Labour’s election policy positions, tracked

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Last updated Thursday June 13.

LONDON — With a July 4 election looming, the ruling Conservatives and opposition Labour Party — 22 points ahead in the polls — have both now launched their manifestos.

The process has been radically different for each. While the Conservatives’ was penned by a tight-knit group of aides, Labour’s was agreed through turgid rounds of negotiation.

Hence the launch on June 13 mostly confirmed policies that Westminster — if not the wider public — has known about for a long time. They include decarbonizing the electricity grid by 2030, building 1.5 million homes in five years, keeping the pensions triple lock for five years, hitting NHS waiting time targets by 2029, and hiring 6,500 teachers, 5,000 tax investigators, 300 planning officers, 3,000 fully-fledged police officers and 8,500 mental health staff.

To pay for this is a relatively thin wedge of tax rises worth around £8.5 billion.

While Sunak began the campaign with eye-catching new policies (details in our parallel Tory guide here), Labour Leader Keir Starmer has largely avoided announcing new policy — instead harking back and re-confirming things already agreed.

Our policy tracker below combines what the Labour Party wants to say (through its manifesto and press releases) with what it doesn’t (through answers in media interviews). It is arranged chronologically.

June 13 — manifesto day

On June 13 Labour unveiled its manifesto, which re-confirms the positions in this article, re-commits to a large amount of previously-agreed Labour policy and clarifies a few details. Sources are all the manifesto itself and briefings with aides, unless stated otherwise.


MPs’ second jobs. Labour would ban “paid advisory or consultancy roles” for MPs as an “immediate step,” and a “Modernisation Committee” would then draw up restrictions to prevent jobs that “stop them serving their constituents and the country.” This is vaguer than Labour’s earlier National Policy Forum, which pledged to “ban second jobs for MPs, with only very limited exemptions.”

Revolving door jobs. Labour would “enforc[e] restrictions on ministers lobbying for the companies they used to regulate, with meaningful sanctions.”Previously the NPF vowed a five-year ban on any “lobbying, consultancy or any paid work related to their former job.”

Hereditary and oldest peers banned. “Immediate” legislation would remove hereditary peers’ from the U.K.’s House of Lords, and make it mandatory for all peers to retire at the end of a parliament in which they turn 80. A spokesperson suggests one of the 92 hereditary peers might need to remain for technical “ceremonial” reasons. Peers also face a “participation requirement,” stronger rules to remove those who are “disgraced” and a reformed appointments process. But a previous pledge to replace the Lords entirely is kicked into the long grass with a consultation.


£17.5 billion of borrowing for green projects. Labour would borrow an average of £3.5 billion a year to fund its Green Prosperity Plan, which aims to achieve “zero-carbon electricity by 2030.” This is £4.6 billion more than Labour estimated in February — due to the windfall tax on oil and gas giants (which pays for the rest) bringing in less than hoped at £1.2 billion a year.

Energy Independence Act. Manifesto says “a new Energy Independence Act will establish the framework for Labour’s energy and climate policies,”confirming POLITICO reporting. Manifesto also re-commits not to issue “new” licences to explore North Sea oil and gas fields, and to “double onshore wind, triple solar power, and quadruple offshore wind by 2030.”

Energy efficiency standards. Manifesto unveils a firm pledge to “ensure homes in the private rented sector meet minimum energy efficiency standards by 2030.” Aides say this means the EPC standard C. Tory government had pledged this by 2028 but then scrapped it.

Warm Homes Plan scaled back. A pledge to upgrade “every home that needs it” to EPC standard C within a decade was scaled back earlier this year and does not appear in the manifesto. Instead it pledges to upgrade five million homes in five years.

Existing windfall tax extended (slightly). The sunset clause on the government’s existing Energy Profits Levy is extended from March 2029 to the end of the parliament, and the tax is raised by 3 percentage points.

Bank of England must consider climate change again. Labour re-commits to reversing a previous decision by the Conservative government, which stopped this practice.

Tax and finance

Fiscal rules. Labour re-commits to two fiscal rules: the current budget year-on-year must be balanced with no borrowing for day-to-day revenue, and debt as a percentage of GDP must be projected each year to be falling in five years’ time.

No pledge for tax burden to fall. Instead manifesto says “we will ensure taxes on working people are kept as low as possible” (and VAT, National Insurance and income tax rates won’t rise). Spokesman says only that Labour “wants” to see the tax burden come down.

