The Labour Party will end zero-hours contracts and unpaid internships if they win the general election, leader Jeremy Corbyn and Shadow Chancellor John McDonnell have announced.
The public sector pay cap which has left workers facing a £1700 drop in annual pay by 2020 will also be scrapped, while the minimum wage will be raised to match the national living wage, or at least £10 per hour by 2020.
In a twenty-point plan published by LabourList, Mr Corbyn and Mr McDonnell lay out a raft of progressive policies to improve conditions for British workers and end what they call the "rigged economy".
Public sector employees and workers in companies bidding for public contracts are told they will benefit from a new maximum pay cap under a Labour government, meaning the highest earners can earn no more than 20 times the salary of their lowest-earning employees.
Temporary and part-time employees will be granted the same legal rights as their full-time co-workers, the party leadership promises, while paternity leave will be doubled to four weeks and paternity pay increased.
Mr McDonnell said: “The cornerstone of the next Labour government’s programme to bring an end to the rigged economy that many experience in workplaces across Britain.
“The scandal of six million people earning less than the living wage and four million children growing up in poverty are not inevitable. It only takes a change of government to bring these outrages to an end.”
Other policies in the plan include four new bank holidays across the UK, which currently has the fewest public holidays of any EU country, and measures giving trade unions more power to collectively bargain on behalf of workers.
The most ridiculous claims made about Jeremy Corbyn
The most ridiculous claims made about Jeremy Corbyn
1/11 He called Hezbollah and Hamas ‘friends’
True. In a speech made to the Stop the War Coalition in 2009, Mr Corbyn called representatives from both groups “friends” after inviting them to Parliament. He later told Channel 4 he wanted both groups, who have factions designated as international terror organisations, to be “part of the debate” for the Middle East peace process. “I use (the word ‘friends’) in a collective way, saying our friends are prepared to talk,” he added. “Does it mean I agree with Hamas and what it does? No. Does it mean I agree with Hezbollah and what they do? No.”
2/11 ‘Jeremy Corbyn thinks the death of Osama bin Laden was a tragedy’
Partly false. David Cameron used this as a line of attack at the Conservative Party conference but appears to have left out all context from Mr Corbyn’s original remarks. In an 2011 interview on Iranian television, the then-backbencher said the fact the al-Qaeda leader was not put on trial was the tragedy, continuing: “The World Trade Center was a tragedy, the attack on Afghanistan was a tragedy, the war in Iraq was a tragedy.”
3/11 He is ‘haunted’ by the legacy of his ‘evil’ great-great-grandfather
False. A Daily Express exposé revealed that the Labour leader’s ancestor, James Sargent, was the “despotic” master of a Victorian workhouse. Addressing the report at the Labour conference, Mr Corbyn said he had never heard of him before, adding: “I want to take this opportunity to apologise for not doing the decent thing and going back in time and having a chat with him about his appalling behaviour.”
4/11 Jeremy Corbyn raised a motion about ‘pigeon bombs’ in Parliament
This one is true. On 21 May 2004, Mr Corbyn raised an early day motion entitled “pigeon bombs”, proposing that the House register being “appalled but barely surprised” that MI5 reportedly proposed to load pigeons with explosives as a weapon. The motion continued: “The House… believes that humans represent the most obscene, perverted, cruel, uncivilised and lethal species ever to inhabit the planet and looks forward to the day when the inevitable asteroid slams into the earth and wipes them out thus giving nature the opportunity to start again.” It was not carried.
5/11 He rides a Communist bicycle
False. A report in The Times referred to Mr Corbyn, known for his cycling, riding a “Chairman Mao-style bicycle” earlier this year. “Less thorough journalists might have referred to it as just a bicycle, but no, so we have to conclude that whenever we see somebody on a bicycle from now on, there goes another supporter of Chairman Mao,” he later joked.
6/11 'Jeremy Corbyn will appoint a special minister for Jews'
False so far. The Sun report in December was allegedly based on a “rumour” passed to the paper by a Daily Express columnist who has written pieces critical of the Labour leader in the past. The minister did not materialise in his shadow cabinet.
7/11 ‘Jeremy Corbyn wishes Britain would abolish its Army’
False. Another gem from The Sun took comments made at a Hiroshima remembrance parade in August 2012 where Mr Corbyn supported Costa Rica’s move to abolish it armed forces. “Wouldn’t it be wonderful if every politician around the world…abolished the army and took pride in the fact that they don’t have an army,” he added. The caveat that “every politician” must take the step suggests Mr Corbyn does not support UK disarmament just yet.
8/11 Jeremy Corbyn stole sandwiches meant for veterans
False. The Guido Fawkes blog claimed that the Labour leader took sandwiches meant for veterans at at Battle of Britain memorial service in September but a photo later emerged showing him being handed one by Costa volunteers, who later confirmed they were given to all guests.
9/11 He missed the induction into the Queen’s privy council
True. After much speculation about Mr Corbyn’s republican views and willingness to bow to the monarch, his office confirmed that he did not attend the official induction to the privy council because of a prior engagement, but did not rule out joining the body.
10/11 Jeremy Corbyn refuses to sing the national anthem.
Partly true. The Labour leader was filmed standing in silence as God Save the Queen was sung at a Battle of Britain remembrance service but will reportedly sing it in future. Mr Corbyn was elusive on the issue in an interview, saying he would show memorials “respect in the proper way”, but sources said he would sing the anthem at future occasions.
11/11 He is a member of the All-Party Parliamentary Group for Cheese
True. The group lists its purpose as the following: “To increase awareness of issues surrounding the dairy industry and focus on economic issues affecting the dairy industry and producers.”
Recent YouGov polling puts Labour 13 points behind the Tories, on 31 per cent to their rivals’ 44 per cent. That puts Labour at about the same share of the vote they picked up during Ed Miliband’s unexpected defeat in 2015, but the Tories are projected to make gains thanks to a collapse in support for Ukip.
Several of the policies in the new economic platform echo promises made by Mr Miliband in the run-up to the previous election. For example, he promised workers would have a legal right to a full contract after 12 weeks of work, vowing to end the “epidemic” of zero-hours contracts.
Speaking on the BBC’s Andrew Marr Show on Sunday, Theresa May gave her clearest indication yet that she could scrap the Tory pledge not to raise certain taxes.
The Prime Minister told Marr: “We have absolutely no plans to increase the level of tax but I’m also very clear that we don’t want to make specific proposals on taxes unless I’m absolutely sure that I can deliver on those.
“But it would be my intention as a Conservative government and as a Conservative prime minister to reduce the taxes on working families.
“And if you've got strong and stable leadership that's absolutely what you can do.”
The British public will have their say when they go to the polls on 8 June.Reuse content