Labour Party Conference: every policy Labour has announced - what leader Keir Starmer has pledged

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From reversing the Conservative Party’s tax cuts to launching a publicly-owned energy company, here are the key policies that were announced at the 2022 Labour Party Conference in Liverpool.

Sir Keir Starmer made his case for a Labour Government earlier this week at the Labour Party Conference in Liverpool.

He and his shadow cabinet ministers have pledged a series of new policies - some headline-grabbing, and others that will be more relevant later down the line - with Starmer aiming to present himself as a viable alternative prime minister to Liz Truss.

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In some ways, the conference could not have come at a better time for Labour. As an economic crisis off the back of chancellor Kwasi Kwarteng’s mini-budget brews in the background, the party’s speakers have been sure to take the opportunity to slam the Tories - with the Labour leader saying he wants to appeal to those who are “sick and tired” of the Government.

But amidst all the white noise, it can be difficult to catch exactly what policies were announced (and there have been a fair few). So with that in mind, here’s a list of all the key pledges Labour made over the past few days.

Sir Keir Starmer announced a series of policies at the Labour Party Conference. Credit: Mark Hall / NationalWorldSir Keir Starmer announced a series of policies at the Labour Party Conference. Credit: Mark Hall / NationalWorld
Sir Keir Starmer announced a series of policies at the Labour Party Conference. Credit: Mark Hall / NationalWorld | Mark Hall / NationalWorld

Reverse mini-budget tax cuts

Throughout the conference, Starmer used the chancellor’s controversial mini-budget as a clear political dividing line.

Slamming the Tories for creating a “vicious cycle of stagnation”, Labour also claimed the Government’s new tax cuts would allow the “rich to get richer” - and leave poorer households without support. To combat this, Starmer pledged that a Labour Government would reverse the recent Tory decision to scrap the 45p income tax rate for the highest earners - more than a third of which live in London.

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Chancellor Kwasi Kwarteng announced a series of tax cuts in his mini-budget. Credit: Getty ImagesChancellor Kwasi Kwarteng announced a series of tax cuts in his mini-budget. Credit: Getty Images
Chancellor Kwasi Kwarteng announced a series of tax cuts in his mini-budget. Credit: Getty Images | Getty Images

The Holborn and St Pancras MP told BBC’s Sunday with Laura Kuenssberg: “I do not think that the choice to have tax cuts for those that are earning hundreds of thousands of pounds is the right choice when our economy is struggling the way it is, working people are struggling in the way they are … that is the wrong choice.”

Labour did however announce its support for the other income tax change announced by Kwarteng - cutting the basic rate from 20p to 19p next April. Labour said the move would serve to “reduce the tax burden on working people”.

Spend more on the NHS - and prioritise mental health

Labour Party leader Keir Starmer applauds Rachel Reeves following her speech on the second day of the Labour Party conference in Liverpool (AFP via Getty Images)Labour Party leader Keir Starmer applauds Rachel Reeves following her speech on the second day of the Labour Party conference in Liverpool (AFP via Getty Images)
Labour Party leader Keir Starmer applauds Rachel Reeves following her speech on the second day of the Labour Party conference in Liverpool (AFP via Getty Images) | AFP via Getty Images

Shadow Chancellor Rachel Reeves said not scrapping the top rate income tax cut would save the country £2 billion a year - and pledged to put this money into one of the biggest expansions of the NHS workforce in history. This would include plans to double the number of medical school places from 7,500 to 15,000, create 10,000 extra nursing and midwifery placements, and double the number of district nurses qualifying each year.

Labour also promised to place a greater focus on mental health, vowing to introduce a new NHS target across the country that would guarantee mental health support within one month for those who need it.

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Achieve net-zero by 2030

Labour would use the National Wealth Fund to invest in green projects, like wind farms (image: AFP/Getty Images)Labour would use the National Wealth Fund to invest in green projects, like wind farms (image: AFP/Getty Images)
Labour would use the National Wealth Fund to invest in green projects, like wind farms (image: AFP/Getty Images) | AFP via Getty Images

The impacts of skyrocketing energy bills have been at the forefront of political discussions for many months - and the conference in Liverpool was no exception. Labour has said it wants to end the UK’s dependence on fossil fuels and have all of the country’s energy generated by renewable and nuclear sources by 2030. In the current government’s timeline, the UK is committed to reaching net zero by 2050.

The new target, Labour claims, would save UK households a total of £93 billion over the rest of the decade - or on average a saving of £475 for each household every year - and permanently lower energy bills. It would also free the UK from being “exposed to dictators” after Vladimir Putin’s invasion of Ukraine led to the recent spike in global energy prices.