Full expensing made permanent. Manifesto re-commits to keeping “full expensing” tax break for business permanently, as per government policy.

Inflation target unchanged. Bank of England would continue to target 2 percent inflation.

One major fiscal event a year. Aides add government Budgets would be in the fall not the spring, but there are no plans to change the schedule of two OBR forecasts a year. So a spring statement could remain.

Highest “sustained” growth in the G7. Manifesto re-commits to Starmer’s five missions, which include “highest sustained growth in the G7.” Labour has previously targeted this by the end of a first five-year term.

Cheaper energy, food and housing (at some point). Manifesto says due to Labour’s pledges, “we will bring down the cost of energy. We will reduce food prices by removing barriers to businesses trading. We will make housing more affordable.” No firm deadline or benchmark.

Stamp duty rise for foreign buyers. Party re-states its 2023 pledge to raise the stamp duty surcharge from 2 to 3 percent on home purchases by non-U.K. residents, raising a purported £40 million. Half would pay for 300 new planning officers.

International affairs

Defense review — but no deadline on 2.5 percent. Manifesto re-confirms pledges to conduct a “strategic defence review” in Labour’s first year, but it does not say when defense spending would rise to 2.5 percent of GDP.

U.K.-EU security agreement. “We will seek a new security agreement with the EU to ensure access to real-time intelligence and enable our policing teams to lead joint investigations with their European counterparts.”

On Russia/Ukraine. Labour would back a Special Tribunal for the Crime of Aggression against Russia, and “work with allies” to seize and use frozen Russian state assets to support Ukraine.

On China. Labour would “co-operate where we can” but “compete where we need to and challenge where we must.” Manifesto pledges little in the way of hard policy.

On Israel/Palestine. Party backs an “immediate ceasefire, the release of all hostages, the upholding of international law, and a rapid increase of aid into Gaza” … and would recognize a Palestinian state “as a contribution to a renewed peace process,” meaning U.K. recognition could come before a full and final peace settlement with Israel.

Whitehall reform

Covid corruption commissioner. Party re-commits to the appointment to recoup funds from “pandemic-related fraud and contracts which have not delivered.”

Halving consultants. Party re-commits to halving consultancy spend in government and says it would save £745 million a year, to fund “prioritising frontline public service delivery.”

HMRC reforms. Party re-commits to give HMRC more investigation powers and invest £855 million a year in new technology and resources, including 5,000 more staff.


NHS workforce plan. Manifesto pledges to deliver the National Health Service’s existing long-term workforce plan and “ensure” fresh plans are published regularly and independently.

Double hospital scanners. Manifesto repeats pledge to double number of CT and MRI scanners, which it says would cost £250m a year by 2028/29.


10-year infrastructure plan. Manifesto pledges a “ten-year infrastructure strategy” including to improve rail connectivity in northern England.

5G by 2030. Manifesto commits a “renewed push” to fulfil the government’s existing ambition to get “full gigabit and national 5G coverage by 2030.”

Planning reforms, housing targets and 1.5 million homes. Manifesto re-pledges to “immediately” update national policy framework … “restore mandatory housing targets” after they were made optional … appoint 300 more council planning officers … a greater “presumption in favor of sustainable development” … release more green belt land for development (with “golden rules” to prevent abuse) … “speed up” compulsory purchase … and build “1.5 million new homes over the next parliament.”

National Wealth Fund. Party re-commits to fund costing £7.3 billion over the course of a parliament to upgrade ports and supply chains (£1.8 billion) … build new gigafactories (£1.5 billion) … the steel industry (£2.5 billion) … accelerating carbon capture (£1 billion) and supporting green hydrogen manufacture (£500 million).


More devolution — and reviews. Manifesto re-commits to “deepen” existing devolution deals with more powers and “widen” them to more areas. Authorities would be legally required to develop long-term Local Growth Plans that “align with our national industrial strategy.” Governance for mayoral authorities reviewed “to unblock decision-making,” and more flexibility for authorities that manage money well. A new Council of Nations and Regions.

Housing and planning powers ‘consolidated’. “We will seek to consolidate powers to allow for improved decision making.” Aides say this applies specifically to mayors.

Bus services. Manifesto re-commits to “new powers for local leaders to franchise local bus services,” including lifting the ban on councils owning their bus services, and to giving mayors power to create big “integrated” networks.

