The Labour Party has said it will ‘fundamentally change our economy’ with a ‘new deal’ for Britain as it moves towards a post-pandemic reality.
Labour’s deputy leader Angela Rayner will visit a social enterprise project in London on 26 July 2021 as the party aims to initiate a summer of campaigning for the proposal. After Labour ceded many of its former heartlands to the Conservative Party in local elections in May, Rayner was appointed Shadow Secretary of State for the Future of Work.
Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer and other members of the shadow cabinet will join Rayner in campaigning to outline the party’s vision. The proposal is based on five core principles:
Security at work: Labour will look to prohibit fire and rehire policies while introducing new rights to work flexibly and strengthen trade unions.
Quality jobs: the party will promote British goods by purchasing, manufacturing and selling domestically and will invest in well-paid, high quality ‘green’ jobs.
A fairer economy: a level playing field will be created on tax between large multinational companies and local businesses and harassment and discrimination will be tackled in workplaces.
Opportunity for all: young people will receive a ‘jobs-promise’, with a guarantee of quality education, training or employment while Labour will also create tens of thousands of apprenticeships.
Work that pays: Labour will aim to provide a ‘real living wage’ of at least £10 an hour and will seek to protect workers by covering them with collectively agreed deals that boost pay.
Ministers have said that they are ‘levelling up’ the UK to help rebuild the economy, while the easing of coronavirus restrictions has prompted a debate around inequality and the future of work in the nation.
Research by the Trades Union Congress (TUC) found that one in nine workers – a figure of approximately 3.6 million people – had no pay or job security, and 72% of those on zero hours contracts lost shifts during the pandemic.
Rayner said that the Labour Party wanted ‘good quality jobs’ that pay a ‘proper wage that people can raise a family on’. She went on to say: ‘Under the Conservatives we have a broken economic model defined by insecure work, low wages and in-work poverty and a lack of opportunity for people who want to get on and find good work to support themselves and their families’.
In response, Amanda Milling, co-chairman of the Conservative Party, stated that the government had brought in an ‘unprecedented’ furlough scheme which was responsible for the wages of 10 million workers during the pandemic. Milling also said: ‘While Labour carp from the sidelines, we're continuing to support business while taking the tough decisions needed to rebuild from the pandemic and protect people's jobs and livelihoods’.