Shadow Climate Change Secretary Ed Miliband said net zero carbon would be achieved by trebling onshore wind and solar power, and quadrupling offshore wind, tidal, nuclear, and hydrogen power. The former Labour leader also confirmed a planned £60 billion investment over ten years to insulate 19 million homes - a move he said would slash £1,000 off people’s bills whilst simultaneously cutting carbon emissions.

Great British Energy

Sir Keir Starmer announced plans for Great British Energy - the UK’s own energy company. Credit: Getty ImagesSir Keir Starmer announced plans for Great British Energy - the UK’s own energy company. Credit: Getty Images
Sir Keir Starmer announced plans for Great British Energy - the UK’s own energy company. Credit: Getty Images | Getty Images

On the topic of energy, Starmer also announced plans for a publicly-owned energy company. Great British Energy, he said, would provide additional capacity within the UK - as most British energy generators are wholly or partly owned by foreign companies - and would establish the UK as a “clean energy superpower”. It would also hope to guarantee long-term energy security.

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The idea would be for the firm to eventually become self-funding, but it would take a while to get there - especially if it invests in potentially riskier industries such as tidal power. This could mean it may need further government funding.

Nationalise the UK’s railways

Multiple trainlines at Leeds train station will face disruption.Multiple trainlines at Leeds train station will face disruption.
Multiple trainlines at Leeds train station will face disruption. | Getty Images

In a move to “improve services” and “lower fares”, Labour would bring the UK’s railways back into public ownership if it wins the next election.

Although this was included in the 2019 manifesto under former leader Jeremy Corbyn, there has been confusion about whether it remained a Labour Party commitment. But Shadow Transport Secretary Louise Haigh confirmed railways would be moved back into public hands “when contracts expire” - something which avoids exit payments.

She also pledged an “Elizabeth Line for the North”.

So far, train unions such as TSSA have welcomed the news, with general secretary Manuel Cortes commenting it makes “perfect economic sense” both for “hard pressed passengers” and “our brilliant rail workers”. Contrastingly, Rail Partners said the announcement was “not unexpected but still disappointing.”

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Bring home ownership up to 70%

Property sales continued to thrive after stamp duty came back, with high demand for housing across the countryProperty sales continued to thrive after stamp duty came back, with high demand for housing across the country
Property sales continued to thrive after stamp duty came back, with high demand for housing across the country

Labour wants to get 1.5 million more people on the housing ladder, warning that “under the Tories, the dream of owning your own home is slipping away for too many.” Reaching 70% home ownership would mean an increase from today’s figures of 65%, and a return to levels which were last seen nearly 20 years ago.

Starmer did not detail any specific policies, but suggested he would go about achieving this by looking at the issues with supply. He commented: “If you keep inflating demand without increasing supply, house prices will only rise.”

He also pledged to raise stamp duty on foreign buyers, to stop overseas investors buying up property and out-pricing British individuals and families.

Improve tenants’ rights

Shadow Levelling Up Secretary Lisa Nandy addresses delegates on the second day of the annual Labour Party conference in Liverpool. Credit: Getty ImagesShadow Levelling Up Secretary Lisa Nandy addresses delegates on the second day of the annual Labour Party conference in Liverpool. Credit: Getty Images
Shadow Levelling Up Secretary Lisa Nandy addresses delegates on the second day of the annual Labour Party conference in Liverpool. Credit: Getty Images | AFP via Getty Images

The Shadow Levelling Up Secretary Lisa Nandy said if elected, Labour would end automatic evictions for rent arrears and abolish no-fault evictions. The latter of these has faced years of delay.

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Nandy also promised to create a national database of landlords, introduce a legally binding decent home standard, and build a new generation of social housing.

Better working conditions

Deputy Leader Angela Rayner with Keir Starmer at last year’s annual party conference. Credit: Getty Images Deputy Leader Angela Rayner with Keir Starmer at last year’s annual party conference. Credit: Getty Images
Deputy Leader Angela Rayner with Keir Starmer at last year’s annual party conference. Credit: Getty Images | Getty Images

Deputy Leader Angela Rayner announced Labour’s Fair Work Standard, which she said will “guarantee fair conditions, job security, wellbeing, proper training, rights at work and union access.” She also said there will be a new Fair Work Code for the public sector and a Fair Work gold standard to champion the very best of employers.

She assured listeners that a “Labour will be on the side of the self-employed too” - and said that if in government, she would give self-employed workers the right to a written contract and timely payment by law.

