When will Jeremy make this speech?
Thank you all, for being here today. It is so good to see so many people now engaged in politics, especially young people as we are getting closer to changing the directions of our nation, it is very inspiring, thank you.
As I said when I was elected leader in September 2015 “Things can and will change” The election of June 2017, we presented a manifesto that resonated with the British people that resulted in a huge increase in the Labour vote.
Back in July 2016 when a new Prime Minister was chosen she said the very profound words that she wanted a country that "works for everyone, not just the privileged few” But then did nothing to make that a reality. She had another chance a Conservative conference in October 2016: “So today, I want to set out my plan for a Britain where everyone plays by the same rules and every person has the opportunity to be all they want to be. It’s a plan to tackle the unfairness and injustice that divides us, so that we may build a new united Britain.” But then said nothing about what she would do apart from broad generalizations, Most of the speech could also have been given by any party leader!
So instead of empty rhetoric, today I outline more details that build on our manifesto pledges and will truly transform a country to benefit the many not the few
The fundamental problem of our time is the extreme economic inequality and the resultant financial hardship suffered by millions every day. We need an economic system that ensures that the wealth we all help create is shared more equitably.
So today I ask those that have accumulated significant wealth to see it as their duty to reinvest in the country that enabled that wealth to be created. A country that provides healthcare, education, infrastructure, security and support services that enables business to thrive. This is a country that needs more investment if it is continue to prosper and to compete in international markets. And by this I mean not just investing in the business but investing in the people. Here is how we are going to invest in people.
We have already shown our commitment to a real living wage as proposed by the Living Wage Foundation, which will give a pay boost to over 5 million people. This must be phased in as quickly as possible.
To help working families pay for the things they need we propose to abolish income tax for all those who earn under £32,000 per year, this will give up to a 15% pay boost to 80% of our working population, that’s around 25 million people. This will be a huge boost to families, but make less than 10% difference to government revenue.
So to finance our vital health services and to pay the hardworking staff better wages as well as to ensure everyone has access to good quality education including tuition free university level, we propose a modest tax on personal assets on those that have over £3 million in assets, not including primary residence. Not only will this fund budget increases but also cover the reduction in income tax revenue.
It seems to me totally inappropriate to take money off those lower earners who have so little and totally appropriate to ask the wealthy to invest in our country by paying more tax on accumulated wealth.
I call this principle: Income for me, wealth for we. We keep more of the income we earn from our work and share more equitably the wealth we all help create.
In the manifesto we proposed to review the outdated council tax system based on 1991 valuations and to consider the long proposed Land Value Tax which was first propose over 100 years ago and the Labour tried again in 1931 (but had to be abandoned when Ramsey Macdonald had to form a national government to deal with the economic crisis), it even had support of Winston Churchill. The great thing about LVT is that it can enable infrastructure investment to be self-financing. The more we invest the greater benefit received and the higher the return enabling more investment.
Labour often gets accused of being anti-business. We are not anti business, we realize that enterprise is the biggest wealth creator we have, it is just that business needs to put stakeholders first not just shareholders. We propose to increase corporation tax on companies profits but to all allow enlightened companies to enjoy tax breaks if they act in socially responsible manner. I call this social offsetting and will be based on a number of criteria such as living wage, fair wages (including not overpaying senior staff), profit sharing, worker involvement and more so businesses can still make good profits and create wealth but also put people first. We will also help small and start up businesses by increasing the threshold that corporation tax is due.
So with these five core polices we will be shifting funds out of accumulated wealth and into circulation for the benefit of the many, not just the few.
So this brings me to the final point, in the EU referendum people voted for change as they did again in the June election. The referendum campaign was conducted with inaccurate and hypothetical information. It is very clear from current polls and from talking to people across the country, especially young people that the majority now sees the future of UK within a union with the rest of Europe, as strong and valuable partner to our European neighbours with a lot to offer. Britain was once the world’s largest power, an empire that covered over quarter of world but we have moved on but still have a vital role to play. We need to cooperate closely with other countries in Europe and the world and also other international bodies that promote peace and cooperation especially United Nations. So I now believe that our best interests are served by remaining in the European Union and playing a full role. That is truly what the people want and that is what a Labour government would do.
In addition to this commitment to Europe, we will not give you empty promises, I have outlined today five real and far reaching measures which are both practical and affordable, which above all will bring immediate benefit to the many not the few.
So I hope you will stand with me and our progressive MPs from Labour and other parties, who want to bring fundamental and lasting change, stand with the good hard working people of this country and bring an end to unnecessary austerity and move forward together with a programme for prosperity by sharing the wealth we all help create.
Let us unite this kingdom with a common purpose
Let's us come together as a nation and say it does not have to be the way it was, but it can be the way we want. I believe my team can deliver this for you and bring a bright future for the many not just the few, thank you.