Labour manifesto: What are Keir Starmer’s policies after historic election win?

From wealth creation to a new state-owned energy company, Labour has unveiled their policy pledges for government. Here we look at some of the main points:

The manifesto put Keir Starmer front and central in a continuation of the presidential style campaign he has been running since May. The document was entitled “My plan for change” not “Labour’s plan for change”, making it very personal to Starmer himself. Added to that there were 34 pictures of the Labour leader throughout the manifesto.


The word change is emblazoned across the manifesto. Labour says its policy platform is a plan to change the UK. And that includes from its leadership down. The manifesto also includes a picture of Keir Starmer at last week’s D-Day commemorations. Yes, the same event Rishi Sunak faced an outpouring of criticism over, after it emerged that he had left early.

Wealth creation

Labour says this is a policy plan for wealth creation. The party will cap corporation tax at its current rate of 25% to give businesses long-term certainty and create a national wealth fund designed to boost economic growth. It has also ruled out raising the rates of income tax, national insurance and VAT. But it will raise around £7bn more from higher taxes on non-doms, cracking down on tax avoidance and charging private schools VAT.

Labour leader Keir Starmer at the launch of his party’s manifesto (REUTERS)
Labour leader Keir Starmer at the launch of his party’s manifesto (REUTERS)

No rabbit (or big surprise, that is )

There was no big surprise policy announced at the launch, as the party argued Britain needed stability not more chaos. Sir Keir also hit out at the Reform leader Nigel Farage, saying: “If you want politics as pantomime, I hear Clacton is nice this time of year”. The ex-UKIP leader is standing to become an MP for the seaside seat in Essex.

Lower bills

Labour says it wants to “cut your bills for good”, with Great British Energy, a new state-backed clean energy company. But the Tories have claimed that GB Energy stands for “Giant Bills”.

Labour also says it will invest an extra £6.6bn over five years to upgrade five million homes to cut energy bills, including by improving insulation. But the party was forced to water down plans to spend £28bn on new green investments earlier this year, blaming the Conservatives for “crashing the economy”.

Labour wants to create a new clean energy firm GB Energy  (Danny Lawson/PA) (PA Archive)
Labour wants to create a new clean energy firm GB Energy (Danny Lawson/PA) (PA Archive)

An extra 40,000 appointments and weekend working in the NHS

Funded by taking on non-doms and tax avoiders, under the plan. The party also says it will recruit an additional 8,500 new mental health staff, double the number of CT and MRI scanners, in a bid to catch cancer cases earlier, and provide 700,000 more urgent dental appointments.

VAT on private schools

Labour is committed to charging VAT on private school fees, as well as abolishing the non-dom tax status and closing “loopholes” in the windfall tax on oil and gas companies. The VAT change would raise around £1.5 billion, according to the party’s own calculations in the manifesto. Sir Keir has defended his plan to remove VAT tax breaks from private schools, saying he wants to tackle a lack of resources in state schools.

More houses built

Labour has pledged to reform the planning process to remove the “blockers” and build many more homes across the country. The party wants to build 1.5 million new homes on the so-called "grey belt".It has condemned the planning system, which it says acts as a “major brake on economic growth” and says reform would happen quickly after the party enters No 10.

Retaining the pension triple lock and a new review

Labour pledges to retain the pension ‘triple lock’ and launch a review of the “pensions landscape“. But it will not raise the tax-free pension allowance, unlike the Conservatives. The triple lock guarantees the state pension rises each year in line with either inflation, earnings or by 2.5 per cent, whichever is higher. The review is designed to improve security in retirement, amid warnings from experts that many people are not saving enough for their later years.

But the party has not pledged to match the so-called “triple lock plus”, a policy promised by the Tories in their election manifesto, which would involve increasing the tax-free pension allowance.

6,500 more teachers

As well as plans to recruit 6,500 new teachers and create 3,000 new primary school-based nurseries, Labour has also pledged free breakfast clubs at every primary school. The party's industrial strategy will aim to guarantee that all 18 to 21-year-olds have training, apprenticeships or help to find work.

Labour wants to hire 6,500 more teachers (Danny Lawson/PA) (PA Archive)
Labour wants to hire 6,500 more teachers (Danny Lawson/PA) (PA Archive)

Rwanda scheme abolished

The party has pledged to scrap the "wasteful" scheme to deport asylum seekers to Rwanda and use the savings to set up the Border Security Command, to crack down on people smugglers. Rishi Sunak has pledged the first flights to the African country will depart next month if he wins the election. But Labour had condemned the plans as a “gimmick”. The party says it will instead launch a new unit with "hundreds of new specialist investigators" to use counter-terror powers to smash criminal gangs. The document also vows to "reduce net migration”, but stops short of setting a target.

Support from business

A full nine years after Ed Balls famously could not name any industry backers when he was grilled on the issue in an interview on Newsnight, Labour is making it clear it has business support at this election. Sir Keir was introduced at the manifesto launch by Richard Walker, the boss of the Iceland supermarket chain.

Growing up Keir Starmer’s house had a cracked window - because he put a football through it

At the event in Manchester, Sir Keir said he knew what it was like growing up to be embarrassed to bring your mates home because the carpet is threadbare and the “window is cracked”. He admitted that the latter was his fault, however, “because I did put a football through it”.