Domestic abuse register

Children and young people are being increasingly caught up in domestic abuse cases. Picture: ShutterstockChildren and young people are being increasingly caught up in domestic abuse cases. Picture: Shutterstock
Children and young people are being increasingly caught up in domestic abuse cases. Picture: Shutterstock

Under Labour, perpetrators of domestic abuse will be forced to sign a register so they can be monitored in the same way as sex offenders, according to the Shadow Justice Secretary Steve Reed. He said this would help tackle “an epidemic of violence against women and girls”, and help police monitor registered individuals and identify potential patterns.

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He added: “Under the Conservatives, criminals are repeatedly let off while victims are being let down. It’s time to put those suffering at the hands of offenders first.”

In her leadership pitch, Liz Truss said she wants police officers to receive mandatory training on dealing with domestic abuse victims.

Specialist courts for rape cases

Steve Reed said Labour would introduce specialist courts for rape cases. Credit: Getty ImagesSteve Reed said Labour would introduce specialist courts for rape cases. Credit: Getty Images
Steve Reed said Labour would introduce specialist courts for rape cases. Credit: Getty Images | Getty Images

Reed also announced plans for every crown court in England and Wales to have a particular courtroom for dealing with rape trials, saying this would ensure rape cases are treated as a priority and bring down “unacceptable” waiting times. He also said he would hire expert support workers to ensure victims are treated with care and sensitivity.

Scrapping business rates

Shadow chancellor Rachel Reeves has outlined Labour’s plan for a National Wealth Fund (image: Getty Images)Shadow chancellor Rachel Reeves has outlined Labour’s plan for a National Wealth Fund (image: Getty Images)
Shadow chancellor Rachel Reeves has outlined Labour’s plan for a National Wealth Fund (image: Getty Images) | Getty Images

Replacing them with a "new system of business taxation fit for the 21st century", Shadow Chancellor Rachel Reeves revealed Labour would cut and eventually scrap business rates. She remarked: "Our high street businesses do so much to enrich our lives and our communities, [and have faced] huge adversity in the past year.”

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Over the past few months, some firms have called for these taxes to be suspended during the energy crisis.

Legal right to consular help abroad

Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe visits 10 Downing Street with her husband and daughter after she was freed from captivity in Iran in March 2022. Credit: Getty ImagesNazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe visits 10 Downing Street with her husband and daughter after she was freed from captivity in Iran in March 2022. Credit: Getty Images
Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe visits 10 Downing Street with her husband and daughter after she was freed from captivity in Iran in March 2022. Credit: Getty Images | Getty Images

Under a Labour Government, British citizens abroad will have a statutory right to receive consular assistance from the Foreign Office in plans proposed by the Shadow Foreign Secretary David Lammy.

The pledge comes in the wake of repeated complaints by British prisoners abroad of Foreign Office indifference - or of a determination to put British diplomatic interests ahead of individual citizens - with Mr Lammy saying it is time to learn lessons from British-Iranian dual citizens such as Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe and British Sikh activist Jagtar Singh Johal.

Mr Johal is still being held in an Indian jail without charge.

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More teachers

The 2022 Labour Party Conference finished yesterday (28 September). Credit: Getty ImagesThe 2022 Labour Party Conference finished yesterday (28 September). Credit: Getty Images
The 2022 Labour Party Conference finished yesterday (28 September). Credit: Getty Images | AFP via Getty Images

Labour also wants to recruit 6,500 new teachers, announced by Shadow Equalities Secretary Anneliese Dodds as part of Labour’s Stronger Together policy review. She said they would pay for this by ending the charitable status of private schools. There was no specific timeline or course of action outlined, but Dodds said the aim was to fill vacancies and skills gaps, and tackle doubling up.

A new Hillsborough Law

Liverpool add the name of the 97th Hillsborough victim Andrew Devine to the Hillsborough Memorial at Anfield on January 28, 2022. Image: LFC via GettyLiverpool add the name of the 97th Hillsborough victim Andrew Devine to the Hillsborough Memorial at Anfield on January 28, 2022. Image: LFC via Getty
Liverpool add the name of the 97th Hillsborough victim Andrew Devine to the Hillsborough Memorial at Anfield on January 28, 2022. Image: LFC via Getty | Liverpool FC via Getty Images

If Labour wins the next general election, there will be a new Hillsborough Law aimed at holding public authorities accountable following tragedies. The name of course comes from the Hillsborough Disaster on 15 April 1989, when 97 Liverpool fans tragically died as a result of a crush at the FA Cup semi-final against Nottingham Forest.

In 2016, a jury concluded that the victims were unlawfully killed and found the supporters did not contribute to their deaths. The Shadow Justice Secretary said the new law would ensure victims of major tragedies receive the same support as “the authorities that failed them.”

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