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All Labour's Economic Pledges Announced By Shadow Chancellor Rachel Reeves

Keir Starmer and Rachel Reeves at Labour party conference (Alamy)

4 min read

Shadow Chancellor Rachel Reeves announced a number of policies to a packed conference hall at Labour Conference in Liverpool, including introducing greater economic accountability for government and increasing stamp duty for overseas buyers.

Here are all the key announcements in Rachel Reeves' speech:

Economic accountability

Reeves set out how a Labour government “will not waver from iron-clad fiscal rules,” in an attempt to demonstrate the party’s fiscal responsibility ahead of the next general election, which is due to be called before the end of 2024.

“We will protect the independence of the Bank of England, the Office for Budget Responsibility (OBR), and our civil service,” she said.

“As chancellor I will put forward a new charter for budget responsibility, a new fiscal lock guaranteeing in law that any government making permanent and significant tax and spending changes will be subject to an independent forecast from the OBR.”

She insisted that "never again" would the UK see another event like last year’s disastrous mini-budget that crashed the markets and had been implemented without an OBR forecast. 

Increasing stamp duty

The shadow chancellor announced that Labour would increase stamp duty for overseas property buyers, the revenue of which would be used by a Labour government to fund housebuilding in the UK.

Housebuilding
Rachel Reeves said the money from raising stamp duty would go towards housebuilding (Alamy)

“It is not right that, while so many people are struggling, many homes are bought by overseas buyers, who may own a property but leave it vacant, driving up prices while families and young people are desperate to get onto the housing ladder," she said.

"So because, one year ago, Keir Starmer set out the ambition for the next Labour government to make 70 per cent of British households homeowners, because a house should be a home not an asset, and because, conference, it is time we built the homes our young people need, we will raise the stamp duty surcharge on overseas buyers to get Britain building.”

Clamping down on taxation

Reeves reiterated Labour’s plans to impose a more extensive windfall tax on energy companies, abolish the non-dom tax status, and abolish the loophole that exempts private schools from paying VAT.

"Economic responsibility does not detract from advances for working people," she said.

"It is the foundation upon which progress is built. Hard choices, but Labour choices. 

"If you make your home in Britain, then you should pay your taxes here too.  And with Labour, you will."

"New business model for Britain"

Reeves also said that there needed to be a “new business model for Britain” and a “new age of security” that ensured the UK was not reliant on a few countries for resources. 

MANUFACTURING
The shadow chancellor said more must be done to make things here in the UK (Alamy)

“Globalism as we once knew it is dead,” she said.

“Disruption to supply chains that span the globe has revealed the perils of prizing only the fastest and the cheapest, and our ability to make the things essential to our security has been depleted.

“It is no longer enough for the government to turn a blind eye to where things are made or who is making them, to run an economy based on the contributions of only a few people.

“A changed world demands a new business model for Britain.”

Describing her approach as “securinomics”, Reeves said the UK “must do more” to make things in Britain so we are “less exposed to global shocks” and called for an economy “rebuilt in the interests of working people”.

Rebuilding economy in "interests of working people"

Reeves said Labour would also introduce a real living wage that "takes account of the real cost of living" and would abolish zero hours contracts that lead to uncertainty over earnings.

"The fight against poverty pay has been at the heart of our movement from the beginning," she said. 

"And so the next Labour government will go further: Not a rebrand of the minimum wage, like the Tories, a minimum wage that takes account of the real cost of living, and finally we will have a genuine living wage."

Cutting down and scrutinising spending on outsourcing 

Highlighting the issue of waste in the UK, Reeves also announced that Labour would introduce a crackdown on the use of private planes by ministers, as well as slashing government consultancy spending, which has almost quadrupled in just six years. 

"We will crack down on Tory ministers’ private jet habit," she said.

"What is Rishi Sunak so scared of up there in his private jet? Meeting a voter? 

"We will enforce the ministerial code on the use of private planes and save millions of pounds for taxpayers in the process."

In her speech, Reeves also announced that Labour would introduce a “Covid corruption commissioner" with a "mandate to do what it takes" to recover taxpayer money lost to Covid fraud.

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