Party Policies Compare Alliance policies against Labour policies

Please note this website was created for the 2015 General Election. Due to the lack of preparation time, we have not updated this website for the 2017 Election. Why?

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Opposing steep cuts in UK public spending, including seeking to exempt Northern Ireland from cuts as far as possible in return for local commitment to reform.

Alliance believes that if the economic recovery is going to benefit everybody, every community in Northern Ireland must be fulfilling its economic potential. This means that as well as investing in big projects, we must invest in town centres, high streets, local districts and urban villages. These are usually the economic heart of communities across Northern Ireland and need support to ensure that all parts of Northern Ireland are involved in economic growth.

Unfortunately, the high street will not be the same as it has been in the past and we will need to reconsider what we want it to look like. This will mean a mix of shops, cafes and restaurants, residential properties and non-retail businesses. This will help to ensure vibrant community economies despite trends towards out-of-town retail centres and internet shopping.

Reforms to business rates to make it easier for entrepreneurs to establish a business in vacant premises, such as scrapping business rates for the first year for a new business.

Support for Business Improvement Districts, whereby businesses fund regeneration in their area through a levy on business rates.

Some reforms due to take place in the Assembly, such as the introduction of Business Improvement Districts, will create structures that allow community business interests to be developed. We will seek to maximise these.

Alliance would support legislation to separate retail banking from investment banking.

Alliance supports the call for a differential rate of Corporation Tax for Northern Ireland, ideally at 12.5%.

Source: Alliance party website, existing manifesto or officially-published policies.

Our key policy commitments include:

Encouraging greater co-operation and co-ordination between the criminal justice agencies tackling undue delay and the speed of justice, including working to agreed and shared targets;

Providing new alternative to prosecutions for low-level offences;

Delivering comprehensive reform of the legal aid system, including full provision of adequate funding and other resources to the disadvantaged in society, ensuring equality of access to justice for all;

Reviewing strategies for assisting victims and witnesses within the criminal justice system and the development of a Victims' Code of Practice;

Developing a formal set of guidelines on sentencing and on the enforcement of judgements, through the creation of a Northern Ireland Sentencing Guidelines Council;

Facilitating of collaborative working between statutory and non-statutory agencies to drive down offending and re-offending rates;

Creating a Northern Ireland Offender Management Strategy;

Reviewing the conditions of detention, management and oversight of all prisons;

Producing a five-year community safety strategy;

Rationalising District Policing Partnerships and Community Safety Partnerships, ideally as part of wider community planningdevelopments;

Developing and resourcing of an active strategy to engage with communities to commence and support a process for the removal of so-called 'peace-walls';

Source: Alliance party website, existing manifesto or officially-published policies.

Alliance will support a Strategic Defence Review. We believe that the balance of investment in the armed services needs to change to reflect the different challenges of peacekeeping and peacemaking.

Alliance believes that no serviceman or woman should be sent into conflict on less basic pay than the starting salary of a police constable.

There are pressing demands for investment in armoured protection and transport for troops and in the pay and living standards for service personnel and their families.

We would ensure taxpayers' money is spent more effectively on equipping the armed forces for the tasks of the future, not past threats. There is also a need for greater support and services for returning service personnel and also for their families.

Alliance has seen no evidence to suggest that the like-for-like renewal of the Trident nuclear weapons system is necessary or cost-effective. Alliance believes that other approaches can be found to ensure the nuclear security of the United Kingdom with a different focus to reflect the security challenges of the future rather than refighting the Cold War.

Source: Alliance party website, existing manifesto or officially-published policies.

Source: Alliance party website, existing manifesto or officially-published policies.

Alliance is committed in principle to abolishing tuition fees for Northern Ireland students, as in Scotland, at the earliest opportunity.

Setting a minimum target of 20% of children in integrated education by 2020, backed up by legislation which will make it easier to establish new integrated schools and help other schools to integrate.

Source: Alliance party website, existing manifesto or officially-published policies.

Alliance is a pro-environmental party. We believe that tackling climate change is a priority and that the new district Councils should be at the forefront of this. We have a long record of supporting groups who wish to take action in their communities and arguing for investment at a district level. We are proud of our environmental record and will be the most active party on your Council on these issues.

