“What we are seeing from the tories is disastrous for Britain. Their determination to shrink the state for the sake of it and make all except the wealthy pay off the deficit is ideology, not economic policy. The tories, frightened by UKIP, want to isolate us from Europe. They are killing off and selling off the public sector. They stand up for the wrong people.
“Labour is showing it has the plan and the courage. The Labour Party is showing it really does understand the country’s economic challenges and that it can be trusted on the economy”, said Mr. McDonald.
“Agenda 2030 demonstrates that. It also shows a One Nation party ready to govern in the interests of this country and everyone who lives and works here.
1. Labour’s Agenda 2030 includes:
- Building on the talents of all:
• Investing in skills by using public procurement to increase apprenticeship opportunities, requiring all major suppliers on government contracts to offer apprenticeships and reforming the skills system to put employers in the driving seat.
• Ensuring that young people study maths and English to the age of 18 and that all apprenticeships last for two years and are at level three; Establishing a National Baccalaureate for 14-19 year olds and enabling Catapults to take on apprentices
• Supporting small businesses, entrepreneurship and job creation by tackling rising energy costs facing business, cutting and freezing business rates and cutting both red tape and blue tape which place barriers on small firms including by getting tough on late payment
• Giving regions and Local Enterprise Partnerships the powers and budgets they need to boost local growth, help rebalance the economy and ensure every part of the country succeeds
Tory failure: The Tory-led government has refused to back our plans to better use procurement to increase apprenticeships; has failed to act on issues facing small business including soaring energy bills and late payment, and voted against moves to protect small businesses as consumers in the Consumer Rights Bill. Despite promising to rebalance Britain’s economy areas and regions are being held back – under the government’s flagship Regional Growth Fund some firms have been left waiting two years to receive their money and more than a third of bidders have pulled out of the Fund’s first round entirely. Numbers of young people starting apprenticeships have fallen.
- Solving tomorrow’s problems today:
• Establish an independent Energy Security Board modelled on the OBR to co-ordinate with government, the National Grid and regulator to set out and implement a timetable for building the capacity Britain needs
• Backing the 2030 decarbonisation target, which the government has refused to do and which would help support the development of low-carbon technologies
• Adopting the recommendation of the Armitt Review and setting up an independent infrastructure commission to identify the UK’s long-term infrastructure needs and building 200,000 homes a year by 2020
• Give the Green Investment Bank the borrowing powers to enable it to support low-carbon industries of tomorrow
• Investing in our science base and develop our national innovation system, including building on the role of the Technology Strategy Board
Tory failure: The Tory-led government tore up Labour’s long-term plan for science funding when it took office, creating uncertainty. Ministers, including Environment Secretary Owen Paterson, have questioned the science of climate change. The government has refused to adopt the 2030 decarbonisation target.