Council house construction plan corner stone of Labour manifesto

Lib Dems set out election stall with pledge to cancel Brexit while SNP warns of power grab

Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn: “Housing should be for the many, not a speculation opportunity for dodgy landlords and the wealthy few.” Photograph:  Stefan Rousseau/PA

Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn: “Housing should be for the many, not a speculation opportunity for dodgy landlords and the wealthy few.” Photograph: Stefan Rousseau/PA

 

Labour will promise the biggest affordable housing programme Britain has seen since the 1960s when it launches its manifesto on Thursday, scaling up council house building to 100,000 a year within its first term in office and 150,000 a year after five years. The party would change the definition of affordable housing, linking it to local incomes and pegging rents at about half the level of the rental market.

“Housing should be for the many, not a speculation opportunity for dodgy landlords and the wealthy few. I am determined to create a society where working-class communities and young people have access to affordable, good quality council and social homes. Everyone knows someone affected by the housing crisis. Labour is offering real change to fix it,” Jeremy Corbyn said.

Labour has promised a manifesto that will offer a fully costed plan to transform Britain economically, with a share ownership scheme for employees in big companies and a ban on zero-hour contracts. The party is also planning a huge increase in borrowing to fund capital expenditure projects including its proposal to build hundreds of thousands of new council houses.

‘A brighter future’

The Liberal Democrats launched their manifesto on Tuesday, promising to cancel Brexit and to spend a £50 billion “Remain bonus” on improving public services and tackling climate change by generating 80 per cent of Britain’s electricity from renewables by 2030. The party has drifted downwards in the polls since the start of the general election campaign but Jo Swinson said only the Liberal Democrats were fully committed to stopping Brexit, which she said was a prerequisite for improving public services.

“Labour and the Conservatives can’t offer the country a brighter future because they both want Brexit. We know that will be bad for our economy, bad for our NHS and bad for our environment. Liberal Democrats will stop Brexit and invest in our mental health services, give free childcare to working parents, put 20,000 more teachers into classrooms and take ambitious action to tackle the climate emergency,” she said.

Scotland’s future

SNP leader Nicola Sturgeon used the lull between Tuesday’s leaders’ debate and Thursday’s launch of the Labour manifesto to warn that Scotland’s future was at stake in the election. She said the Conservatives had used Brexit to grab powers from the Scottish parliament and warned that Boris Johnson could go further if he wins a majority next month.

“Scotland’s future should not be dependent on the whims of Westminster. A vote for the SNP is a vote to deprive Boris Johnson of the majority that would enable him to do all of this. But, more fundamentally, a vote for the SNP is a vote to escape Brexit and the threats it poses to our economy and public services,” she said.   “It is a vote to secure the right to choose our own future. So at this election Scotland is facing a crucial question – who should decide our future: the people who live here or the likes of Boris Johnson?”