Alliance believe that one of the most important tasks for the new Councils will be to improve the amount of waste that Councils recycle- making sure that we are not throwing out items that can be recycled and always looking to reduce the amount of rubbish that is sent to landfill. This is one of the simplest ways we can reduce our impact on the environment.

Alliance supports regional, national, European and international efforts to protect the environment. Alliance supports the implementation of the Rio and Kyoto Treaties. Although the Copenhagen Climate Change Summit 'recognises' the scientific case for keeping temperature rises to no more than 2°C, there was no commitment to legally binding, timely emissions reductions to achieve that goal.

Alliance will work for Sustainable Development at all levels of government. Protecting the environment and developing our economy are not mutually exclusive, but interdependent. This is reflected in the concept of sustainable development, as it recognises the links between economic, social and environmental concerns. It is about balancing all of these needs.

Alliance endorses the 'polluter pays' principle. This means that those who pollute more should pay more and provides a financial incentive to pollute less. We support a shift in taxation towards pollution and resource depletion. Consistent with the 'polluter pays' principle, the use of market forces can contribute to the protection of the environment.

Alliance calls for the creation of a Green Economy Task Force. This body could be sponsored by the Northern Ireland Executive and include representatives from the business community.

Source: Alliance party website, existing manifesto or officially-published policies.

Alliance supports the principle of the United Kingdom's entry into the Euro at the earliest appropriate opportunity governed by the economic convergence criteria. We do recognise that those criteria do not clearly exist at present.

Alliance will support measures to develop and reinforce the Single Market. All member states should be encouraged to comply with their obligations.

Alliance supports an enhanced role of the European Union in financial regulation. The recent economic recession was partially international in nature and efforts to prevent a repeat are required at the European level in addition to domestic action.

Alliance will support reform of the Common Agricultural Policy to ensure a long term sustainable agriculture sector, through shifting support from production and export subsidies towards diversification, conservation and rural development.

Alliance will work towards a co-ordinated European effort to fight organised crime and terrorism. Organised criminals and terrorists do not respect national borders. Therefore collaboration across borders by states and regions is essential.

Alliance will support the maintenance of the UK's participation within the European Arrest Warrant and the European Police Office (EUROPOL).

Alliance will support the further enlargement of the European Union, including the membership of Turkey.

Source: Alliance party website, existing manifesto or officially-published policies.

Alliance would support measures to allow parents more flexibility around maternity and paternity leave. This would enable mothers and fathers to determine the most effective balance to fit their own family and work circumstances.

Alliance will work to provide well resourced childcare provision. There are successful childcare voucher employer/employee tax incentive schemes that we will promote and implement with sufficient funding.

Requiring concerted government action to improve relations with other groups, such as ethnic minorities and the LGBT community.

Alliance Councillors will push to make sure your community is as clean as possible. This will mean using our position on the Council to push for:

More street-sweepers to keep our streets tidier, including making sure they are out and about more at busier times.

Investment in graffiti removal, prioritising sectarian or other offensive graffiti which intimidates as well as looks ugly.

Introducing new techniques to reduce dog-fouling as well as providing more dog waste bins.

Campaigning for more litter bins on our streets where they are needed.

Alliance is also committed to increasing the number and accessibility of nursery places in Northern Ireland.

Source: Alliance party website, existing manifesto or officially-published policies.

Alliance would replace the current 'First-Past-the-Post' electoral system with the Single Transferable Vote (STV) system of Proportional Representation. A plurality electoral system, such as 'First-Past-the-Post', does not produce fair and representative outcomes in a diverse society.

Alliance will support 'Votes at 16'. Young people have a stake in society. They can pay taxes and participate in the services. It is inconsistent to deny young people the right to have their say in the future.

Alliance believes that the House of Lords should be replaced by a mixed elected and appointed second chamber. The principle of inherited representation is wrong. However, there is a case for a second chamber to act as a balance to the House of Commons.

Elected representatives could be elected by Proportional Representation from the 12 regions of the UK, including Northern Ireland.

Alliance will support the introduction of a register of lobbyists at Westminster. This is vital to assist in creating greater transparency.

Further to this, there should be an interval before former government ministers are allowed to become lobbyists.

Alliance will support a cap on the level of donations to political parties from individual sources. The initial level of a cap should be around £10,000 per annum.

