Monday 28th August 2017
Jeremy Corbyn, Leader of the Opposition and Labour Party Parliamentary Candidate for Islington North
You have a clear choice at this General Election. A choice between a Labour Party for the many and a Conservative Party for the few.
A choice between a Conservative Party that will continue to cut taxes for the rich and big business, while cutting budgets for schools, hospitals and the police, and a Labour Party that will build a fairer Britain and give our public services the resources they need.
The Conservatives have held people back for too long. They have held back young people, tripling university tuition fees and saddling graduates with tens of thousands of pounds of debt.
They have held back families, making them £1,400 a year worse off and allowing rip-off utility companies to hike prices while siphoning off billions of pounds into shareholders’ pockets.
Now they plan to hold back older people who, instead of enjoying a well-earned retirement, are left wondering how they will pay for social care if they or their partner need it, how their incomes will be protected if the triple lock on pensions is removed, or how they will heat their home if their winter fuel allowance is cut.
Older people have paid into the system for years. We should value the contributions they have made to our society and thank them by ensuring they have dignity and comfort in their later years, not worry and stress.
By pitching the generations against one another, the Tories want to foster division and suspicion. Labour will bring people together for a fair deal for young people, a fair deal for pensioners, for a fairer Britain.
We do not believe the success of one generation, or one group of people, should come at the expense of another. That does not strengthen our society; it makes us weaker. It is not Labour’s way; we will do things differently.
Instead of forcing students to pay through the nose for their education and making pensioners pay for their care with their homes, Labour will ask the big corporations and the richest 5 per cent to pay a little bit more.
We will ensure work pays and reverse the decline in living standards by raising the minimum wage to £10 an hour, the level of the living wage. It has always struck me as outrageous that, given the living wage is judged to be the lowest amount you need to get by, that people are still paid less.
To tackle the housing crisis that the Conservatives have presided over for the last seven years, we have pledged to build one million homes over the next five years, making more of them genuinely affordable and for social rent. We will give tenants new rights and consumer protection and enforce minimum standards to rein in rogue landlords.
The tragic events in Manchester are a stark reminder of the importance of protecting the frontline. The heroes in our emergency services have faced years of cuts. Theresa May accused police of “scaremongering” when they warned about the consequences of budget cuts just a few years ago.
Labour will put 10,000 more police officers in our communities, we will recruit 3,000 more firefighters, 3,000 more prison officers, 1,000 more security and intelligence agency staff and employ 500 more guards at our borders.
Our commitment to ensure the safety of our communities, with proper resources, is matched by a commitment to upholding individual rights and civil liberties, and promoting community relations and community cohesion. The Britain I love is the Britain we saw in the spirit of Manchester in the wake of that vile terrorist attack.
The Tories have spent the past seven years cutting taxes for the rich and big business while cutting services for the rest. Labour will build a fairer Britain, based on an economy that puts people and jobs first. A Britain for the many, not the few.