Labour to put ‘wealth creation’ at heart of manifesto in ‘national renewal’ bid

Labour will put “wealth creation” at the heart of its manifesto, with Sir Keir Starmer set to proclaim economic growth his party’s “core business”.

The economy forms the lynchpin of the party’s pitch to voters, which will be unveiled at an event in Manchester on Thursday, after Labour made economic stability the first of its six “first steps” for government.

Thursday’s headline announcement is expected to include a pledge to cap corporation tax at its current rate of 25% to give businesses long-term certainty, the latest in a series of pledges not to raise tax.

Labour has already ruled out raising rates of income tax, national insurance or VAT, and said the manifesto will contain no tax rises that have not already been announced.

Those increases are charging VAT on private school fees, abolishing the non-dom tax status and closing “loopholes” in the windfall tax on oil and gas companies.

Party leader Sir Keir is expected to say: “Wealth creation is our number one priority.

“Growth is our core business – the end and the means of national renewal.

Sir Keir Starmer brandishes his party's 'first steps' card
Labour’s six ‘first steps’ are likely to form the centrepiece of the party’s manifesto (Stefan Rousseau/PA)

“The mandate we seek from Britain at this election is for economic growth.

“This changed Labour Party has a plan for growth. We are pro-business and pro-worker, the party of wealth creation.”

He is also expected to reject the argument that “how you grow the economy is not the central question”.

As well as pledges on tax, the manifesto is set to include promises to “unleash investment” through GB Energy, a new state-owned body investing in clean power, and reforming planning rules to help build new infrastructure and 1.5 million new homes.

A PA infographic showing an opinion poll tracker
(PA Graphics)

There will be more powers for local government as part of a commitment to devolve decision-making away from Westminster, and a series of measures to overhaul workers’ rights.

Labour’s six “first steps” have featured heavily on the campaign trail so far and are likely to form the centrepiece of the manifesto as well.

On top of the pledge to provide economic stability, those first steps include cutting NHS waiting lists with 40,000 new appointments per week, setting up a Border Security Command, establishing GB Energy, cracking down on antisocial behaviour and hiring 6,500 teachers.

On foreign policy, Labour has said it will keep backing Ukraine against Russia and support recognising a Palestinian state as part of a peace process in the Middle East.

The party has also said it will aim to spend 2.5% of GDP on defence, but has not put a date on reaching the target.

Conservative chairman Richard Holden repeated his party’s claim that Labour’s plans would see households pay another £2,000 in tax over the next four years.

He said: “Labour aren’t being honest with the public; they are refusing to say what they would really do because they know it would lose them votes.

“Labour will tax your family home, tax your pension, tax your job and tax your car and drag pensioners into the Retirement Tax.

“Sir Keir Starmer and Angela Rayner are asking for a blank cheque and it’s becoming clear what he wants to do with it – put up your taxes.

“Only Rishi Sunak and the Conservatives have a clear plan to cut taxes, backed by bold action, to chart a course to a more secure future for Britain.”