Jeremy Corbyn's speech at the launch of the Labour Manifesto

21 November 2019


Labour’s manifesto is a manifesto of hope. A manifesto that will bring real change. A manifesto full of popular policies that the political establishment has blocked for a generation.

Over the next three weeks they are going to tell you that everything in this manifesto is impossible. Why would they? The system is working just fine for them. It’s rigged in their favour. But it’s not working for you.

This party, this movement, this manifesto is different.

Labour is on your side. And there could scarcely be a clearer demonstration of that than the furious reaction of the rich and powerful.

They know we will go after the tax dodgers, the bad bosses and the big polluters so that everybody in our country gets a fair chance in life.

So I accept that the opposition and hostility of the rich and powerful is inevitable.

We will make those at the top pay their fair share of tax to help fund world class.

We will give Britain a pay rise starting with a real living wage of at least £10 an hour, including for young workers.

We will build a million homes, empower tenants and control rents.

I accept the hostility of the big polluters because we will make sure they pay their fair share of the costs of their destruction, create a million climate jobs and build the healthy, green economy of the future.

We will stop the giant healthcare corporations sucking out profits from our NHS.

We will bring rail, mail, water and energy into public ownership and running them for the people.

We’re going to give you the very fastest full-fibre broadband for free..

These policies are fully costed with no increases in VAT or income tax or National Insurance for anyone earning less than £80,000. That’s no tax increases for 95% of taxpayers.

We’ll deliver real change for the many and not the few. That’s what this manifesto is all about. And you really can have this plan for real change because you don’t need money to buy it.

You just need a vote – and your vote can be more powerful than all their wealth. So the first step is to make sure you’re registered to vote.

Don’t miss out. This is your chance. If you’re not registered, do it today. If you are registered, get your friends and family registered too.

Vote for the young person who can’t go to the youth centre after school because it’s closed its doors, and who has nothing to do but hang around on the street.

Vote for the mum falling into debt because she has to fork out for her kids to go to university, and for her own parents’ care.

Vote for the older person, too afraid to walk down their street because violent crime has doubled under Conservative austerity.

Vote for the soldier who served in the armed forces for years, now sleeping in a doorway on a freezing cold winter night because mental health services weren’t there when they needed them.

Boris Johnson is trying to hijack Brexit to sell out our NHS and sell out working people.

The Conservatives want to use Brexit to unleash Thatcherism on steroids.

Why Johnson is preparing to sell out our NHS for a US trade deal that will drive up the cost of medicines and lead to the runaway privatisation of our health service.

£500 million a week of NHS money – enough for 20,000 new nurses – could be handed to big drugs companies as part of a deal now being plotted in secret.

If you watched the TV debate on Tuesday night, you’ll have seen me hold up the censored, blacked-out reports of secret talks between British and American officials about opening up our health service to US corporations and driving up the cost of medicines.

Our NHS is not for sale.

We will get Brexit sorted within six months, because we’re not going to rip up our main trading relationship.

We’ll secure a sensible deal that protects manufacturing and the Good Friday Agreement, and then put it to a public vote alongside the option of remaining in the EU.

Let’s take this out of the hands of politicians and give the British people the final say.

Our investment blitz will upgrade our national infrastructure in every region and nation, and rebuild our schools, hospitals, care homes and housing. Investment on a scale you have never known in every town, city and region.

And we’ll boost the devolved budgets, allowing the Welsh Labour government to build on its success with huge new projects like the Swansea Bay Tidal Lagoon, and putting an extra £100 billion into Scotland to boost the Scottish economy, secure the future of industry and properly fund our public services.

We can no longer deny the climate emergency we can see it all around us, as the recent floods in Yorkshire and the East Midlands have shown. We have no time to waste.

The crisis demands swift action, but it isn’t right to load the costs of the climate emergency onto the nurse, the builder or the energy worker.

So a Labour government will ensure the big oil and gas corporations that profit from heating up our planet will shoulder the burden and pay their fair share through a Just Transition Tax.

Labour will create one million new green jobs as part of a Green Industrial Revolution. One million jobs from building wind turbines to insulating homes, from reforesting the Great British countryside to manufacturing new electric vehicles.

Because with this manifesto Labour put the government on your side.

If you’re a patient or a nurse, Labour is on your side. We’ll rescue our NHS, make dental check-ups free, recruit thousands of nurses and doctors and bring down waiting lists.

If you’re a student, Labour is on your side. We’ll create a National Education Service, make lifelong education a right, value technical education as highly as academic learning and we’ll bring back maintenance grants and, yes, scrap university tuition fees.

If you’re reaching old age, Labour is on your side. We’ll protect pensions and provide free personal care. If you’re living with a disability, Labour is on your side. We’ll update the Equality Act and scrap Universal Credit.

If you’re a tenant, Labour is on your side. We’ll launch the biggest council house-building programme since the 1960s and cap rents. If you’re a new parent, Labour is on your side. We’ll guarantee 30 hours of free childcare for all 2 to 4 year olds.

Because Labour is a party of experts. And by experts I mean the people who produce the wealth and deliver our services at the sharp end; carers, teachers, train drivers, engineers, tech workers, all experts in their fields. That’s why when Labour wins the nurse wins, the student wins, the pensioner wins, the tenant wins, the young couple wins. We all win.

Ignore the wealthy and powerful who tell you that’s not possible. The future is ours to make, together.

As the writer Pablo Neruda wrote so beautifully: “You can cut all the flowers but you cannot keep Spring from coming.”

Vote for this manifesto of hope. It’s time for real change.