Social affairs

Free breakfast clubs cost revised up (a tiny bit). Free breakfast clubs in all primary schools were costed at £365 million a year in 2022, before inflation spiraled. Aides say the policy is now costed at £375 million — £315 million in the manifesto plus Barnett Formula allocations for Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.

Pensions triple lock for whole parliament: Asked if commitment to the lock — which raises pensions by the highest of inflation, earnings or 2.5 percent — is for the whole parliament, a spokesperson replies: “Yes.”

Boris Johnson’s social care cap to continue. Delayed social care reforms already announced by government, including a £86,000 cap on lifetime contributions, “will continue,” says Labour spokesperson.

Pensions invested in U.K. Manifesto re-commits to reviewing pensions landscape to “consider what further steps are needed” to invest more in U.K. markets. Reforms would also increase “consolidation” of funds to “deliver better returns.”

Reform or replace Work Capability Assessment. It “is not working and needs to be reformed or replaced, alongside a proper plan to support disabled people to work.”

Universal Credit review (to come). “Labour is committed to reviewing Universal Credit so that it makes work pay and tackles poverty.” No details of this review given.

Child poverty strategy (to come). “Labour will develop an ambitious strategy to reduce child poverty.” Manifesto does not say what this strategy will entail but says first steps include pledges on breakfast clubs, evictions, zero-hour contracts and energy bills.

Welfare reforms with ‘consequences.’ Manifesto re-commits to reform employment support so “people who can work, should work — and there will be consequences” for those who don’t fulfil commitments … combine Jobcentre Plus and National Careers Service … devolve funding to local areas … tackle Access to Work claims backlog … and allow disabled people to try work without immediate benefit reassessments if they change their minds.

Police reforms. Manifesto re-commits to mandatory standards on police vetting, checks and misconduct, barring anyone with a history of violence against women and girls. Officers would be automatically suspended while being investigated for domestic abuse or sexual offencss, and strip-searches of children would have “legal safeguards.”

No-fault evictions banned ‘immediately.’ Party would “immediately” abolish Section 21 ‘no fault’ evictions, as had been planned by government before parliament dissolved.

Leasehold ban (but slower than promised). Manifesto pledges to “finally bring the feudal leasehold system to an end,” based on proposals by the Law Commission including a ban on new leasehold flats. But Cabinet minister Lisa Nandy’s pledge in May 2023 to “introduce legislation in the first 100 days” is no longer mentioned.


Migrant returns and enforcement unit. Manifesto re-commits to negotiate more migrant returns agreements with third countries, and “a new returns and enforcement unit, with an extra 1,000 staff, to fast-track removals” of migrants with no right to be in the U.K.


Binding regulation on Artificial Intelligence firms. “Labour will ensure the safe development and use of AI models by introducing binding regulation on the handful of companies developing the most powerful AI models and by banning the creation of sexually explicit deepfakes.”

Ofsted one-phrase gradings ditched. Manifesto re-commits to replace school inspection results with “report cards” that have more breadth, as demanded by unions.

Skills England. Manifesto re-commits to establish Skills England and have it work with Migration Advisory Committee to identify shortage jobs.

Football regulator. Manifesto re-commits to see through the Football Governance Bill that fell when parliament dissolved.

Race Equality Act. Manifesto recommits to this law to “enshrine full rights” to equal pay, “strengthen protections against dual discrimination” and “root out other racial inequalities.”

Hate crime laws strengthened. “All existing strands of hate crime” would be made an aggravated offence.

Conversion therapy ban. A “full trans-inclusive ban on conversion practices.”

8,500 mental health staff. Manifesto re-commits to target across five years.

Ethics Commission. Manifesto re-commits to set up an Ethics and Integrity Commission, with independent chair to “ensure probity in government” … and to “strengthen rules” around donations to political parties.

Votes at 16. Manifesto re-commits to giving 16- and 17-year-olds the vote in “all elections.”

Martyn’s Law. Labour “will bring in” Martyn’s Law applying minimum security duties to public events, which government had planned but fell when parliament dissolved.

June 12

No end to the two-child limit on benefits. “No it isn’t” in the manifesto, “and it’s been a really difficult decision.” Source: Keir Starmer, Sky News interview.

No ban on 20mph zones or low-traffic neighbourhoods. “I think this is very much a matter for local people in their area to decide according to their local council. So I don’t think government should be dictating what happens.” Source: Keir Starmer huddle with journalists.

