The 10 key points from Labour's manifesto for Scotland and the UK

The launch of Labour’s document follows the Tory manifesto publication on Tuesday

Sir Keir Starmer has promised voters the chance to “turn the page decisively” on 14 years of “Conservative chaos” as unveiled his party’s general election manifesto.

The Labour leader claimed it was “time to change Britain” with a government that could “match the ambition” of its people.

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Speaking in Manchester on Thursday, he produced a 136-page manifesto that, while extensive, contained no surprises. Here are the top ten key points from the manifesto, and what it means for Scotland and the rest of the UK.

Labour Party leader Sir Keir Starmer launches his party's manifesto at Co-op HQ in Manchester.Labour Party leader Sir Keir Starmer launches his party's manifesto at Co-op HQ in Manchester.
Labour Party leader Sir Keir Starmer launches his party's manifesto at Co-op HQ in Manchester.

The economy

The party promised to cap corporation tax at its current rate of 25 per cent to give businesses certainty, as well as ruling out raises to income tax, national insurance and VAT.

A national wealth fund will also be established to “support growth” and deliver private and public investment, including £2.5 billion to rebuild the steel industry, £1.8bn to upgrade ports and build supply chains, and £1.5bn to the automotive industry.

Despite the language around tax, Labour’s own costings document shows net tax rises of £8.5bn in 2028/29, which along with the Office for Budget Responsibility forecast see tax as a share of GDP reach 37.4 per cent – the highest in history. However, while this will likely prompt criticism from the Tories, it’s worth noting it was still forecast to reach this level under a Conservative government.

Paul Johnson, head of the Institute for Fiscal Studies, said: "Delivering genuine change will almost certainly also require putting actual resources on the table. And Labour’s manifesto offers no indication that there is a plan for where the money would come from to finance this”.

Energy

The flagship proposal is Great British Energy, a state-owned clean power company that will be based in Scotland. The party says it will cut bills and boost security, funded by a windfall tax on oil and gas companies.

Labour has also pledged to invest an extra £6.6bn over the next Parliament to upgrade five million homes to cut energy bills. Grants and low interest loans will then be offered to homeowners through the “Warm Homes Plan” to invest in insulation and make improvements such as solar panels, batteries and low carbon heating.

Scottish devolution and the Scotland Office

Labour has pledged to strengthen democracy and devolution, “championing Scotland at home and abroad”.

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This includes a devolution settlement that enables collaboration on Labour’s national missions for government.

The Scotland Office will "maximise Scotland’s influence”, by promoting “Brand Scotland” across the world, as well as “ensuring the voice of Scotland is heard”.

Immigration

The party has promised to scrap the “wasteful” Rwanda scheme and use the savings to set up the Border Security Command, which would improve counter-terror powers and crack down on people smugglers.

Alongside this, a new returns enforcement unit, with 1,000 additional staff, will be established to fast-track the removal of asylum seekers, who do not have the right to be in the UK, to safe countries.

Education

Labour has set out plans to recruit 6,500 new teachers and create 3,000 new primary school-based nurseries in England. It has also pledged to have free breakfast clubs at every primary school. It will do this by charging VAT on private school fees.

The party’s industrial strategy will aim to guarantee that all 18 to 21-year-olds have training, apprenticeships or help to find work.

Defence

The party has stressed its “unshakeable” commitment to Nato and committed to increasing defence spending to 2.5 per cent of GDP, in line with the Conservatives’ proposals, when it is affordable. To establish a date, the party will undertake a Strategic Defence Review within the first year of government.

The manifesto also pledges to bring in “Martyn’s Law” to help protect against terror attacks, named after Martyn Hett, the 29-year-old who was one of 22 people murdered in a suicide bombing at an Ariana Grande concert in Manchester in May 2017.

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House of Lords reform

Labour says it will bring forward immediate legislation to abolish “indefensible” hereditary peers from the House of Lords.

The document reads: “The next Labour government will therefore bring about an immediate modernisation, by introducing legislation to remove the right of hereditary peers to sit and vote in the House of Lords. Labour will also introduce a mandatory retirement age. At the end of the parliament in which a member reaches 80 years of age, they will be required to retire from the House of Lords.”

Transport

Labour says it will address the rising costs of car insurance, as well as fix one million potholes every year. An overhaul of Britain’s railways is also promised in the manifesto, including rail nationalisation.

Housing

Labour has promised to fund local authorities to improve the condition of local roads and break down planning barriers to ensure vital upgrades to infrastructure is delivered on time and to budget.

The party has vowed to reform planning rules in a bid to help build 1.5 million new homes on the “grey belt”, though opposition parties dispute this figure.

Foreign policy

The most eye-catching policy is pledge to recognise a Palestinian state as part of a peace process in the Middle East. Labour has also said it will keep backing Ukraine against Russia, obviously.

Health

Labour’s manifesto proposes to shift the NHS “away from a model geared towards late diagnosis and treatment, to a model where more services are delivered in local communities”.

The party has pledged to cut waiting times with an extra 40,000 NHS appointments a week, using evenings and weekends to deliver this.

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Labour also say they will create a "National Care Service" and a Fair Pay Agreement for adult social care, but there is no detail on this, with a spokesperson explaining details would be published next year.

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