According to the Labour Party website the Labour Party will try to achieve the following if they retain power at the 2010 general election on May 6th:
When Britain was hit by the global recession, we faced a choice – we could let the recession run its course, as the Tories had in the 1980s and 1990s, or we could actively intervene to support the economy, businesses and the family finances of the most hard-pressed. We decided, in line with the views of business leaders and economists, that we had to act to prevent the collapse of our banking system. We also decided that cutting public spending in a downturn was the wrong choice, and could have seen a repeat of the 1990s. Had that happened, four times as many jobs would have been lost. The country is moving back into growth, but we will continue to support the economy while the private sector is weak to secure the recovery. Delivering sustained growth is a key part of our strong, clear plan to reduce the deficit caused by the recession.
The decisions we took during the recession were designed to support the economy to prepare the country for the upturn. We chose to target as much support as possible where it was needed most – in particular, at families, pensioners and businesses. We helped families with children by bringing forward increases in Child Benefit and Child Tax Credits, meaning that families received increased payments for an extra four months. Pensioners benefited from the largest increase in the state pension since 2001, as well as from increased pension credit and winter fuel payments. A reduction in VAT during the toughest period of the world recession also helped family budgets.
We will continue to help people who have lost their jobs get back into work. The Future Jobs Fund, worth £2 billion in 2009/10, will create 200,000 jobs, of which at least 120,000 will be targeted at 18-24 year olds and 50,000 jobs will be targeted at unemployment hotspots. To date, the fund has created around 110,000 jobs. We are providing a guarantee of a job or training place for any 18-24 year old who has been unemployed for over six months, because we believe that no young person should be left behind.
Action like this to help the unemployed is making a difference – Labour’s action has helped to protect up to 500,000 jobs during this recession.
We believe that losing your job should not have to mean losing your home. So we will continue to help those who have lost a job or income stay in their homes, for example, helping them with interest payments or through the Homeowners Mortgage Support scheme, which helps them reduce and defer mortgage payments until their financial circumstances improve. Over 200,000 families are now getting help in this way – with another 88,000 expected to benefit over the next two years. And to help people get their foot on the ladder, we are introducing a two-year Stamp Duty holiday for first-time buyers on residential property transactions up to £250,000.
Supporting businesses so they come through the downturn stronger is integral to our future economic success. For example, we doubled the main capital tax allowance rate to 40 per cent for 2009/10, giving increased tax relief on business investment, allowing businesses to plan ahead and invest in their companies. The car scrappage and boiler scrappage schemes have supported industry at key moments, while the Time to Pay scheme, which allows struggling businesses to defer tax payments, has helped many small businesses stay afloat – over 200,000 businesses, which collectively employ 1.4 million people, have benefited to date. With Labour the Time to Pay scheme will be extended for the whole of the next Parliament.
Making sure that businesses are able to access the credit they need will be crucial to the recovery. The best way to ensure this is to boost competition between banks, which is why we have made sure that the restructuring of Lloyds and RBS, which will see 900 branches change hands, will bring new entrants into the market. At least five new banks have already either established themselves as business lenders or are in the final stages of setting up. To create even more competition, the Financial Services Authority will improve and speed up the licensing process for new banks.
To help new businesses starting out, as well as existing businesses, we will cut business rates for one year from October. This is a tax reduction for over half a million small businesses in England, 345,000 of which will pay no business rates at all. That includes over 60,000 offices, 90,000 industrial premises and almost 100,000 shops. We are also doubling the annual investment tax allowance to £100,000. As a result, 99 per cent of businesses will be able to deduct all investments in plant and machinery in the first year from their taxable profits.
Locking in the recovery requires an active strategy to invest in the UK’s fundamental strengths. Labour believes there is a role for government to play in giving industrial sectors the necessary support to allow them to flourish. We will therefore invest in the industries of the future, such as low carbon, biotechnology, advanced bioscience and cutting edge advanced manufacturing. Labour’s aim is to make the UK the best country in the G20 in which to set up and run a business, and become one of the most attractive places in the world to invest.
We will continue supporting the economy to strengthen the recovery and take the action necessary to promote growth and jobs. It would be a huge mistake to cut support while the economy is still recovering but we have been clear that, as the recovery strengthens, we will take action to reduce the deficit, more than halving it over four years. Reducing the deficit will come from a combination of tax, public spending cuts and economic growth. We will act fairly, so that those who are most able to bear the burden make the greatest contribution. That means tax increases for those who can afford them, with a new 50p top rate for those who earn over £150,000 (the top 1% of earners). For people with incomes over £100,000 a year (the top 2 per cent of earners), we will gradually remove their personal tax-free allowances. Tax relief on pensions will be restricted from next year, but again only for those with incomes above £130,000 a year. Looking across all the tax rises since the beginning of the global crisis, 60 per cent of them will be paid for by the top 5 per cent of earners. Spending will be tighter in the years ahead. We will protect schools, the NHS and the police at the frontline, but we will cut costs, inefficiencies, unnecessary programmes and lower priority budgets. At all times, we will be guided by our values: prioritising families and businesses in the mainstream middle, and the public services which they rely on.
* VAT cut to stimulate demand and help businesses during the critical stage of the recession.
* 22 million people benefited from tax cuts that raised real incomes at a critical time and helped stimulate the economy.
* The Time To Pay scheme has allowed over 200,000 businesses, which collectively employ 1.4 million people, to delay more than £5 billion in business taxes on a timetable they can afford. This scheme will continue throughout the next Parliament.
* The car scrappage scheme, where owners scrapping an old car receive £2000 off the price of a new car, has assisted with 380,000 orders being placed, keeping the automotive industry and its supply chain on its feet.
* Invested £5 billion to provide extra help for unemployed people, including the Future Jobs Fund worth £2 billion in 2009/10 and rising to £3 billion in 2010/11.
* Preventing repossessions through supportive policies and using new laws to ensure that repossession must always be a last resort.
* The Enterprise Finance Guarantee scheme has helped almost 9,000 businesses access loans totalling over £900 million.
* Supported manufacturing by doubling capital tax allowances meaning firms receive tax relief when they invest in plant and machinery.
Labour Party Securing Economic Recovery Policy :http://www.labour.org.uk/policies/securing-the-economic-recovery
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