IPPR's manifesto for change: General election 2017Published Mon 1 May 2017
As the UK prepares to return to the polling stations on 8 June it is clear that Brexit will dominate much of the public debate over the next five weeks, as the negotiations and the aftermath will dominate British politics over the next five years.
But the UK faces serious challenges that whoever is elected in June must tackle alongside getting the best Brexit deal. Half of all UK households have seen no meaningful improvement in their incomes for more than a decade; our NHS faces unpreceded challenges from an aging population and the crisis in social care; and our housing system has consistently failed to build anywhere near the number of new homes we need.
How will our new government respond to these unprecedented challenges?
At IPPR, we are setting out a series of practical and progressive recommendations for change. We hope they will be useful to all political parties in setting out how they will deliver the kind of change Britain needs to deal with the mounting pressures it faces.
Many of these ideas will be controversial, but in policy terms more of the same from our political parties simply won’t be enough for the UK. Throughout this election and into the coming parliament IPPR will continue to find the evidence, and make the case for real progressive change. Here we set out some first steps towards achieving this change that all political parties could sign up to.
- Negotiate a ‘progressive Brexit’ that prioritises close UK-EU trade links in goods and services, maintains employment and consumer rights, and develops a new UK-EU agreement that gives the UK greater control over migration from the EU.
- Create a hypothecated ‘NHS tax’ by raising income tax and national insurance for the highest-paid to provide a further £3.9 billion a year to tackle the funding crisis in the NHS, and reforming pensions tax relief to deliver a £3 billion a year cash boost to social care.
- Guarantee a universal entitlement to free childcare for all those aged between two and four, and greater paternity rights for working dads;
- Introduce a new Skills Levy to boost employer investment in skills and lifelong learning, and a youth guarantee for 18–21-year-olds that offers education, training and intensive support to get into work.
- Develop an active, place-based industrial strategy with powers devolved to strong regional and sub-regional institutions.
- Introduce a five-year ‘family tenancy’ for renters, and give local areas the power to build more homes by devolving a share of stamp duty and freeing councils to borrow to build.
These are just some of the ideas we are putting forward: the following pages contain many more.
Any policy programme for the next parliament must seek to do five key things if we are to confront some of the challenges we face.
- Negotiate a progressive Brexit.
- Create an economy that works for all.
- Tackle the crisis in health and care.
- Respond to the housing crisis.
- Protect our environment.
This publication addresses each of these objectives in turn.