Labour Party Conference: all the major policy announcements from Labour so far
Labour Party Conference is taking place in Liverpool
and live on Freeview channel 276
Sir Keir Starmer and his shadow ministers are laying out their vision for a Labour government. Promising more police, reversing tax cuts for the rich and an investment fund to “build British industry”.
The Labour Party conference is taking place in Liverpool. It began on Sunday (25 September) and will continue until Wednesday (28 September). The event is taking place at the Arena and Convention Centre and Exhibition Centre at King’s Dock.
The Fringe talks and forums are being held at the Pullman hotel, The ACC Liverpool, The Hilton Hotel and the Jury’s Inn. The conference promises to have “inspiring speeches” and offer “invaluable training” to Labour members.
A number of major policy announcement were made on the first day of conference. Here is all you need to know:
Labour pledges 13,000 new officers in ‘return to neighbourhood policing’
Labour will hire an extra 13,000 police officers if it wins the next election, the shadow home secretary has said. Yvette Cooper said on Sunday (25 September) that a Labour government would recruit more police officers, PCSOs and special constables in an effort to cut crime and restore confidence in the police.
Ms Cooper said: “We are announcing this week that we have got to return to neighbourhood policing. We have seen the clock hugely turned back on the policing in our communities that Labour brought in.” Ms Cooper said focusing on neighbourhood policing was “about both expanding policing in our communities, but it’s also a reform because it’s about the way in which we police, if you’ve got police embedded in those communities, providing intelligence and working together”.
She said bringing police officers into communities was “incredibly important in terms of prevention, in terms of preventing people being drawn into crime, in terms of keeping people safe and in terms of following-up”.
Starmer vows to reverse ‘wrongheaded’ cut to income tax for rich
The Labour leader, who said his party now had a belief it would win the next general election, said the mini-budget announcements by Chancellor Kwasi Kwarteng had set clear political dividing lines.
He said the Tory policy was for the “rich to get richer” while offering little to ordinary workers but said Labour would reinstate the 45p additional rate of income tax for top earners which Mr Kwarteng abolished from April next year. But Sir Keir said he backed Mr Kwarteng’s promise to cut the basic rate of income tax from 20p to 19p.
Labour pledges to use state-owned investment fund to ‘build British industry’
A Labour government would set up a state-owned investment fund so the British state could invest directly in productive projects and create a return for taxpayers, the shadow chancellor has said.
Ahead of her speech at the Labour conference, Rachel Reeves set out the party’s mission to “build British industry”, investing in national projects from battery factories to renewable-ready ports. She will argue the policy is a “real plan for the climate”, a “real plan for growth” and a “real plan for levelling up”.
The projects would be funded by a National Wealth Fund, with the party’s Green Prosperity Plan, which was announced at the last Labour conference, putting an initial £8.3 billion into a central pot. The creation of the fund, the PA news agency understands, could be modelled on similar institutions in countries like Norway and Singapore and its aim is to create long-term wealth for Britain.
The policy would mean that when public money is spent on these projects, the British people would own a share of that wealth and benefit from the returns on those investments.
Rayner outlines plans to improve working conditions and overhaul procurement
Deputy leader Angela Rayner said Labour would introduce a “fair work” standard to improve workers’ conditions alongside plans to overhaul Government procurement and outsourcing. In her first speech to the Labour Party conference, Ms Rayner said if in power her party would oversee the “biggest wave of insourcing for a generation” and give the self-employed the right to a written contract and “timely” payment.
Ms Rayner also vowed to defend the right to strike and, if in power, to repeal “anti-worker and anti-trade union laws”. A “fair work gold standard” will champion employers providing a certain standard of conditions and underpin a new “fair work code for the public sector, guaranteeing fair conditions, job security, wellbeing, proper training, rights at work and union access”, she said.
Labour vows register to tackle ‘epidemic of violence against women and girls’
Perpetrators of domestic violence would be made to sign a register to monitor their behaviour in the same way as sex offenders under Labour plans. Shadow justice secretary Steve Reed said the plan would help tackle an “epidemic of violence” against women and girls.
The domestic abuse register would mean those convicted of serial offences and stalking must give personal information to the police and notify of any change in circumstances. The register would allow for better police and law enforcement monitoring of perpetrators and help to identify offending patterns more quickly.
Mr Reed said: “Under the Conservatives, criminals are repeatedly let off while victims are being let down. Labour will get a grip of the Tories’ failure to tackle the epidemic of violence against women and girls – with improved monitoring of domestic abuse perpetrators, longer jail terms for rapists, and more rights for victims. It’s time to put those suffering at the hands of offenders first.”
Labour launches Industrial Strategy to tackle concerns facing firms and workers
Labour is announcing plans to tackle concerns facing business and workers including helping firms deal with “future shocks”, transform skills, and making Brexit work. Shadow business secretary Jonathan Reynolds launched the party’s Industrial Strategy, saying it offered certainty to business and investors.
The strategy will be underpinned by a new statutory body, the Industrial Strategy Council (ISC), which like the Committee for Climate Change will ensure a future Labour government meets its commitments, it was announced.
The ISC will report on Labour’s progress against the strategy’s missions to drive economic growth, including delivering clean power by 2030. Mr Reynolds said: “A hallmark of this Conservative government has been to act in the heat of the moment and lurch from crisis to crisis. We know business can’t operate like that.
“The strategy addresses a range of concerns facing business and workers including Labour’s plans to bolster Britain’s supply chains from future shocks, transform skills, and make Brexit work. In a clear break from the Conservatives belief in ‘trickle down economics’ Labour has outlined the importance of sustainable growth and bolstered employment rights to economic prosperity.
“While the Conservatives are dusting off the same tired old policies that got us into this mess, Labour is looking to the future. Businesses and workers want a partner in Government that can offer certainty, bringing with it the confidence to invest in Britain.”