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A Labour manifesto that brings the railways into public ownership, strengthens workers’ rights and removes tax exemptions for private schools (all policies from 2017 and 2019 manifestos) should be universally welcomed.

But what lies beneath is far more sinister. The 2024 Labour manifesto bakes in austerity for our public services. By ruling out redistributive taxation, it de facto accepts existing spending plans that the Institute for Fiscal Studies (IFS) says mean cuts to unprotected departments of between 1.9 per cent and 3.5 per cent per year. Austerity baked in.
[…]
The IFS has said there is a “conspiracy of silence” between the two major parties about the scale of cuts that is baked into the current economic plans. The Resolution Foundation estimates that implies upwards of £19bn of cuts in non-protected departments.

Nothing in Labour’s manifesto changes that analysis. The tax changes Labour has announced (mostly reforming non-dom status and removing tax breaks for private schools) amount to around £7bn in extra revenue – and that has already been earmarked […]

Across the public sector, from nursing to care workers, from teachers to junior doctors, there is a recruitment and retention crisis. Unless you restore public sector pay, you will not solve those staffing shortages, or tackle the NHS backlogs. It’s also not clear from the manifesto where any additional funding would come from to fund the private sector operations that shadow Health Secretary Wes Streeting has promised, leaving the worrying conclusion that they may come out of existing NHS budgets.

[…] Both councils and universities need an injection of cash, or we will all lose out. The courts have massive backlogs and child poverty has risen to 4.3 million due to decades of benefit cuts – none of which are being reversed by Labour’s new manifesto.
[…]
But as Labour has become ever more reliant on wealthy and corporate donors, so it seems their tax policy has been diluted. He who pays the piper calls the tune.

If you want a snappy summary of Keir Starmer’s “changed Labour Party”, it was pithily provided by Kay Burley earlier this year: “Labour’s happy to cap child benefit, but not bankers’ bonuses”.

  • anonymous111@lemmy.world
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    1 month ago

    It is quite common for opposition parties to not commit to raising taxes before an election.

    They’ll be in “have your cake and eat it” mode until after the election.

    • Jackthelad@lemmy.world
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      1 month ago

      The repeated questioning from political journalists on tax does my head in though.

      “So you’re promising to not raise taxes in the entire parliament?”

      Literally no one can answer whether taxes need to be raised or cut during a space of five years. No one has a clue what the economy is going to look like at that point. So it’s a stupid question.

      • wewbull
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        1 month ago

        It every journalist trying to get the sound bite that will run for the day. The gotcha question. It’s lazy and uninformative.

        I think podcast interviews have become the only place where I see politicians talking about anything in any depth. There’s very few and even then, if the interviewer comes from TV it still veers back to sound bite bingo.