crime Agency, to strengthen the response to all types of economic crime, including cybercrime and fraud, and ensure a modern, technologically advanced police service that has the capacity and skills to combat online crime, supported by a new national strategy on cybercrime and fraud.
Our border security prevents serious crimes including child abduction, people trafficking, smuggling of drugs and guns, terrorism and modern day slavery. The Tories have further weakened our borders, cutting another 200 jobs over the last four years.
They have failed to deliver exit checks. In place of an effective border control they have required landlords, teachers and medical staff to work as unpaid immigration officers, creating a hostile environment.
A Labour government will review our border controls to make them more effective.
Smarter justice requires cross-government action to reduce the impact of adverse childhood experiences and to break the vicious cycle of poverty, inequality and crime.
We will champion a joined-up approach, fostering close working relationships between criminal justice agencies with education authorities, health services and others by establishing violence-reduction units and ensuring vulnerable people get the support they need by boosting public health, mental health and early years services. Prison is not the best place to address the drug addictions, mental illnesses and debts that lead many people into crime.
The crisis in our criminal justice system has left communities less safe, victims less supported and people less able to defend their rights. Labour will defend the rule of law.
Cutting thousands of prison officers has driven record levels of prison violence. A Labour government will restore total prison officer numbers to 2010 levels, and phase out dangerous lone working. We will bring PFI prisons back in-house and there will be no new private prisons. We will tackle the prison maintenance backlog and develop a long-term estate strategy.
The Ministry of Justice’s own evidence shows tens of thousands of crimes could be prevented if robust community sentences replace short prison sentences. We will set new standards for community sentences and introduce a presumption against prison sentences of six months or less for non-violent and non-sexual offences.
We will invest in proven alternatives to custody, including women’s centres, expand problem-solving courts and plug the funding gap in the female offender strategy. We will further consider the evidence for effective alternatives and rehabilitation of prolific offenders.
A Labour government will reunify probation and guarantee a publicly run, locally accountable probation service. Under Labour, probation staff and professional standards will once again be properly valued.
Legal aid cuts mean essential legal help is too often denied. To help people enforce their rights, we will restore all early legal aid advice, including for housing, social security, family and immigration cases.
We will recruit hundreds of new community lawyers, promote public legal education and build an expanded network of law centres.
We will ensure legal aid for inquests into deaths in state custody and the preparation of judicial review cases. We will consult on the civil legal aid means-test levels and act on the criminal legal aid review.
We will defend workers’ ability to recover legal representation costs from negligent employers.
We will keep the right for workers to be represented and recover their costs in cases of employer negligence leading to injury at work. We will review the eligibility criteria for the criminal injuries compensation scheme.
A Labour government will halt court closures and cuts to staff, and undertake a review of the courts reform programme. We will facilitate a more representative judiciary while upholding its independence, and review funding for the Crown Prosecution Service.
We will tackle the disproportionate levels of BAME children in custody, review the youth custody estate, strengthen youth courts and build on the Lammy Review.
Violence against women and girls is unacceptable as is many women’s experience of criminal justice agencies. We will set new standards for tackling domestic and sexual abuse and violence, and appoint a Commissioner for Violence against Women and Girls. We will establish an independent review into shamefully low rape prosecution rates. We will establish a National Refuge Fund, ensure financial stability for rape crisis centres and reintroduce a Domestic Abuse Bill.
We will improve the safety of the family court system for domestic violence victims and prohibit their cross-examination by their abuser.
We will introduce protections for victims of so-called revenge porn. Labour will introduce a no-fault divorce procedure. We will uphold women’s reproductive rights and decriminalise abortions.
We will establish public inquiries into historical injustices including blacklisting and Orgreave, and ensure the second phase of the Grenfell Inquiry has the confidence of all those affected, especially the bereaved families and survivors. We will also consider a public inquiry in the case of Zane Gbangbola.
We will require judicial warrants for undercover operations and retain the Mitting Inquiry into undercover policing.
We will release all papers on the Shrewsbury 24 trials and 37 Cammell Laird shipyard workers and introduce a Public Accountability Bill. We will ensure fair compensation for the victims of contaminated blood products across the UK.
