Labour publishes its 'radical and responsible' £48bn manifesto
- Author: Zachary Reyes May 17, 2017,
May 17, 2017, 23:56
Speaking at the University of Bradford on Tuesday, a short walk from where the party was founded more than a century ago, the Labour leader promised to fund his pledges by increasing taxes on the highest earners and closing tax avoidance schemes.
Launching his party's manifesto "for the many, not the few" at Bradford University, Mr. Corbyn committed to spending almost £50 billion on boosting education and social care paid for by £48.6 billion worth of tax rises on high-earners, wealthy individuals, big businesses, and the City.
Scottish Labour leader Kezia Dugdale, who joined most of the shadow cabinet flanking Mr Corbyn on stage, said the manifesto was "a radical vision for a country that works for the many, not just a privileged few".
Presenting the manifesto in Bradford, northwest England, the Labour leader said the country had been run "for the rich, the elite and the vested interests" in seven years of Conservative government.
The current 40 percent tax rate applies to people earning between £31,500 and £150,000.
Companies with employees earning over £330,000 would face an "excessive pay levy" forecast to raise £1.3 billion a year.
Revealing Labour's left-ward direction under his leadership, Corbyn also promised to re-nationalize the country's rail and water networks.
However the Conservatives said that if Labour's nationalisation programme - which was not costed in the manifesto - and other investment spending was taken into account, borrowing would hit nearly £58 billion by 2021-22, the final year of the next parliament.
"This is a programme of hope".
"The Labour Party campaign has outshone the Tories' comfortably".
The manifesto has dropped a statement that a Labour prime minister would be "extremely cautious" about using weapons of mass destruction, which was included in a draft version leaked last week in apparent recognition of Mr Corbyn's stance.
Opinion polls consistently give the Conservatives a big lead over Labor.
The think tank's director Paul Johnson said that if the total £50 billion annual sum expected from all the tax increases set out in the manifesto was raised by 2022, it would be the heaviest tax burden since the early 1950s. Labour's policy could raise something like the £4.5bn per year it expects, but it could also raise nothing'.
The party insisted an annual increase in day-to-day spending of around £49bn on policies including subsidised childcare and extra money for the NHS could be paid for by measures including income tax increases for the wealthiest and adding VAT to private school fees.
The party said it accepts last year's referendum result for Britain to withdraw from the EU but it would scrap May's negotiating position, prioritizing continued access to the single market and customs union.
Support for the Liberal Democrats is also up overall.
The manifesto is an attempt to win back voters as a new survey indicated the ruling Tories were making inroads in Labour's heartlands in the north of Britain, following the collapse of the far-right UK Independence Party (UKIP).