Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn unveiled his party’s election manifesto yesterday, setting out radical plans to transform Britain with public sector pay rises, higher taxes on companies and a sweeping nationalisation of infrastructure.
Voters face a stark choice at the country’s Dec 12 election: opposition leader Corbyn’s socialist vision, including widespread nationalisation and free public services, or Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s drive to deliver Brexit within months and build a “dynamic market economy”.
Speaking in the central English city of Birmingham, Corbyn set out his crowd-pleasing plans, offering something for almost everyone in Britain - from help to parents with young children to free university education and more money for elderly care.
In a speech punctuated by applause and standing ovations from supporters, he promised to stand up for ordinary people against the “bankers, billionaires and the establishment” who was fighting to keep a system that was “rigged in their favour”.
“Labour’s manifesto is a manifesto for hope, that is what this document is - a manifesto that will bring real change,” Corbyn said, describing his plan as the most “radical and ambitious plan” in decades.
“A manifesto full of popular policies that the political establishment has blocked for a generation.”
The manifesto showed an extra 82.9 billion pounds of spending, matched by 82.9 billion pounds of revenue-raising measures.
Both parties have promised to end economic austerity and spend more money on public services before the election, which will determine how, when and even whether Britain’s departure from the European Union happens.
Most polls put the Conservative Party in front, but few are able or willing to predict a victor in the election. Labour could be in a position to form a minority government if Johnson’s Conservatives fall short of an outright majority in parliament and rivals are prepared to support Corbyn as prime minister.
Among the proposals, Labour said it would bring in a windfall tax on oil companies, de-list companies that do not contribute to tackling climate change and increase public sector pay by 5%.
His manifesto also promised to reverse privatisations begun by former Conservative Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher in the 1980s, by nationalising rail, mail, water, and BT’s broadband network to provide free internet for all.