Corbyn promises a UK ‘New Deal’ in radical Labour manifesto
Opposition leader pledges wealth taxes to fund huge public spending programme
Jeremy Corbyn: A new national care service would provide free personal care, such as help with washing and dressing, for people over 65. Photograph: Darren Staples/Bloomberg
Jeremy Corbyn has launched Labour’s most radical general election manifesto in decades, promising big tax increases for big companies and the wealthy to fund better housing, schools, hospitals and other public services.
Labour would increase taxes by £82.9 billion (€97 billion) a year, increasing the corporate tax rate from 19 per cent to 26 per cent, taxing capital gains at the same rates as income tax, extending the financial transactions tax and introducing a windfall tax on oil and gas companies.
Only those on incomes above £80,000 a year – about 5 per cent of earners – would pay more income tax but there would be a new tax on second homes, inheritance tax would go up and private school fees would be subject to VAT.
The massive increase in revenue would fund a 5 per cent pay rise for all public service workers, the abolition of university tuition fees and more spending on health and education. A new national care service would provide free personal care, such as help with washing and dressing, for people over 65.
Launching the manifesto in Birmingham, Mr Corbyn invoked the New Deal of public works programmes and regulatory reforms that helped to lift the United States out of an economic depression in the 1930s.
“The US president who led his country out of the Great Depression, President Franklin Roosevelt, had to take on the rich and powerful in America to do it. That’s why he said: ‘They are unanimous in their hate for me, and I welcome their hatred.’ He knew that when you’re serious about real change those who profit from a rigged system, who squirrel away the wealth created by millions of people, won’t give up without a fight. So I accept that the opposition and hostility of the rich and powerful is inevitable,” he said.
A Labour government would immediately suspend arms sales to Saudi Arabia and Israel and recognise the state of Palestine. It would review the impact of Britain’s colonial legacy around the world so that a better understanding of its consequences could inform British foreign policy. Labour would establish a judge-led inquiry into Britain’s alleged complicity in rendition and torture and make a formal apology for the Amritsar massacre in India in 1919.
Prime minister Boris Johnson said Labour’s manifesto had no credibility because Mr Corbyn had failed to say which side he would take in a second referendum on Brexit.
“None of it has any credibility whatever because the hole at the heart of Labour’s manifesto – this was the moment, it was ‘Lights, camera, action’, Corbyn comes centre stage, drum roll, and he completely misses his cue – because what we want to know is what is his plan to deliver to Brexit, and what’s the deal he wants to do, and which side would he vote on that deal, and we still don’t know. Until we have answers to those questions, until we get Brexit done, none of this carries any economic credibility whatever,” Mr Johnson said.