Alliance will support the consideration of a system whereby electors can recall an MP in the event of major breaches of code of conduct and law.

Alliance MPs would be full-time and will support further action against 'double-jobbing'. Future legislation could bar MPs from holding other public offices, and also working in other jobs and professions or engaging in consultancy beyond a set number of hours annualised.

Source: Alliance party website, existing manifesto or officially-published policies.

Alliance is committed to a National Health Service that is free to all at the point of entr y.

Alliance stresses the importance of investment in public health and prevention. In particular bearing in mind that the incidence of mental health problems is much higher in Northern Ireland than the UK-average, we are committed to the full implementation of the recommendations of the Bamford Review.

We would address the structural underfunding of mental health services, particularly with respect to children and young people.

Alliance is further conscious of the inadequate system of social care of our senior citizens in Northern Ireland, as in the rest of the United Kingdom.

We have a longstanding commitment to free personal care. It is wrong that people are forced into selling their homes to fund their care. Alliance would also welcome a UK-wide Commission to study this issue.

Source: Alliance party website, existing manifesto or officially-published policies.

We believe that there is a difficult balance to be struck between keeping the rates as low as possible and funding quality public services. However, we believe that all people should pay their fair share of the district (and regional) rate by removing the cap that stops the owners of the wealthiest properties from paying the same percentage rate as everyone else.

Alliance advocates the following elements as part of a Northern Ireland Green New Deal:

Energy efficiency in homes and businesses - this involves incentives and regulations to encourage the installation of such measures, including 'smart meters' and home insulation.

Source: Alliance party website, existing manifesto or officially-published policies.

Alliance recognises that immigration must be regulated in order to be fair, but is opposed to a mindset of 'pulling up the drawbridge' and shutting the UK off from a globalising world.

There is a need for formal exit controls to capture numbers leaving in order to complement information on those who have arrived.

Alliance would change the rules to make it easier to get a work permit for those who are willing to go and live in a part of the United Kingdom that is short of workers. This would encourage newcomers to live where they are needed.

Alliance supports a points-based system, linked to skills, as the least worst of all the alternatives for regulating legal immigration. We are opposed to an arbitrary cap that has been proposed by some, such as the Conservative and Unionists.

There is a need for a stronger safety net for immigrants when they lose employment.

Alliance is keen to attract students to study in UK Further and Higher Education Colleges. However, there is a need for stronger checks to ensure that this avenue is not abused.

Alliance would support measures to allow asylum seekers in certain circumstances to work two months after making an application and benefits would only be paid if they could not find work. This would reduce spending on benefits, increase tax revenue, help integration, lower community tensions and greatly reduce dependence on welfare and social housing.

Alliance would advocate taking responsibility away from the Home Office and give it to an independent agency, thus making decisions free from political influence. Currently 25% of decisions are overturned on appeal.

Alliance would allow people who have been in the United Kingdom, including Northern Ireland for 10 years, have a clean record and who want to live here long-term to earn citizenship thus allowing immigration services to focus their time deporting dangerous individuals and checking up on employers to stop illegal working.

Alliance believes that the priority for deportation should be on criminals, while letting law-abiding families earn citizenship.

Source: Alliance party website, existing manifesto or officially-published policies.

Alliance believes that green transport options should be pursued as a priority alongside other modes of transport. That is why we will support Councils adopting sustainable travel plans that make it easier for cyclists and walkers to get about town and will include advance planning about new bus routes.

We will especially promote safe cycle routes and storage and suitable pavements and road crossings to encourage walking.

Alliance will lobby for a revised Aviation Strategy for the United Kingdom. Aviation policy is not currently devolved to the Northern Ireland Assembly.

Source: Alliance party website, existing manifesto or officially-published policies.

Alliance would oppose Conservative and Unionist plans for a £3 a week marriage tax credit . The tax system is not the appropriate mechanism to promote so-called family values. Every family is different, and instead of creating rigid rules or special policies that help some families and not others, measures should be put in place that address poverty and lack of opportunities.

Alliance will work towards the eradication of pensioner poverty. We would support increasing the basic state pension, paid alongside other existing entitlements, to provide some financial stability for all.

Source: Alliance party website, existing manifesto or officially-published policies.

Alliance will support the introduction of a standard minimum wage from the age of 16. This reflects our commitment to fairness and non-discrimination.