Pothole funding. Another £320 million spread across five years to fix potholes, on top of £8.3 billion already committed by the government over 11 years. Paid for by shelving the planned A27 bypass in West Sussex. Labour would also grant “multi-year funding settlements” to councils … ask the CMA and FCA watchdogs to “urgently” investigate car insurance pricing … and set “new targets” to accelerate the rollout of electric vehicle charge points (but hasn’t said what those targets will be). Source: Labour press release.

Carers’ wages. Care workers would be covered by a previously-announced “fair pay agreement” (design subject to consultation) allowing their unions to enter collective bargaining with employers, including in the private sector. Actual lowest wage is not pre-set. Report (not officially confirmed by Labour) suggests the manifesto would include an “ambition” for £12 an hour or £13.15 in London.

June 11

National data library. Labour says it would create a “national data library” to centralise existing research programmes linking scientists, academics and the public sector. Labour also re-states plan for planning reform to make data centers easier to build, and 10-year budgets for leading research agencies like ARIA.

Ban on high caffeine drinks for under-16s. Party promises to ban online and retail sales of energy drinks containing over 150mg per litre to under-16s. Staff would have to check customers’ ID and trading standards would enforce the ban, with fines of up to £2,500.

100,000 more children’s dental appointments. Party pledges an “extra 100,000 urgent and emergency dental appointments for children” per year. This is taken from the party’s existing pledge to raise the number of NHS appointments by 2 million a year (40,000 per week) in its first year. Party restates existing pledges of supervised toothbrushing for 3-to-5-year-olds, dental contract reforms and golden hellos. Source: Labour press release.

Ban on TV junk food ads before 9 p.m. Labour re-states its “Child Health Action Plan” and “dental rescue plan,” which includes ban on TV junk food ads before the watershed. Source: Labour press release.

Fuel duty rise not ruled out in future. “Nothing in our plans requires us to raise any additional money beyond measures already announced.” Source: Keir Starmer, question from the Sun.

June 10

Re-committing to breakfast clubs. Party re-states its pledge to have free breakfast clubs in every primary school. Source: Labour press release.

Convert 3,300 classrooms to nurseries. Party says it would “convert 3,334 classrooms” to nursery settings, adding 100,000 childcare places, in schools where there is spare capacity due to falling birth rates. Nurseries would then be run either by private providers or by councils themselves. The estimated £140 million cost would be paid for by part of the money raised by putting VAT on private school fees. Aides say schools could start creating provision in six months to a year, but have not given a deadline for all 3,334 conversions. Source: Labour press release.

Lifetime allowance won’t be brought back. Labour U-turns on its plan to bring back the lifetime allowance on pension contributions — which would have raised £800 million (but wasn’t allocated). Source: FT scoop.

June 9

Quad bike powers for police. Police would be allowed to bypass a 14-day holding period and dispose of quad and dirt bikes “within 48 hours” if they are “satisfied” they are being used antisocially. Police would be able to issue tougher fines either through amending the Road Traffic Act or Police Reform Act 2002. Source: Labour press release.

New prisons would override the planning process. Ministers, not local councils, would make the final decision on where to build new prisons by designating them of “national importance” in the planning system. Party claims this will “deliver the 20,000 promised jail places” pledged by the government — aides say the deadline for this is 2030. Source: Labour press release.

New law on shop violence. “Labour is determined we will pass a new law to make a specific offence of assaults and abuse against shop workers and to make sure it’s taken seriously by the police.” Source: Yvette Cooper, Sunday Mirror interview.

No clarity on whether early release scheme for prisoners would continue.“It would be irresponsible to make those decisions from opposition without all of the information to hand.” Source: BBC interview, Shabana Mahmood.

June 8

Replace business rates. Labour recommits to its pledge to “replace the business rates system with a new system that will level the playing field between the high street and online giants,” but with no further detail. It also re-states its small business plan, which includes a new law forcing large firms to report in their annual accounts if they’re paying small businesses late … and would require at least one SME to be shortlisted when small “suitable” public contracts go out to tender. Source: Labour press release.

Bring back Kept Animals Bill. Labour says it would bring back the bill’s provisions “in full” including ending illegal dog, puppy and kitten smuggling … ending “illegal puppy farming by criminal gangs” … banning the sale of animals with cropped ears … and banning imports of dogs and cats with fashion-based mutilations. Source: Labour press release.

