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Labour’s 2017 general election manifesto – the winners and losers at a glance

Parents with young children get more support, but hereditary lords should watch their ermine-covered backs. 

By Julia Rampen

The Labour manifesto is finally here – the real one, not the almost identical draft copy which was leaked last week. Carcrash interviews aside, Labour is proud that it has come up with a set of policies it believes can be fully costed. But if policies are fully costed, that means there’s likely to be some tax hikes, and that means there are losers as well. 

There are ambitious plans for a “National Education Service” which caters for learners from the cradle to grave, and a “National Care Service” which is integrated with the NHS. 

Then there’s what isn’t included. Labour backed Remain in the EU referendum, but accepts Brexit. For all its carefully costed plans, there is no explanation of what happens if negotiations break down and tariffs and supply chain glitches send the economy into a tailspin. 

But, for now, what would a Labour government look like under Jeremy Corbyn? Here are the winners and losers at a glance:


Small businesses

Labour will cut tax on profits for small businesses and scrap plans to report profits on a quarterly basis. It will create a series of banks to make credit more available. And it will use its own clout as a government to only use contract bidders that pay small businesses on time. 

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Northern travellers

Labour will complete the HS2 high speed rail so that it connects London to Birmingham, Leeds and Manchester, and extend it into Scotland. It will also invest in key commuter routes that link London to the South East. 

Internet addicts

Labour promises to deliver universal superfast broadband by 2022, improve mobile internet coverage and make wifi free on public transport. 

Bill payers

Labour will cap energy bills so that the average bill does not exceed £1,000 a year and insulate four million homes. It will also move towards a nationally-owned energy industry.

EU nationals

Labour will guarantee EU nationals living in Britain their existing rights. 

Brits with a foreign spouse

Labour will replace the rule that Brits must earn £18,600 before a foreign spouse is allowed to join them in the UK. Instead, there will be “a prohibition on recourse to public funds” – although what that means is not exactly clear. 


Labour will scrap tuition fees, bring back maintenance grants, introduce free further education for all ages, reinstate the Education Maintenance Allowance for senior high school students from poorer backgrounds. Labour will also exclude international students from the official immigration figures. 

Self-employed workers

Labour will give all workers equal rights from day one, regardless of their type of contract, ban zero-hours contracts, and shift the burden of proof so the law assumes a worker is an employee unless the employer can prove otherwise. 

Workers treated unfairly

Labour will repeal the Trade Unions Act and guarantee trade unions a right to access workplaces. It will demand protections for workers when a company is taken over, strengthen protections for women against unfair redundancy, and increase scrutiny on the gender pay gap. It will also scrap fees for employment tribunals, which were introduced by the Coalition government, and increase protection against discrimination and harassment. 

Low-paid workers

Labour will encourage sectoral collective bargaining – where trade unions agree on a pay rise for a section of an industry – and raise the minimum wage to the level of the living wage (expected to be at least £10 an hour by 2020). It will end the cap on public sector pay rises, ban unpaid internships and require that government contractors have a 20:1 pay ratio between the highest paid and lowest paid workers. Labour will scrap the NHS pay cap.


Labour will propose four new public holidays to mark the four national patron saints’ days. So that’s 1 March (St David), 17 March (St Patrick), 23 April (St George), and 30 November (St Andrew). This will be in addition to statutory holiday. 


Labour will double paid paternity leave to four weeks and increase paternity pay, and extend maternity pay to 12 months. It will keep the commitment to free childcare and extend the 30 free hours to all two year olds. It will phase in additional subsidised childcare, and increase the funding available for the Sure Start programme. 


Labour will introduce a version of Scotland’s Debt Arrangement Scheme, in essence a respectable debt repayment plan (compared to the cowboys that rip you off at your darkest hour). 


Labour is committing to the triple lock – since 2010, the government has kept to a pledge to raise the state pension by 2.5 per cent, the rate of inflation, or average earnings, whatever is highest. It is also floating the idea of compensation for women caught out by changes to the state pension age. 

Benefits claimants

Labour will scrap the benefits sanctions regime, scrap the Bedroom Tax, reinstate housing benefit for under 21s, and reform and redesign Universal Credit, including getting rid of the “rape clause”. (This is the government’s plan to stop child tax credits for a third child and demand evidence for an exception when the woman was raped.) It will replace the work capability and personal independence payment assessments with “a personalised, holistic assessment”.


Labour will maintain the ban on letting agent fees, make tenancies three years long, and cap rent rises by the rate of inflation, draw up renter consumer rights, and give tenants the power to take action if the properties they rent are in poor condition. 


Labour will invest £3bn a year in building a National Care Service that is integrated with the NHS. It will cap personal contributions to care costs, raise the wealth threshold so more people are entitled to state support and provide free end of life care. 

Emergency services

Labour will halt cuts to the Fire Service and recruit 3,000 new firefighters. It will recruit 10,00 more police officers. 


Labour will scrap charges that force domestic abuse victims to pay for doctors for certification of their injuries. It will consider the reintroduction of legal aid. 

Unharmonious couples

Labour will introduce a no-fault divorce procedure. It will also scrap the married person’s tax allowance.


Labour will ensure the Premier League delivers on its promise to invest 5 per cent of its television rights income into the grassroots game to help the next generation of players and coaches, and to improve facilities and pitches.

Politically-minded teens

Labour will reduce the voting age to 16.

The bereaved

Labour will fund child burial fees for bereaved parents and scrap cuts to bereavement support.


Top earners

Labour has promised that it will not raise taxes for those earning below £80,000. For the 5 per cent above this threshold, however, it’s a different story. They will be “asked to contribute more in tax to help fund our public services”. Companies that pay employees ridiculously high salaries will have to pay a tax called an excessive pay levy. 

Global elites

Labour will reinstate the Migrant Impact Fund to support public services in areas facing pressure as a result of immigration. This will be funded by taking a cut of the investments made by individuals procuring High Net Worth Individual Visas (i.e. paying millions for a right to live in the UK). 

Slightly more middle-class parents

Labour will remove the VAT exemption on private school fees in order to introduce free school meals for all primary school kids, which are currently means tested. In other words, more middle-class parents will lose out to slightly less middle-class parents. 

Council tenants-turned-homeowners

Labour will suspend the right-to-buy policy, which allows council tenants to buy their homes at a discount, but has been blamed for reducing affordable housing. Councils can only resume sales if they can prove they have a plan to replace homes sold like-for-like.

Private healthcare users

Anyone paying for private medical insurance will have to pay a higher tax on their premium – the money will go to fund free parking at NHS hospitals for patients, staff and visitors. 

Hereditary lords

Labour will seek to reduce the size of the House of Lords and end the hereditary principle, which excludes all but an elite group of men from contesting certain seats. 


Labour opposes a second Scottish independence referendum. It will instead increase funding to the Scottish Parliament, and create a Scottish Investment Bank worth £20bn.

Tax dodgers

Labour will introduce an Offshore Company Property Levy on purchases of residential property by offshore trusts located in known tax havens, a similar tax to those practised in Toronto, Singapore and Hong Kong. It will also review existing tax relief arrangements and whether they are in the public interest. 

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