Communities and Local Government
Labour will reverse the Tory decade of austerity for local government and aim to restore council spending powers to 2010 levels over the lifetime of the Parliament.
While those who make decisions in Whitehall can seem distant and detached, our local councillors live among us, shopping on the same high street, using the same parks and leisure centres and sending their children to the same schools. Thriving local councils are vital to Labour’s democratic transformation of the economy.
Councils are the collective voice of local communities and are on the frontline in delivering many essential public services.
Tory cuts, which have been deliberately targeted at the poorest areas of the country, have plunged our councils into crisis and pushed many services to breaking point. Decades of privatisation and outsourcing have hollowed out council capacity, taken money out of communities and undermined democratic accountability.
We will act to bring services – from bin collections to management of local leisure centres – back in-house within the next Parliament, improving service quality, saving money and ensuring the people who deliver vital local services are treated decently.
Rural councils deliver public services differently, and this needs to be reflected in funding allocation mechanisms. We will introduce a ‘rural- proofing’ process so that all our laws, policies and programmes consider their impact on rural communities.
Where local areas experience a sharp rise in demand for services, we will make council funding more reactive, and will work with councils to establish such a fund to meet changing circumstances.
Our high streets are being decimated by store closures and jobs losses.
High streets are more than places to shop, they are places we go for culture, company and character. We will revive high streets by stopping bank branch closures, banning ATM charges and giving local government new powers to put empty shops to good use.
Business rates are causing real issues for high-street retailers and others.
A Labour government will review the option of a land value tax on commercial landlords as an alternative and develop a retail sector industrial strategy.
We will make sure the rights of consumers are enhanced and protected, that safety standards are maintained and improved, and that local authority trading standards departments and other consumer protection agencies have the resources to enforce those rights and standards.
We will stop Crown Post Office closures and bring Royal Mail back into public ownership at the earliest opportunity, reuniting it with the Post Office and creating a publicly owned Post Bank run through the post office network to ensure every community has easy access to face-to-face, trusted and affordable banking.
A Business Development Agency will be based in the Post Bank, providing free support and advice on how to launch, manage and grow a business.
Pubs are community hubs but 18 are closing each week in Britain. Labour will list pubs as Assets of Community Value so community groups have the first chance to buy local pubs when they are under threat.
We will ensure libraries are preserved for future generations and updated with Wi-Fi and computers. We will reintroduce library standards so that government can assess and guide councils in delivering the best possible service.
As well as the presumption to insource public services, we will build community wealth by giving communities the powers and resources they need to keep public spending circulating in the local economy, rather than being sucked offshore to corporate tax havens. We will extend community control in the private sector by supporting local and community businesses. We will give a new Co-operative Development Agency a mission to double the size of the co-operative sector.
Labour will put the voices of local people at the heart of planning. We will rebalance power in the planning system by giving local government greater freedom to set planning fees and by requiring the climate and environmental emergency to be factored into all planning decisions.
Young people have been let down by the Conservatives. At least 750 youth centres have closed since 2012. Too many young people now have nowhere to go, nothing to do and no one to help them with their problems. Labour will build a properly funded, professionally staffed National Youth Service, and will guarantee every young person has access to local, high-quality youth work.
Vulnerable children have suffered most, with many left waiting until crisis point for support. Councils are having to meet the needs of more at-risk children with lower funding.
Labour will launch a wholesale review of the care system, including kinship care, considering national standards such as a central register of foster parents and regulation of semi-supported housing, to ensure we meet the needs of every child.
We will rebuild early intervention services and replace the Troubled Families programme with a Stronger Families programme, refocused on long-term support to reduce the risk of children going into care.
We will protect and build on Staying Put for over-18s in care and the Adoption Support Fund.
Fire and Rescue
The Conservatives have cut 11,500 firefighter jobs and closed dozens of fire stations. Response times have got slower and lives have been put at risk.
A Labour government will halt the cuts and further invest in our Fire and Rescue Service, recruiting at least 5,000 new firefighters. We will learn lessons from the public inquiries into Grenfell and earlier disasters. We will establish a broadly based implementation taskforce, but will not wait for final recommendations to make urgently needed changes. We will ensure dedicated fire controls under Fire and Rescue Service governance and provide resources for a public Fire and Rescue College to ensure that necessary training, research and planning is undertaken.