Alliance would support measures to allow parents more flexibility around maternity and paternity leave. This would enable mothers and fathers to determine the most effective balance to fit their own family and work circumstances.

Source: Alliance party website, existing manifesto or officially-published policies.

Alliance strongly supports a successful comprehensive Climate Change agreement . The limited agreement from the Copenhagen Summit is be followed-up at talks in Bonn and Mexico.

We also support for the United Nations Commission on Sustainable Development.

Alliance supports the UK Government meeting and maintaining the United Nations target of 0.7% of GDP for international development aid and assistance. We further encourage the use of the UN Development Programme's Human Development Index to measure the quality of life in countries. Alliance will continue to oppose tying aid to trade.

Alliance calls for co-ordinated action led by the United Kingdom to realise the UN's Millennium Development Goals.

Structural changes in the developing world, such as investment in primary education, are vital to remove the dependency on short-term aid and relief.

We also urge the continuation and advancement of international leadership in the fight against HIV/AIDS. We must put our efforts into education and preventive programmes.

Alliance advocates an open and fair international trading system. We would call in particular on the industrialised world, including the EU and the USA, to lead the way towards a more broad-based economic model to ensure that economic disasters can be mitigated.

Alliance supports fair trade initiatives. We are committed to promoting the welfare of workers in the developing world and ensuring fair prices for products.

Alliance endorses the introduction of a small tax on international financial transactions, such as the proposed 'Tobin Tax' . Organised multilaterally, the proceeds would fund international development.

Source: Alliance party website, existing manifesto or officially-published policies.

We will require listed companies to report on whether or not they pay the living wage.

We will ban employers from requiring zero-hours workers to be available on the off-chance that they'll be needed.

We will make it easier to start and grow businesses. We'll create a British investment bank that will lend money to new and growing businesses.

We'll support small businesses by cutting business rates for 1.5 million small firms and freezing their energy bills.

Source: Labour party website, existing manifesto or officially-published policies.

Protect neighbourhood policing by safeguarding over 10,000 frontline police officers over the next three years

We will put visible neighbourhood policing back in its rightful place at the heart of our communities, with a Local Policing Commitment that gives a guaranteed minimum level of neighbourhood policing.

We will insist on new professional standards in our police service, with officers guilty of serious misconduct struck off, and a tougher Police Standards Authority.

We will abolish Police and Crime Commissioners and put the savings back into frontline policing instead.

We will take domestic violence and violence against women seriously, with a ban on the use of community resolutions for dealing with domestic abuse and sexual crimes, and the introduction of compulsory sex and relationship education in schools.

We will create a justice system with witnesses and victims at its heart, including the country's first ever Victims' Law.

We will put rehabilitation at the heart of a prison system which aims to reduce reoffending and cut crime, ensuring that prisons properly punish and reform while mobilising the talents and expertise of all agencies to cut crime.

Labour will consult on lowering the sentence threshold for EU migrants who commit crimes having only recently arrived in the UK, so that, for example, a migrant who committed common assault or robbery within a few months of arriving would be automatically considered for deportation - Labour Euro Manifesto.

Source: Labour party website, existing manifesto or officially-published policies.

Conduct a Strategic Defence and Security Review in the first year of government

Outlaw discrimination against and abuse of members of the Armed Forces

Enshrine the Military Covenant in the NHS Constitution

Reserving the right to act in national self-defence, as we did in government by intervening alongside our allies in Afghanistan following 9/11.

Using military force only after all peaceful and diplomatic avenues to avert conflict have been exhausted and within international law.

A commitment to preserving and protecting universal human rights and to doing what we can to uphold the internationally recognised principle of the responsibility to protect.

A commitment to effective conflict prevention as well as being responsible post-conflict stakeholders once a conflict has ended.

A commitment to helping others to help themselves and a capacity-building approach which might apply to states regional organisations.

A commitment to multilateral cooperation. The threats we face are global and therefore shared and so the most effective solutions will inevitably be joint.

Source: Labour party website, existing manifesto or officially-published policies.

