Changing Britain Together

Labour Party NHS Social Security

Logo Changing Britain Together

Extracts from the Labour Party policy summary December 2014

1. Raise the Minimum Wage to £8 an hour and ban exploitative zero hour contracts
2. Freeze energy bills until 2017 while reforming the broken energy market
3. Cut the deficit more fairly by asking those earning over £150,000 to contribute a little more through a 50p rate of tax
4. Get at least 200,000 homes built a year by 2020 and deliver a fairer deal for private renters
5. Scrap the Bedroom Tax
6. Require all firms that have a major government contract to offer apprenticeships
7. Repeal the Tories’ plans to bring competition and privatisation to the NHS
8. Ensure the NHS has time to care with 8,000 more doctors and 20,000 more nurses, funded by a mansion tax on homes worth over £2m
9. Control immigration so that entitlements to benefits are earned and wages are not undercut
10. Devolve power to Scotland, Wales, and the cities and counties of England

Delivering Responsible And Fair Social Security

There are too many insecure, low paid jobs in Britain. This doesn’t just undermine our ability to earn our way out of the cost-of-living crisis, it means more welfare spending too. The Tory-led Government has failed to address this problem. Their reforms are not working, hardship is increasing, and the costs of their failure are mounting. Because our economy is not working for everyday working people, the Government is spending billions more on social security than planned while its attempts to reform welfare have led to a catalogue of chaos, waste and unfairness.


Britain needs a responsible and fair social security system. One that rewards contribution, and protects those who cannot work or cannot earn enough to support themselves and their families. It also needs to be affordable. Keeping social security spending under control, and putting decent values at the heart of the system, are not conflicting priorities, but go hand in hand. Labour will build a social security system which ensures those who are able to work find a job, and supports people when they need it. We will control the overall cost of social security spending by tackling the root causes of rising spending. That means making work pay and building houses once again. Only by getting more people into work, and creating better paid and more secure jobs, will we tackle the drivers of rising benefit bills and ensure the system is sustainable for the long term.

• Introduce a Compulsory Jobs Guarantee, paid for by a bank bonus tax, to provide a paid starter job for every young person unemployed for over a year.
• Abolish the cruel, costly and failing Bedroom Tax.
• Reform the Work Capability Assessment so it focuses on the support disabled people need to work.
• Cap structural social security spending as part of each Spending Review so that it is properly planned and controlled.
• Allow councils that make savings in the Housing Benefit bill to recycle them into building homes.

An NHS With Time To Care

David Cameron promised that under the Tories there would be no topdown NHS reorganisation. He broke that promise. They have wasted £3 billion on an upheaval which puts profits before co-operation and patient care, and ties hospitals up in competition law.
This wasteful and chaotic reorganisation is having a knock-on effect on the thing that matters most: patient care. Waiting lists, already rising, look set to be pushed up even further as budgets are squeezed and more hospitals fall into deficit. There is a crisis in A&E, not just in winter but all year round. Vital treatments are being rationed, giving patients the choice of waiting longer or paying to go private. Millions of people can’t get a GP appointment when they need one.


The National Health Service is the Labour Party’s greatest achievement. We created it, we saved it, and we will always support it. Labour’s vision for our NHS will bring together physical health, mental health and social care into a single service to meet all of a person’s care needs, with a focus on prevention. It is a true One Nation vision: a health and care system shaped around people, not bureaucratic structures or markets.
We will protect and strengthen the NHS, even in an era when money is tight. We will repeal the Government’s Health and Social Care Act, ensuring an NHS based on collaboration and integration, not competition and fragmentation. We will strengthen the NHS for the future and ensure it has time to care with 20,000 more nurses and 8,000 more GPs by 2020, paid for by tackling tax avoidance and introducing a tax on properties worth over £2 million.

• Recruit 20,000 more nurses and 8,000 more GPs paid for by a tax on properties worth £2 million or more.
• Guarantee a GP appointment within 48 hours – and on the same day for those who need it.
• Repeal the Tories’ Health and Social Care Act.
• Integrate health and social care services into a system of “whole-person care”.
• Give mental health the priority it deserves with a new right to access talking therapies enshrined in the NHS Constitution.
• Guarantee that patients will wait no longer than one week for vital cancer tests and results by 2020.
• Ensure that when changes are proposed to local hospital services patients and the public have a seat round the table from the very start, helping design and decide on plans for change.

Social Care

The growing social care crisis is one of the biggest challenges we face as a society. Since 2010, £2 .7 billion has been cut from budgets that pay for adult social care while the number of older people needing care has increased. The result is that the system is close to collapse with some elderly people receiving just 15 minute visits and care for by a workforce that is undervalued.
The tighter eligibility criteria which are being applied to deal with this mean that hundreds of thousands fewer people are getting help. And the rising burden of care charges is adding to the cost of living crisis: increases in charges now mean that since 2010, elderly and disabled
people are paying almost £740 a year more for vital home care services.


For too many vulnerable people the current health and care system feels like three fragmented services: physical health in the mainstream NHS, mental health on the fringes of the NHS, and social care in council run services. We will change that, bringing the services together around those needing care – with a single point of contact to organise your care and new homecare workers in the NHS to support people to stay in their home.
We will also end the acceptance of exploitation of the social care workforce, which harms the care people receive. We will stop zero hour contracts being used when care workers are in practice working regular hours, and fully enforce the minimum wage.