June 7

Green pledges. A right for communities to buy derelict land and turn it into parks … nine National River Walks … three national forests … a “tree planting Taskforce to grow millions of trees” … a land-use framework to balance food security with nature recovery … a flood and resilience taskforce to “speed up” flood defense building … and ban on the neonicotinoid pesticides imidacloprid, clothianidin and thiamethoxam due to their impact on bees. Source: Labour press release.

Make mortgage guarantee scheme permanent. Labour would make the government’s existing mortgage guarantee scheme (which expires in 2025) permanent, with the state acting as guarantor for a portion of 95 percent mortgages (allowing a 5 percent deposit). Source: Labour press release.

No promise of WASPI compensation.On women who were recommended compensation over changes to their state pension age, “I haven’t set out any money for this.” Source: Rachel Reeves, interviews quoted in the i.

June 6

Capital Gains Tax, Stamp Duty and other property tax rises all not ruled out. On property taxes, “There are dozens and dozens of specific taxes. The ones that are most important” are income tax, National Insurance and VAT. On CGT, “our plans do not require” it. On Stamp Duty, “we will not raise the taxes that are most important to working people” … “I’m not going to go through the list.” Source: Shadow Defense Secretary John Healey, Sky News interview.Otter.

No “plans” to change pension tax relief. “We have no plans to change pension tax relief.”Source: Labour statement to the FT.

June 5

No “plans” to raise inheritance tax. Asked if he would “rule out” a rise: “We’ve no plans to raise inheritance tax.” Source: Keir Starmer press huddle.

No pledge to ban Treasury “opposition policy costings.” Asked if Labour would “scrap this whole idea of making civil servants do sort of the dirty work of politicians,” Emily Thornberry said “I certainly think that they should,” and it was a “waste” of public money. Aides later clarified she was talking about specific actions by the Conservatives, not the whole idea of having opposition policy costings. Source: Shadow Attorney General Emily Thornberry interview, The World at One.

Armed Forces Commissioner in first year. Labour’s 2023 pledge to appoint an armed forces commissioner would be legislated for in the first King’s Speech, while the second King’s Speech would include an Armed Forces Bill to put the Armed Forces Covenant —established by the Tories to ensure some injured personnel get “special consideration” — on a fuller statutory footing, including applying it to central government. Source: Labour press release.

MOD ‘buy British’ policy. Labour would change procurement rules to force the MOD to prioritise buying British equipment. Source: Keir Starmer, Mail interview.

Sale of NatWest shares would continue. “We have no plans to deviate from what the government has set out.” Source: Rachel Reeves, Times interview.

Ruling out leaving the European Convention on Human Rights. “We will not pull out of international agreements and international law which is respected the world over.” Source: Keir Starmer, ITV debate

Would consider processing asylum claims in a third country. “Yes, if that was possible to do it in compliance with international law, of course.” Source: Keir Starmer, ITV debate.

June 4

No guarantee to cut net migration numbers every year. “They need to come down, we’ve got a plan to bring them down, but you can’t wish them down.” Source: Keir Starmer pool clip.

June 3

Law to give MPs a vote on (some) military action. Starmer re-states his 2020 pledge for a “Prevention of Military Intervention Act” — with caveats. Asked if he still wants to introduce a new law, he replies: “Yes, I think it’s very important that if there’s to be military action, there is the support of Parliament for it. Now it has to be sustained military action of course — we’ve had the Houthi attacks and the response to that as a one-off response, where we haven’t had votes.” Source: Starmer press Q&A.

Repeal Northern Ireland Troubles Act. (Re-commitment). “I am committed to repealing it … It provides an amnesty for all sides, including the terrorists.” Source: Starmer press Q&A.

Veterans Minister in Cabinet. “Yes we will, I think it’s very important.” Source: Starmer press Q&A.

Make the military bigger (if a review says so). If Labour’s Strategic Defense Review recommends a larger military “it is understood” Labour will commit to delivering it. Source: Telegraph article as part of interview with Starmer.

Nuclear deterrent ‘triple lock.’ Continue the ongoing construction of four new nuclear submarines in Barrow-in-Furness … continue the at-sea deterrent … commit to “all future upgrades needed for those submarines” … and raise defense spending to 2.5 percent of GDP but Starmer has not said when — only “as soon as possible within our fiscal rules.” Source: Labour press release and Starmer press Q&A.