Cut the deficit every year and balance the books as soon as possible in the next Parliament

Reverse the 50p tax cut so that the top one per cent pay a little more to help get the deficit down

Not increase the basic or higher rates of Income Tax, National Insurance or VAT

Cut and then freeze business rates and maintain the most competitive corporate tax rates in the G7

Abolish non dom status

Increase the National Minimum Wage to more than £8 an hour by October 2019 and introduce Make Work Pay contracts to provide tax rebates to firms becoming Living Wage employers

Ban exploitative zero-hours contracts

Guarantee an apprenticeship for every school leaver who attains the grades and require any firm that gets a large government contract to offer apprenticeships

Reduce tuition fees to £6,000 a year

Freeze energy bills until 2017 and give the regulator the power to cut bills this winter

Introduce a British Investment Bank and support a network of regional banks.

Source: Labour party website, existing manifesto or officially-published policies.

Introduce a new gold-standard Technical Baccalaureate for 16 to-18-year olds

Protect the entire education budget from early years through to post-16 education

Guarantee all teachers in state schools will be qualified

Appoint Directors of School Standards to drive up standards in every area

Cap class sizes for five, six and seven-year-olds

Ensure all young people study English and Maths to age 18.

Source: Labour party website, existing manifesto or officially-published policies.

Push for an ambitious target in Paris to get to goal of net zero global emissions in the second half of this century.

We will make life more affordable for millions of people. We'll freeze gas and electricity bills until 2017 and reform the broken energy market to stop the cost of energy bills soaring.

We will fix the broken energy market, increasing competition and transparency so that it works for consumers. This will include introducing a simple new tariff structure so that people can compare prices in place of the complex and confusing system that exists today.

We will abolish Ofgem which has failed to stand up for consumers, and replace it from January 2017 with a tough new energy watchdog.

We will unlock investment in clean energy by setting a firm 2030 decarbonisation target and giving the Green Investment Bank more powers.

We will stick to ambitious, legally binding targets for carbon reduction including the decarbonisation of our electricity supply by 2030, and full implementation of carbon budgets and we'll make Britain a world leader in low carbon technology and green jobs, creating a million new high technology, green jobs by 2025.

We will strengthen the Green Investment Bank with borrowing powers, ensuring it is better placed to support investment in small and medium green businesses seeking to grow.

We will prioritise flood prevention and introduce a new climate change adaptation plan to help us properly prepare for the effects of a changing climate.

We will protect animal welfare ending the inhumane and ineffective badger cull, maintaining the ban on hunting with dogs, and introducing a ban on wild animals in circuses.

Source: Labour party website, existing manifesto or officially-published policies.

Return Britain to a leadership role in Europe, but reform the EU so that it works for Britain

Guarantee no powers will be transferred to Brussels without an in/out referendum

A referendum on whether the UK should be in or out of the EU only if there is a proposed transfer of more powers from London to Brussels.

Labour are proposing a new Commissioner for Growth, bringing together some of the existing Commission portfolios on economic policy, to help ensure the EU is focused on growth and held accountable for progress.

Alongside this, Labour are proposing that the EU establish its own equivalent of the UK's Office for Budget Responsibility with the narrower mandate of auditing all EU spending decisions based on the impact that they have on promoting growth and jobs across the EU.

Labour will continue to argue for the completion of the Single Market in digital, energy and services, providing potentially huge gains for Britain and helping deliver the economic recovery that Britain needs. The operation of the Single Market in existing sectors must also be protected in the face of possible closer integration between Eurozone states.

Labour will continue to support the conclusion of Free Trade Agreements as a means of promoting economic growth and development.

Tackle rising energy bills and climate change by reforming the European single market in energy.

Labour supports a proper framework for police forces to work together across borders.

Labour will seek to enhance our defence cooperation with allies in Europe where it is in our interests to do so, but we will not support the creation of a European Army.

We do, however, recognise that it is in Britain's interest for sovereign forces from European countries to engage in joint EU missions for peacekeeping and humanitarian assistance, in full coordination with NATO. And we will continue to lead the way in tackling global poverty, making sure that everyone has an equal chance in life.

Labour will continue to campaign for the wasteful second seat of the European Parliament in Strasbourg to be scrapped. Labour believes we can bring down the cost of the Parliament and reform the Commission to help it operate more effectively as well as reforming how the EU spends its money and how Britain gets best value.

From the 2010 party manifesto:

On the Euro, we hold to our promise that there will be no membership of the single currency without the consent of the British people in a referendum.

