The political parties’ ideas
The previous post showed that we underestimate how important sovereignty is to Leave voters, writes London4Europe Committee member Michael Romberg. We should show how they could really take back control: all the political parties have made relevant manifesto commitments. They would work better if we Remained in the EU and avoided Government being prevented by Brexit from focusing on anything else.
We can point out to voters that there are better ways of taking back control that are on offer.
As a non-party/ all-party organisation London4Europe is neutral between political parties (apart from their stance on Europe). So without comment we present extracts from the 2017 manifestos that show different answers to the question “how can voters take back control”. NB – there is much more in the manifestos. If something has been listed under one party that does not necessarily mean it does not appear in another’s manifesto also.
Campaigners can show voters that all these options are on offer and theirs to choose at the next election. They all work under Remain.
If Leave voters say “thank you I’ll have Brexit and UK reform” we can point out that that these proposals would work better if we Remained: no distraction caused by Brexit; sounder economy; easier flow of ideas with the EU member states. The EU can stand up to multi-national companies more easily than any one member state can, for example.
- low taxes
- increase the National Living Wage to 60 per cent of median earnings by 2020
- security from crime and terrorism, backed by a new national infrastructure police force
- continue to give local government greater control over the money they raise and address concerns about the fairness of current funding distributions.
- provide clarity across England on what devolution means for different administrations so all authorities operate in a common framework.
- continue with the current boundary review, enshrining the principle of equal seats
- fairer markets for consumers and action on the cost of living, including a safeguard tariff cap to protect energy customers from unacceptable rises.
- British technical education to be as prestigious as our world leading higher education system, and for technical education in this country to rival the best technical systems in the world
- proportional representation
- votes at 16
- replace House of Lords with elected chamber
- give power to local communities by allowing for 40% of the local electorate to secure a referendum on local government decisions or to recall their MP
- protect the BBC and tighten the rules on media ownership so no individual or company owns more than 20% of a media market, protecting against anyone having too much influence or undermining democracy
- give Parliament a vote on any new trade deals
- double the size of the co-operative sector and introduce a “right to own,” making employees the buyer of first refusal when the company they work for is up for sale
- ‘insource’ our public and local council services as preferred providers
- bring key utilities back into public ownership
- create a unified National Education Service (NES) for England to move towards cradle-to-grave learning that is free at the point of use
- reintroduce maintenance grants for university students, and abolish university tuition fees
- review the rules on union recognition so that more workers have the security of a union
- give all workers equal rights from day one, whether part-time or full-time, temporary or permanent – so that working conditions are not driven down
- amend the takeover code to ensure every takeover proposal has a clear plan in place to protect workers and pensioners – because workers shouldn’t suffer when a company is sold.
- properly resource and bolster planning authorities with fuller powers to put people and communities at the heart of planning
- a democratically elected second chamber of Parliament
- extend the Freedom of Information Act to private companies that run public services
- invest nearly £7 billion extra in our children’s education – increase school budgets and the Pupil Premium to protect against rising costs and pupil numbers, and introduce a fairer national funding formula
- invest in high-quality early years education, tripling the Early Years Pupil Premium to £1,000
- oppose any new selective schools and giving local authorities proper democratic control over admissions and new schools.
- reinstate maintenance grants for the poorest students, ensuring that living costs are not a barrier to disadvantaged young people studying at university
- encourage the creation and widespread adoption of a ‘good employer’ kitemark covering areas such as paying a living wage, avoiding unpaid internships and using name-blind recruitment to make it easier for customers and investors to exercise choice and influence
- establish an independent review to consult on how to set a genuine living wage across all sectors. We will pay this living wage in all central government departments and their agencies, and encourage other public-sector employers to do likewise
- modernise employment rights to make them fit for the age of the ‘gig’ Economy
- stamp out abuse of zero-hours contracts.
- encourage employers to promote employee ownership
- introduce votes at 16 for all elections and referendums across the UK.
- introduce the Single Transferable Vote.
We can explain to voters that the political parties have listened. They have, in their different ways, made proposals to change the UK that would enable voters to “take back control”.
Articles on this page reflect the author’s views, not necessarily those of London4Europe.