Labour leaked manifesto reveals big infrastructure and housing plans

Hamish Champ

Source: PA

Party would committ £250bn to infrastructure and build hundreds of thousands of council homes

Labour’s leaked manifesto has revealed the party’s ambition to build more than 100,000 council and housing association homes a year, as well as the creation of a new housing ministry.

Beyond committing to a ‘Fiscal Credibility Rule’ the document shies away from outlining in detail where the money would come from to support its aims. However it has outlined bold plans to boost housebuilding and ramp up infrastructure development, prioritising brownfield sites, protecting the green belt and pledging to “start work on a new generation of New Towns to build the homes we need and avoid urban sprawl”.

Labour’s manifesto confirmed its pledge to build a million new homes over five years, and said it would back ‘Help To Buy’ funding until 2027 “to give long-term certainty to both first-time buyers and the housebuilding industry”, giving local people buying their first home ‘first dibs’ on new homes built in their area”.

A Labour government would also scrap restrictions that stopped councils from building homes. Instead it would begin what the document called “the biggest council building programme for at least 30 years”, ditching the Conservatives’ ban on long-term council tenancies “to give council tenants security in their home”.

The document contained a commitment to investment in infrastructure. Labour would take advantage of near-record low interest rates to invest £250bn over 10 years in order to upgrade the domestic economy “to ensure that our transport, energy and digital infrastructure is fit for the 21st Century. We will maintain the National Infrastructure Commission to advise government on our infrastructure programme to upgrade the British economy”.

Railways would be re-nationalised upon the expiration of franchises, and the HS2 high speed rail line from London through Birmingham to Leeds and Manchester, and then into Scotland, would be completed.

On the issue of skills, Labour said it would maintain the apprenticeship levy and require that the Institute for Apprenticeships and Technical Education report annually to the Secretary of State on quality outcomes of completed apprenticeships “to ensure they deliver skilled workers for employers and real jobs for apprentices at the end of their training”.

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