Labour pledges to end ‘rip-off Britain’, accusing Tories of costing homes £6,000
Shadow chancellor John McDonnell will vow to end “rip-off Britain” as Labour research alleges that the Tories have cost families nearly £6,000 a year by failing to curb rising bills.
By contrast, Labour says its plans to nationalise key utilities and increase wages will make households nearly £7,000 better off each year if it wins the December 12 General Election.
The Tories said Labour’s claim it would reduce living costs “defies belief”, while accusing the party of standing on a manifesto containing tax hikes for “ordinary hardworking people”.
Mr McDonnell is to highlight the scale of inequality in the UK during a speech in Birmingham on Wednesday as Labour criticises the Conservatives for creating a “cost-of-living crisis”.
“As chancellor, I want to ensure Government has sound finances, but I want more than that. I want every family, every household in Britain to have sound finances,” he is expected to say.
“That means putting a stop to rip-off Britain and making real change so that people are not powerless in the face of profiteering monopolies, bad bosses at work, and cast aside by a Government that just stands by.
“You deserve better, and you will be better off under Labour. Where the Tories have failed, a Labour government will be on your side.”
According to Labour’s maths, the Conservatives have cost the average household £5,949 every year since 2010 because of rising bills and falling wages.
Labour says this includes £1,924 more on rent, £1,916 extra on childcare per child and another £1,740 on two rail season tickets.
The party says its plan for “real change” would save £6,716, including £2,941 on childcare per child by expanding free care.
Labour says £2,194 would be saved on a pair of train season tickets by bringing the railways under public ownership and £559 on utility bills by nationalising energy companies and upgrading homes.
It is also pledging that its plan to give free full-fibre internet with a nationalised broadband service would save £364 a year compared with a £204 increase under the Tories.
Other plans include raising the minimum wage to £10 an hour for everyone aged 16 and above, which Labour says would give the average over-25 a £3,444 pay rise.
Conservative Treasury minister Rishi Sunak said: “It defies belief that Corbyn’s Labour are claiming they would reduce living costs at the same time as standing on a manifesto containing tax rises which would hit ordinary hardworking people across the country.
“Their spending plans would cost everyone £2,400 every year, that’s equivalent to a month’s pay for most people. In contrast, we have pledged to cut taxes and will introduce record increases in the National Living Wage which will mean hardworking people will get a well-deserved pay rise.”
Despite Labour claiming only the top 5% would see tax rises under its plans, the Tories have pointed out low earners would be affected by plans including the end to the marriage allowance, costing up to £250 yearly.
Mr McDonnell will also highlight a report from housing charity Shelter which suggested that 135,000 children will be living in temporary accommodation on Christmas Day, and Equality Trust analysis saying the UK’s six richest people control as much wealth as the poorest 13 million.
“It’s three weeks to Christmas,” he is expected to say.
“With children going hungry and homeless are we really living up to the values of Christianity or any other of our religions or beliefs for that matter?”