Labour Party says it will consider introducing a four-day working week

Shadow chancellor John McDonnell says Labour will consider a four-day week (Picture: PA)

The Labour Party says it will look at the option of introducing a four-day working week if it gets into government.

Shadow chancellor John McDonnell said the party would consider reducing the working week.

Speaking on BBC One’s Sunday Politics, he said: “We work the longest hours in Europe yet we’re less productive.

“The Germans and French produce in four days what we produce in five and yet we work the longest hours.

“We’ll look at the working week because I think people are working too long.”

He also pledged that Labour would scrap Universal Credit.

Until now, the party’s policy had been that it would pause the controversial welfare reform and make changes to the system.

Mr McDonnell told Sky News’ Sophy Ridge on Sunday programme: “I think most people now are coming to the conclusion that it has got to be scrapped.


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“I have been listening to people over the last few weeks about the roll-out in their particular areas, I’ve been looking at what the government has said about how they are seeking to reform it. The reforms haven’t worked.

“I think we’re at that stage now that it’s not sustainable any more.

“It’s not a system that can work. It’s not a system that’s providing the safety net that people expect when they need support.

“I think we are moving to a position now where it is just not sustainable. It will have to go. I think we are moving towards a conclusion now that you can’t save the thing, it’s got to go.”

Mr McDonnell addressing members at the recent Labour Party Conference (Picture: PA)

Mr McDonnell dismissed prime minister Theresa May’s claim that the UK is reaching the end of austerity.

He said: “Isn’t it ironic in the very week that she announces the end of austerity, we discover that members of her Cabinet are being briefed that families will lose out on £200 a month as a result of the roll-out of Universal Credit?

“The institute of Fiscal Studies is saying that 75% of the welfare cuts have still got to be rolled out over the coming years.”

Tory party chairman Brandon Lewis said Mr McDonnell did not have an alternative to Universal Credit.

He told BBC1’s The Andrew Marr Show: “Of course, he’s not able to outline what Labour would do exactly.

“What we are saying, the reason we think universal credit is the right way to go is it does get more people into work. It ensures that work pays and it’s fair for the taxpayer.”