Today Prime Minister Theresa May gave us a clear message on the last day of Party Conference.
Today I set out details of my vision of a country that works for everyone.
The referendum result in June was not just a vote to leave the EU - it was about something much broader. It was about a deep, justified sense that for many people the world works well for a privileged few but not for them.
Our society should work for everyone, but if you can’t afford to get onto the property ladder, or your child is stuck in a bad school, it doesn’t feel like it’s working for you.
Our economy should work for everyone, but if your pay has stagnated for several years in a row and fixed items of spending keep going up, it doesn’t feel like it’s working for you.
Our democracy should work for everyone, but if you’ve been trying to say things need to change for years and your complaints fall on deaf ears, it doesn’t feel like it’s working for you.
We’ve achieved a lot over the last six years to tackle this: the deficit down, more people into work than ever before, the lowest paid taken out of income tax, a new National Living Wage, one and a half million more children in good or outstanding schools, 3 million new apprenticeships.
But more still needs to be done to put government at the service of ordinary working class people – focusing on the good that government can do.
In practice that means things like:
- Reforming corporate governance - to be announced later in the year – to ensure all businesses are run accountably and with the long-term interest clearly in mind.
- A proper industrial strategy - identifying the industries that are of strategic value to our economy and supporting and promoting them through trade, tax, infrastructure, skills, training, and research and development policies.
- Building more houses - meaning that more people have the opportunity to buy a home of their own and that less of the monthly family budget is poured into accommodation costs.
- Strengthening workers’ rights - as announced on Saturday, we’re going to review our laws to make sure that, in our modern and flexible economy, people are properly protected at work.
- Bold new education reforms - so that every child has the chance to go to a good, local school and that they are not held back by where they live or how much money their parents have. The Government will end the ban on new grammar schools – as well as a range of other reforms to create more good school places.
- Getting immigration under control - leaving the EU gives us an opportunity to control the numbers of people coming here from Europe and the Government will be consulting over the next few months on steps to reduce non-EU migration too across work and student visa routes.
- Continuing to invest in our NHS - £10 billion extra over this Parliament, which is only possible because of the strong economic foundations we have built. We believe in public service. We believe in investing in and supporting the institutions that make our country great.
- Protecting those who cannot work - we will end the mandatory retesting of work capability for those with chronic health conditions that only induces stress but does nothing at all to help.
While Labour remain divided and divisive, completely out of touch with the concerns of ordinary families, it is only our party who can make these changes happen. Political visions are not enough on their own - you need to put the hours and the effort in too. But if you do, great things can happen and great changes can occur. Let's rise to this moment together.
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