Starmer would authorise a nuclear strike. “We have to be prepared to use” the nuclear deterrent. Source: Starmer media Q&A.

Equality Act will not be changed to emphasize biological sex. “The way to deal with this … is clearer guidance which Labour will produce. That’s a much better way than trying to return to primary legislation when the Equality Act, which the Tories have in their target today, already defines biological sex, already provides protection for single-sex biological women.” Source: Shadow Defense Secretary John Healey, 5Live interview.

June 2

Cut net migration (but no firm target). “I will bring immigration numbers down” from 685,000 in 2023, Keir Starmer vowed. That’ll involve two strands: bosses that break employment law (like not paying minimum wage) would be banned from hiring overseas workers, and legislation would mean that when firms ask for visas for foreign workers in shortage-hit sectors it triggers more training. No firm deadline on that and Labour confirms it will not set a numerical net migration target. Source: Labour policy briefing and Sun on Sunday interview with Starmer.

Osteoporosis scans. “An extra 15,000 a year.” Aides say it is pledged within one year, part of a wider pledge on NHS appointments. Source: Shadow Health Secretary Wes Streeting, Sunday Express interview.

Tech transparency. “We will introduce a piece of legislation that will compel data companies” to release data to coroners about a child’s internet usage after their death. This would revive part of the Data Protection and Digital Information Bill which fell when parliament was dissolved. Source: Shadow DSIT Secretary Peter Kyle Sunday Times interview.

Offshore asylum processing not ruled out. “Keir has always said we would look at what works … things have already been used at different times in the past.” Source: Shadow Home Secretary Yvetter Cooper interviewSunday with Laura Kuenssberg. 

New green levies not ruled out. “I’m not in an instant going to say there will be no such thing as a levy ever again.” Source: Sun on Sunday interview with Starmer.

June 1

Reform apprenticeship levy. Labour re-states its plan to rename it the “growth and skills levy,” with firms given more freedom to use up to half of government funding to cover apprenticeships or provide training for existing staff. Source: Labour press release.

‘Target’ of 80 percent employment. Party would “target” raising employment rate from 75 percent to 80 percent. Measures include bringing together job centers and careers service, giving mayors greater funding and powers to develop localized health, and a “youth guarantee” with “training, an apprenticeship or help to work for all 18- 21 year olds.” Source: Labour press release.

May 31

More GB Energy timings (a bit). Labour re-commits to its pledge to set up a publicly-owned energy firm within its first year, launching a logo and website, as aides say grants would start being paid within “months” to councils in a “local power plan.” Source: Labour press release.

May 30

No foreign aid on asylum hotels (at some point). Keir Starmer said a Labour government would stop spending foreign aid on asylum seekers’ hotel costs in the U.K. (about £3 billion was spent in 2023), but added: “I’m not going to pretend to you we can do that in the first 24 hours.” Source: Huddle with journalists.

13,000 police officers. Labour re-stated its previous pledge to “put 13,000 neighbourhood police and community support offices (PCSOs) back on the beat” by the end of a five-year parliament — of which 7,000 would be newly-recruited PCs or PCSOs. Of the rest, 3,000 would be volunteer special constables and 3,000 officers would have been recruited under government “uplift” plans. Source: Labour press release.

Tax thresholds stay frozen. “I’m very clear about the tax that will remain, and will be locked, and where we cannot make those commitments,” said Starmer, after shadow minister Darren Jones declined to say if Labour would unfreeze income tax thresholds that are frozen to 2028. Source: Sky News clip.

May 29

No VAT rise. Shadow Chancellor Rachel Reeves issued a statement saying: “Labour will not be increasing income tax, national insurance or VAT.” Aides say it would apply to a full five-year parliament. It came after Tory Chancellor Jeremy Hunt highlighted Reeves declining to rule out a VAT rise. She said his claim that it would rise under Labour was “nonsense.” Source: Labour statement to the media.

Hit 18-week NHS waiting time target within 5 years. Labour re-stated its previous pledge to meet a key NHS Constitution target (treating at least 92 percent of NHS patients within 18 weeks of referral) by the end of its first five years. Source: Labour press release.

No wealth tax (for now). “We’re not doing that, there are no plans to do that whatsoever,” said Shadow Chief Secretary to the Treasury Darren Jones. He didn’t give a timescale. Source: Darren Jones media Q&A.