We will conduct a review of the Fire and Rescue Service, evaluating safe staffing levels and consulting on national minimum standards. We will establish in law a standards body for fire prevention, protection and intervention, with trade union representation at all levels. We will reinstate separate governance arrangements for Fire and Rescue Service and police services. We will give fire services the duty to co-ordinate the emergency response to floods locally.
Digital, Culture, Media and Sport
Digital and technological advancements bring challenges, but also huge opportunities. In the age of AI and automation, digital connectivity will underpin our future economy. We will need world-class digital infrastructure in which everyone can share.
Labour will deliver free full-fibre broadband to all by 2030.
We will establish British Broadband, with two arms: British Digital Infrastructure (BDI) and the British Broadband Service (BBS). We will 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.
BDI will roll out the remaining 90–92% of the full-fibre network, and acquire necessary access rights to existing assets. BBS will coordinate the delivery of free broadband in tranches as the full-fibre network is rolled out, beginning with the communities worst served by existing broadband networks. Taxation of multinationals, including tech giants, will pay for the operating costs of the public full-fibre network.
The plan will boost jobs, tackle regional inequality and improve quality of life as part of a mission to connect the country.
We will 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.
Britain’s thriving arts, culture and creative industries drive investments and encourage tourism.
A Labour government will open up career opportunities in these industries for everyone and consult on ways to address the gender imbalance in the digital creative industries.
We will introduce an Arts Pupil Premium to every primary school in England – a £160 million annual boost for schools to ensure creative and arts education is embedded in secondary education, and providing a pathway to grow our thriving creative sector.
We will invest in the towns and communities neglected for too long, with a £1 billion Cultural Capital Fund to transform libraries, museums and galleries across the country.
We will make the distribution of National Lottery funding more transparent to help communities get their fair share of project funding.
We will maintain free entry to museums, because everyone should have access to our shared heritage. Building on the success of the UK City of Culture, we will launch a Town of Culture competition.
We will work with trade unions and employers to make creative jobs accessible for all, ensuring diversity in these industries so that everyone sees themselves represented on screen and on stage. We will review the copyright framework to ensure fair remuneration for artists and content creators.
A Labour government will ensure a healthy future for all our public service broadcasters, including BBC Alba and S4C. We will protect free TV licences for over-75s.
A free and fair press is vital to protecting democracy and holding the powerful to account.
We will address misconduct and the unresolved failures of corporate governance raised by the second stage of the abandoned Leveson Inquiry. We will take steps to ensure that Ofcom is better able to safeguard a healthy plurality of media ownership and to put in place clearer rules on who is fit and proper to own or run TV and radio stations. We will take action to address the monopolistic hold the tech giants have on advertising revenues and will support vital local newspapers and media outlets.
We will consult media-sector workers and trade unions to establish an inquiry into the ‘fake news’ undermining trust in media, democracy and public debate, and on a legal right of public interest defence for journalists.
Sport enriches our lives, binds communities together and helps us all to stay healthy.
Sport must be accessible and run in the interests of those who participate in it and love it.
In football, the professional game has become divided between the extremes of the very rich and the very poor with clubs in Bury and Bolton facing collapse. A Labour government will examine the state of the game, its governance and regulation, its ownership rules and the support and funding of the clubs that are vital to local communities. We will review the ‘fit and proper person test’ for club owners and directors and ensure that supporters’ trusts have a proper role so that the professional game is properly run for all its fans and all its clubs.
A Labour government will 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. We will regulate safe standing in stadiums and ensure that a proportion of the Premier League’s television rights income is spent on grassroots football facilities.
We will add the ICC Cricket World Cup to the list of crown jewel sporting events that are broadcast free-to-air. We will commission an independent review into discrimination in sport.
A Labour government will curb gambling advertising in sports and introduce a new Gambling Act fit for the digital age, establishing gambling
limits, a levy for problem gambling funding and mechanisms for consumer compensations.
In the years of austerity it was non-government organisations that often held the social fabric of our society together, protecting our communities from even greater harm and providing precisely targeted support. As we rebuild our public services, we will support and maintain the social capital values of these organisations.