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Labour policies

We've waded through the Labour manifesto, so you don't have to. If we've missed something glaringly obvious, let us know

labour logoFamily

  • Introduction of a 'Father's Month' of flexible paid leave
  • The child element of the Child Tax Credit will be increased by £4 a week for families with children aged one and two from 2012
  • For primary-age children, a guarantee of childcare and constructive activities from 8am until 6pm in term-time at their own or a neighbouring school
  • Retention of the Child Trust Fund
  • All businesses posting jobs in a job centre to be asked to consider whether jobs could be arranged more flexibly – eg job share, part-time


  • Increase stamp duty threshold for first-time buyers to £250k
  • Increase stamp duty on properties worth over £1m to 5%
  • Staged increase of fuel duty - 1p per litre on 1 April 2010, 1p per litre on 1 October 2010 and 0.76p per litre on 1 January 2011
  • National Insurance will rise by 1p in 2011. Will not affect those earning under £20,000
  • Commitment not to raise the basic, higher and new top rates of tax in the next Parliament
  • Pledge not to extend VAT to food, children’s clothes, books, newspapers and public transport fares 
  • Maintenance of tax credits

Early years

  • Spending increased on frontline Sure Start and free childcare
  • Maintain Sure Start Children’s Centres as a support for all families – regardless of income
  • New national under-fives service focused on Children's Centres making them 'one-stop shops' open to all families, offering excellent affordable childcare, healthcare and parenting advice
  • Expansion of free nursery places for two-year-olds and 15 hours a week of flexible, free nursery education for three and four-year-olds
  • Provide two additional outreach workers to support families at each Sure Start Children's centre in the 1,500 most disadvantaged areas
  • Expand the number of free early learning places for disadvantaged two-year-olds
  • Improved flexibility over the hours parents have access to nursery education, such as taking them over two full working days
  • Greater choice over when children start school
‘Strong families are the heart of strong communities. In government Labour has made it our priority to support families – in work, in their pockets and in giving their children the best start. The best communities are those where families are strong and secure, where people are supported to make the best of their lives and free from crime and the fear of crime and where fair rules apply to all.'


  • Frontline spending on schools and 16-19 learning will be increased
  • 3Rs guarantee of one-to-one and small-group tuition for every child falling behind at primary level and early in secondary school
  • Provision of personal tutor for every child in secondary school
  • Power for parents to bring in new school leadership teams, where schools are failing, with up to 1,000 secondary schools part of an accredited schools group by 2015
  • Guarantee of education or training for every young person until 18
  • More resources to give every child the opportunity to do at least five hours of PE or sport a week
  • Introduction of school report cards giving parents full information on their choice of local schools – including other parents' views
  • Extension of Free School Meals to 500,000 extra primary school children in families with low incomes
  • An offer for parents - particularly for those children born in the summer – to choose when their child starts primary school
  • Funding for an extra 20,000 university places in 2010/11, particularly in science, technology, engineering and maths
  • Cooking lessons for every 11 to 14-year-olds from 2011 to help reduce child obesity


  • Halve the deficit by 2014 through economic growth, fair taxes and cuts to lower priority spending whilst protecting police, education and NHS
  • Build a high-tech economy, supporting business and industry to create one million more skilled jobs
  • Modernising UK infrastructure with High Speed Rail, a Green Investment Bank and broadband access for all
  • A National Minimum Wage rising at least in line with average earnings
  • New £40-a-week Better Off in Work guarantee
  • Manage government stakes in publicly controlled banks to secure the best deal for the taxpayer
  • Introduce a new global levy, and reform banking rules
  • Continued support for Homeowners Mortgage Support scheme and Time to Pay Scheme which allows businesses to pay taxes on a timetable they can afford
  • A People's Bank at the Post Office
  • Clampdown on interest rates for doorstep and payday loans


  • Increase in frontline spending on the NHS in line with inflation in 2011-12 and 2012-13
  • Every expectant mother to have a named midwife providing continuity of care
  • More mums and dads offered single rooms if they need to stay in hospital overnight
  • Post-natal care to be expanded with every area of the country having a Family Nurse Partnership
  • Right to cancer test results within one week of referral
  • Maximum 18 weeks' wait for treatment or the offer of going private
  • Preventative healthcare through routine check-ups for the over-40s and a major expansion of diagnostic testing
  • One-to-one dedicated nursing for all cancer patients
  • The right to choose a GP in your area open at evenings and weekends
  • Eliminate mixed sex accommodation wherever possible
  • Phase out NHS hospital car-parking charges for all inpatients
  • Access to psychological therapy for those who need it