We support the enlargement of EU membership to include Croatia, and believe that all Western Balkan states should open negotiations on EU accession by 2014, one hundred years after the start of the First World War.

Turkey's future membership is a key test of Europe's potential to become a bridge between religions and regions; there must be continued progress on its application to join the EU.

Source: Labour party website, existing manifesto or officially-published policies.

Extend free childcare from 15 to 25 hours for working parents of three and four-year-olds, and ensure all primary schools guarantee access to wraparound childcare from 8am to 6pm

Double paternity leave from two to four weeks and increase paternity pay by more than £100 a week

We will renew and reinvigorate Sure Start, reforming the way local services work together to shift from sticking-plaster services to radical early help, to provide good quality support to all families that need it.

Source: Labour party website, existing manifesto or officially-published policies.

Set up a people-led Constitutional Convention to determine the future of UK’s governance

Replace the House of Lords with a Senate of the Nations and Regions

Pass an English Devolution Act, handing £30 billion of resources and powers to our great English city and county regions

Give new powers for communities to shape their high streets, including power over payday lenders and the number of fixed-odds betting terminals

Meet our promises to devolve further powers to Scotland and Wales

Give 16 and 17-year-olds the vote

Create a statutory register of lobbyists

Ban MPs from holding paid directorships and consultancies

Require large companies to publish their gender pay gap

Implement the recommendations of the Leveson Inquiry.

Source: Labour party website, existing manifesto or officially-published policies.

Invest £2.5 billion more that the Conservatives to recruit 8,000 more GPs, 20,000 more nurses and 3,000 more midwives

Guarantee GP appointments within 48 hours and cancer tests within one week

Join up services from home to hospital, with a single point of contact for all who need it

Give mental health the same priority as physical health, with a new right to access talking therapies

Repeal the Government’s privatisation plans, cap profits and put the right values back at the heart of the NHS

End time-limited 15 minute social care visits and recruit 5,000 new home-care workers to support people in their home

Source: Labour party website, existing manifesto or officially-published policies.

Ensure at least 200,000 new homes a year are built by 2020, with first priority for local first time buyers

Provide security for renters by guaranteeing three-year tenancies with a ceiling on excessive rent rises

Abolish the Bedroom Tax

Labour will build the homes Britain needs by getting 200,000 homes built a year by 2020. We will get a fair deal for renters with longer, more predictable tenancies and a ban on rip-off letting fees.

We will change the law to make three-year tenancies the norm instead of the six or 12-month short-term tenancies that most renters have now so that landlords and tenants both have more stability, but with the ability to terminate contracts early with proper notice if they have to, just as they can now.

We will get 200,000 homes built a year by 2020. This will close the gap between the number of homes we build and the number of homes we need, as well as providing up to 230,000 jobs in construction.

We will unblock the supply of new homes by giving local authorities "use it or lose it" powers over developers who hoard land that has planning permission so that they can sell it on for a bigger profit, instead of building on it now.

We will deliver a new generation of New Towns and Garden Cities, and give a new "right to grow" to communities who want to expand but are blocked by neighbouring local authorities.

We will tackle empty homes by giving councils more power to charge higher rates of council tax on empty properties, and ensure new homes are advertised in the UK first, not overseas.

Source: Labour party website, existing manifesto or officially-published policies.

Ensure migrants will not be able to claim benefits until they have lived here for at least two years

Stronger border controls: we will make it easier to deport foreign criminals, check people in and out of the country, and do more to stop illegal immigration.

A smarter system of controls: so we get the top talent and investment we need, whilst controlling low skilled migration.

Fair rules at work: a new law to prevent employers undercutting wages by exploiting immigration, and banning agencies from recruiting only from abroad. Fines will be increased for companies who employ illegal immigrants.

Earned entitlements: people coming here won't be able to claim benefits for at least two years.

Integration, not divided communities: people working in public services in public facing roles will be required to speak English.

We will take action to better manage the pace of immigration, reform our economy to be less reliant on low skilled migrant labour, and do more to help migrants integrate into our society so they can play their part - Labour Euro Manifesto.

We will do more to cut illegal immigration, with tougher action including the reinstatement of fingerprint checks at the border and closing down loopholes that enable people to exploit short-term student visitor visas - Labour Euro Manifesto.

Source: Labour party website, existing manifesto or officially-published policies.

