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Labour leader takes on 'elites'

Corbyn sets out plan ‘to protect working people’

Jeremy Corbyn
Jeremy Corbyn addressing Unison members in Glasgow earlier this year (photo by Terry Murden)

Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn will today promise the most socialist policy agenda for Britain in modern times.

Declaring the general election to be a choice between “the people and the powerful” he will issue a series of pledges to protect workers and fight a system that is “holding Britain back”.

He will tell delegates attending the Scottish Trades Union Congress in Aviemore that they are part of the Labour “family” and commit a Labour government to a £10 an hour living wage.

“While the timing of the election was unexpected, the choice is clear and the stakes are high,” he will say.

“Let no-one be in any doubt – we are in this election to win it and we will fight for every seat in every corner of these isles.

‘The choice facing the country is clear. It’s the people versus the powerful. Labour will challenge the rigged system that is holding our country back. And just like trade unions, we will stand for the many not the few.

“Labour will never, ever apologise for the closeness of our relationship with the trade union movement – you are our family.

Magazine Advert Julia 3“That is why one of the very first things we will do when forming our Labour Government will be to repeal the vicious Tory Trade Union Act. Giving working people the rights to collectively organise and make their lives better, safer and more content.

“We will open inquiries into blacklisting and Orgreave. And we urge the Scottish Government to set up an inquiry into the actions of the Scottish police during the miners’ strike.”

Without spelling out how he will cost his commitments, Mr Corbyn will pledge investment in infrastructure, higher wages, and more funding for schools and colleges.

“We will make jobs better and more secure with a real living wage of £10 an hour by 2020 and stronger rights at work.

Corbyn addressing STUC
Corbyn addressing STUC

“We will end the public sector pay cap that disrespects our committed public servants every day. We will end the need for food banks.

“We will upgrade our economy to create wealth for all through investment in our infrastructure, helping our small businesses, delivering high skill jobs and ending poverty pay.”

Mr Corbyn will attack late-paying companies and those that do not meet their full tax obligations.

“We will put conditions on the massive public spending budget with private business to ensure no company wins a public contract if they avoid or evade taxes, don’t pay their local suppliers on time, or don’t recognise trade unions,” he will say.

“We will never put tax giveaways to corporations and the wealthiest above our vital public services like our social care system and NHS. And we will give schools and colleges – those engines of opportunity – the funding they need.”

The Labour leader will commit Labour to negotiating a Brexit deal that will be in the interests of working people and protect rights that have been secured through the EU.

“Only Labour will negotiate a Brexit deal which protects the interests of working people,” he will say.

“Labour’s Brexit deal will build on the rights won for workers, consumers and the environment in the EU. We will put jobs and living standards first.

“That’s why Labour is campaigning to win every seat across the whole country.”

Nicola Sturgeon
Nicola Sturgeon: two-horse race (photo by Terry Murden)

SNP Leader Nicola Sturgeon will also address the conference and will dismiss Labour’s challenge in Scotland, saying the election is a two-horse race between the SNP and hard-line Tories.

‘The Tories have taken an extreme position – demanding an end to any opposition at Westminster if they win the election,” she will tell delegates.

“The more Tory MPs there are, the heavier the price Scotland will pay. They’re already cutting nearly £3 billion from the Scottish budget. They’re hitting family incomes hard by cutting and removing child tax credits. They want to remove Scotland from the European Single Market – which will cost thousands of jobs.

“They’ve done all this with a small majority. Now they want to crush any opposition. The bigger the Tory majority the more they will think they can do anything to Scotland and get away with it.

“That will mean more cuts, more attacks on low income families and a hard Brexit.

“Only the SNP has the strength to stand up to the Tories and make Scotland’s voice heard.”      

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