  • Improve police performance through online report cards
  • Intervene earlier to prevent crime
  • Tackle problems caused by 50,000 dysfunctional families
  • Expand Family Intervention Projects for the most dysfunctional families
  • Guarantee fast and effective action to deal with antisocial behaviour, including a right to legal injunctions for repeat victims
  • Introduction of National Victims Service giving victims of crime and anti-social behaviour seven day-a-week cover and a named, dedicated worker offering one-to-one support through the trial and beyond
  • Expand Community Payback for criminals who don’t go to prison, giving everyone the right to vote on the work they do


  • Achieve around 40 per cent low-carbon electricity by 2020 and create 400,000 new green jobs by 2015
  • Introduction of 'pay as you save' home energy insulation
  • Require landlords to properly insulate rented homes
  • Move towards a 'zero waste' Britain, banning recyclable and biodegradable materials from landfill
  • Ensure all household loft and cavity walls are insulated, where practical, by 2015
  • 7 million UK homes to get an ‘eco-upgrade’ by 2020
  • Every home to have a smart energy meter by 2020
  • Ensure 15 per cent of our energy demand comes from renewables by 2020 - with more wind, tidal and solar energy


  • £5 billion pounds allocated from the Treasury Reserve for operations in Afghanistan next year
  • No cuts to Defence Budget in 2010/11
  • Will replace current Vanguard class submarines and Trident missile system
  • Funding of up to £5 million made available to assist returning service personnel by reducing the costs and barriers associated with self-employment and setting up a new business
  • Introduce a Forces Charter to enshrine in law the rights of forces, their families, and Veterans.
  • Free further education for those leaving the forces with six years' service or more


  • Referenda for moving to the Alternative Vote for elections to the House of Commons and to a democratic and accountable Second Chamber
  • Introducing a power of recall so that where an MP is found guilty of gross financial misconduct, but Parliament fails to act, electors will be able to petition for their representative to be recalled and a by-election held
  • Improved citizenship education for young people followed by a free vote in Parliament on reducing the voting age to 16
  • Legislation to ensure fixed term Parliaments
  • All Party Commission to chart a course to a Written Constitution
  • Statutory register of lobbyists, with MPs banned from working for lobbying companies and required to seek approval for paid outside appointments
  • New power to recall an MP, where they are found guilty of gross financial misconduct, but Parliament fails to act

Technology and transport

  • Build a high speed rail link, initially linking London to Birmingham and then Manchester, the East Midlands, Sheffield and Leeds, then ultimately on to Scotland
  • Deliver record investment in our current rail network to increase capacity by nearly 25% per cent, through new carriages, more services and longer platforms
  • Universal access to broadband by 2012, with access to superfast broadband by 2017 for 90 per cent of Britain – ultimately reaching the final 10 percent with satellite and mobile broadband
  • Spending up to £30 million over the next two years to deliver 350 new hybrid and electric buses
  • Extend hard-shoulder running on motorways plus targeted motorway widening (incl M25)
  • Increase tenfold the penalties on utilities who allow work to overrun to cut down on road works disruption
  • Rule out the introduction of national road pricing in the next Parliament

Foreign aid

  • Introduce legislation to reach the UN target to spend 0.7% of gross national income on international aid from 2013
  • Spend £6 billion on health between 2008 and 2015 and £1 billion through the Global Fund to support the fight against HIV/AIDS, TB and malaria
  • Deliver at least 30 million additional anti-malarial bednets over the next three years
  • Provide £1 billion for water and sanitation by 2013 and over £1 billion on food security and agriculture
  • Push for the establishment of a Global Council on Child Hunger and help save the lives of six million mothers and babies by 2015
  • Double core funding to the new UN Women's agency


  • Employers in the private sector with over 250 employees to report on their gender pay gap and ban pay secrecy clauses. If insufficient progress is made voluntarily, a bill will be introduced in 2013 to enforce this
  • A recognition of the break many people take to bring up children or care for others so that almost half a million extra women currently between 49 and 59 will be entitled to a full basic State Pension


Other key political party websites:
SNP; Plaid Cymru;
SDLPSinn Fein

This feature is intended as an outline guide to the policies published by the Labour Party. To download the full manifesto, see the official Labour Party site. There's also Labour's specific Manifesto for Families.


Last updated: over 3 years ago