From the 2010 party manifesto:

High-speed rail is not just about faster journey times. It will free up capacity on existing intercity rail lines, enabling more rail freight, commuter and local services

We will press ahead with a major investment programme in existing rail services, hugely improving commuter services into and through London, and electrifying new rail-lines including the Great Western Main Line from London to South Wales.

We will complete the new east-west Crossrail line in London adding ten per cent to London transport capacity.

Rail passenger numbers have increased by 40 per cent in the last ten years and punctuality and quality of service are improving steadily.

We will encourage more people to switch to rail with an enforceable right to the cheapest fare, while trebling the number of secure cycle-storage spaces at rail stations.

Tackling road congestion is a key Labour priority. We will extend hard-shoulder running on motorways, alongside targeted motorway widening including on the M25.

Too much disruption is caused by local road works: we will increase tenfold the penalties on utilities who allow work to overrun.

We rule out the introduction of national road pricing in the next Parliament [2010-2015].

Heathrow is Britains international hub airport, already operating at full capacity, and supporting millions of jobs, businesses and citizens who depend upon it.

We support a third runway at Heathrow, subject to strict conditions on environmental impact and flight numbers, but we will not allow additional runways to proceed at any other airport in the next [2010-2015] Parliament.

Source: Labour party website, existing manifesto or officially-published policies.

From the 2010 Labour Party Manifesto:

No young person in Britain should be long-term unemployed: those out of work for six months or more will be guaranteed employment or training through the £1 billion Future Jobs Fund, with mandatory participation after ten months. The fund will support 200,000 jobs.

All those who are long-term unemployed for two years will be guaranteed a job placement, which they will be required to take up or have their benefits cut.

More people with disabilities and health conditions will be helped to move into work from Incapacity Benefit and Employment Support Allowance, as we extend the use of our tough-but-fair work capability test.

We will reassess the Incapacity Benefit claims of 1.5 million people by 2014, as we move those able to work back into jobs.

For those with the most serious conditions or disabilities who want to work there will be a new guarantee of supported employment after two years on benefit.

We are radically reforming how Job Centre Plus helps lone parents: providing extra help with childcare, training and support to find family-friendly work, while requiring those with children aged three to take steps to prepare for work and actively to seek employment once their youngest child is seven years old.

Housing Benefit will be reformed to ensure that we do not subsidise people to live in the private sector on rents that other ordinary working families could not afford. And we will continue to crack down on those who try to cheat the benefit system.

Source: Labour party website, existing manifesto or officially-published policies.

Make it illegal for employers to undercut wages by exploiting workers

Introduce a compulsory jobs guarantee, paid for by a Bank Bonus Tax

Parents shouldn't face the prospect of taking a job that ends up costing them more than they'll earn. We will give working parents 25 hours of free childcare for three and four-year-olds per week.

We will increase the National Minimum Wage to £8 an hour by the end of the next Parliament to help ensure that those doing a hard day's work are rewarded for doing so.

We will increase fines for employers who fail to pay the minimum wage and give local authorities a role in enforcement.

We will introduce 'Make Work Pay' contracts, giving a tax rebate to those companies that sign up to become living wage employers in the first year of the next Parliament.

We will abolish exploitative zero-hours contracts, with rules introduced to give new rights to employees on zero-hours contracts.

We will create a clear route for the forgotten 50 per cent, with a new gold standard Technical Baccalaureate for 16 to 19-year-olds, with rigorous vocational qualifications, accredited by employers, a high quality work placement and English and maths to 18.

Source: Labour party website, existing manifesto or officially-published policies.

Push for global targets to tackle inequality and promote human rights

Conduct a Strategic Defence and Security Review in the first year of government

Return Britain to a leadership role in Europe, but reform the EU so that it works for Britain

Guarantee no powers will be transferred to Brussels without an in/out referendum

Appoint an International LGBT Rights Envoy and a Global Envoy for Religious Freedom

Outlaw discrimination against and abuse of members of the Armed Forces

Enshrine the Military Covenant in the NHS Constitution

Push for global targets to tackle inequality and promote human rights

Establish a Centre for Universal Health Coverage

Push for an ambitious target in Paris to get to goal of net zero global emissions in the second half of this century.

Source: Labour party website, existing manifesto or officially-published policies.

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