GENERAL ELECTION 2017: Labour manifesto promises to make a real difference to Swindon


From Sarah Church: Labour and Co-operative Party Parliamentary Candidate

The Labour Party released its election manifesto yesterday. It has been well received by party members, candidates and voters who are pleased with the distinctive offer Labour is making for a more equal society.

The key pledges that will be of benefit to Swindon include the new minimum wage of £10 per hour, which will bring average earnings up for 1000s of workers in Swindon. Swindon is currently a low wage town, with earnings on average 18.3% lower than in Bristol. Alongside a ban on zero hours contracts, the wage increase will see the average standard of living rise in Swindon, and will give a boost to our economy through increased consumer spending. There will be no tax rises for those earning under £80k either, a policy supported by 65% of voters.

The promise of a National Education Service is really good news for us in Swindon, particularly the promise to raise per pupil funding in our schools in line with inflation. The real terms cuts under another Tory government will mean a drop by at least 8% in funding, or an average of over £400 per pupil in Swindon by 2020. That equates to making over 300 teachers redundant. Labour investment in education will ensure funding is enough to guarantee a high standard of education for every child.

Labour has pledged to be the Party for small business, with the creation of a National Investment Bank and regional development banks. Swindon’s small and medium size businesses will be set to gain from increased lending and a lower rate of corporation tax.

Fans of Swindon Town Football Club will be happy with the Labour manifesto as well since Labour is promising football supporters a greater say in how their clubs are run. Labour will legislate for accredited supporters trusts to be able to appoint and remove at least two club directors and to purchase share when clubs change hands.

Labour’s policies are polling well: plans to renationalize the railways have the support of 52% of people; 71% of people support banning zero hours contracts; and the limit on the rise of the state pension age to 66 is supported by 74% of voters. In comparison, the pointless Tory pledge to bring back foxhunting gains the support of just 12% of voters.

Sarah Church, the Labour and Co-operative Party candidate for South Swindon said, “I am really pleased with this manifesto. It’s a breath of fresh air and a distinctive offer that will make a real difference to so many people in Swindon. I was happy to note that every pledge is fully costed in line with our Fiscal Credibility Rule and that we will not be borrowing to fund day to day spending. Labour’s policies are aimed at creating a more fair society that will benefit us all- this is a manifesto to be proud of.”