Jeremy Corbyn promises £11bn windfall tax on oil and gas giants in Labour election manifesto
Labour would hit oil and gas companies with an £11bn one-off tax to help workers move into low-carbon jobs, Jeremy Corbyn has declared.
Unveiling the party's election manifesto in Birmingham, the Labour leader vowed to make energy firms "pay their fair share for the costs of their destruction" through a windfall levy if his party win's next month's election.
The manifesto says: "We will introduce a windfall tax on oil companies, so that the companies that knowingly damaged our climate will help cover the costs. We will provide a strategy to safeguard the people, jobs and skills that depend on the offshore oil and gas industry."
But in a move that could disappoint members who passed a conference resolution urging the party to take the UK to net zero carbon emissions by 2030, the manifesto instead says only that Labour will "achieve the substantial majority of our emissions reductions by 2030" if elected.
Describing the 107-page document as "a manifesto for hope", the Labour leader sought to contrast his party's approach with a "rigged system" blocking "real change" in the UK.
"This manifesto is the most radical and ambitious plan to transform our country in decades," he told activists.
"In an election offering a once-in-a-generation chance of real change we can end privatisation and rescue our NHS.
"We can get Brexit sorted and bring our country together. We can tackle the climate emergency that threatens us all. And we can rewrite the rules of our economy to work for the many, not the few.
"Ignore the wealthy and powerful who tell you that’s not possible.
"The future is ours to make, together."
As well as the windfall tax plan, the party is vowing to ramp up levies on big business, boost capital investment, build a wave of new council houses and pump extra money into the NHS, social care and schools systems.
On taxes, Labour is planning to bring in a new 'super-rich' rate for those earning over £125,000.
Corporation tax would rise to 26% by April 2022, up from 17% under the current Government's plans.
A beefed-up financial transactions tax on banks would, the party says, net £8.8bn for the exchequer, while the party would also bring in a tax on second homes and introduce VAT on private school fees.
Overall, Labour says it would increase the tax take by £82.9bn over the next five years to help pay for a number of big-ticket spending pledges.
They include pumping £5.5bn more into schools by 2023, with health set for a £6.9bn annual boost. The party is also promising a £9bn boost to the welfare and pension budget, £20bn more fore local government, and a multi-billion pound lift to public sector pay.
Mr Corbyn meanwhile talked up Labour's plans to take on privatised utilities companies, vowing to bring "rail, mail, water and energy into public ownership" and run them "for the people".
And he pledged to offer voters "the very fastest full-fibre broadband for free" by setting up a new, state-run British Broadband, formed by bringing in "broadband-relevant" parts of telecoms giant BT into public ownership.
The party said workers in existing broadband infrastructure and retail jobs would have their roles guaranteed - and said a tax on tech giants would help to "pay for the operating costs of the public full-fiber network".
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“Labour’s manifesto is one of the boldest and most radical offerings in recent political history.
"With such policies like an £11bn windfall tax on oil and gas giants, a comprehensive National Care Service, a commitment to nationalise the so-called big six energy firms, National Grid, the water industry, Royal Mail and the broadband arm of BT, and many other big pledges, they have gone further than in 2017. They will need to, however.
"The Tories are well ahead and Labour are 12/1 (7.69%) to win the most seats, and 28/1 (3.45%) for a majority, and they must hope that this manifesto has a similar effect to the 2017 offering, which saw an uptake in Labour support."
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