What will happen to the Lifetime Allowance? Labour pledged last year to reinstate the £1 million cap on tax-free pension contributions, which was abolished in April. Asked when the party will clarify its plans, including if there’ll be a workaround for NHS workers, Jones replied: “In a couple of weeks when we publish the manifesto.” Source: media Q&A.

May 28

No return to freedom of movement with the EU. “We haven’t got it any more and we’re not going back,” said Labour Leader Keir Starmer, re-confirming a long-since-announced U-turn on his views in 2020. Source: media Q&A.

Summer budget ruled out. “The [Office for Budget Responsibility] requires 10 weeks’ notice … I would not deliver a fiscal event without an OBR forecast,” said Shadow Chancellor Rachel Reeves. Source: media Q&A.

No corporation tax rise. Corporation tax “will be capped at its current rate for the duration of the next parliament,” said Reeves. Source: media Q&A.

Business tax roadmap within 6 months. “We have committed to the publication of a business tax roadmap, covering the duration of the parliament, within the first six months of a Labour government.” Source: Rachel Reeves speech.

Pensions triple lock. Reeves re-stated that Labour is “absolutely committed” to the triple lock — which raises pensions by the highest of inflation, earnings or 2.5 percent — but declined to back a Tory election pledge for a “triple lock plus.” Source: media Q&A.

Private school VAT hike in Labour’s first budget. Reeves said: “There’ll be VAT and business rates on private schools so we can recruit an additional 6,500 teachers. Those are things that will be [in] our first budget.” Source: media Q&A.

No other tax risesfor now. Reeves said a windfall tax on energy firms, VAT on private school fees, and changes to taxation on non-doms and private equity bonuses are “the sum of the tax changes that we will be bringing in.” But her team later clarified she was talking about plans for Labour’s manifesto, rather than a five-year parliament, leaving questions over other taxes. Source: media Q&A.

May 27

Core pledges. Labour uploaded a webpage re-stating many previous pledges, including free breakfast clubs in England’s primary schools … charging VAT on private school fees … creating GB Energy and GB Railways … asking the minimum wage-setting watchdog to take the cost of living into account … and a requirement for a rape unit in every police force. Source: Labour website.

100-day security review. Labour says it would carry out a 100-day “security sprint” review of threats to the U.K. with MI5, police and Whitehall looking at Russia, Iran, extremism and AI. Source: Shadow Home Secretary Yvette Cooper interview, Times.

EU citizens won’t get the vote. Asked if he’d rule it out, Starmer replied: “Yes.” It’s a U-turn on his 2020 leadership campaign, when he called for “full voting rights for EU nationals,” and in 2023 when he said he was “looking” at it. Source: press conference.

No commitment to scrap voter ID laws. “We will look at this, but I mean, we haven’t got great plans … my priorities are the economy, the NHS and the first steps,” said Starmer. Source: press conference.

May 26

No National Insurance or Income Tax rises. “We certainly won’t be increasing income tax or national insurance if we win at the election.” Rachel Reeves told the BBC. She later told Sky this was for “the duration of the next parliament.” But she did not rule out cuts to public spending. Source: interview.

Border Security Command “will be created in first 100 days.” Source: Yvette Cooper interview, Sun on Sunday.

May 25

Rebranding the “New Deal for Working People.” The raft of pledges including to end fire and rehire and ban some (but not all) zero-hours contracts, which unions have been lobbying not to be watered down further, was changed to “Labour’s Plan to Make Work Pay.” The party says it would “introduce” legislation within 100 days but a raft of consultations would follow before it became law. Source: Document on Labour website.


Days before the election was called, the party unveiled its six “first steps” which were light on detail, but say it “expects” to hit an extra 40,000 NHS appointments per week within the first year of a Labour government, and re-state a 2021 pledge to recruit 6,500 more teachers.

Before that Starmer had his “five missions,” which include a pledge to “secure the highest sustained growth in the G7” by “the end of Labour’s first term” (likely 2029, if the party wins).

The party, like the Conservatives, says it is committed to a New Zealand-style ban on people who are currently under 18 ever being able to buy tobacco products. It has also pledged to “modernize, simplify and reform” the system for changing people’s legal gender. Aides say the question of who could sign off on such a change would go out to consultation, raising the question of whether a single GP could do so.


For more polling data from across Europe visit POLITICO Poll of Polls.