Labour leader Ed Miliband has set out an alternative set of policies ahead of the Queen’s speech next week.
In the Queen’s speech on 8 May, the Government will set out its legislative agenda for the next year and is set to include bills on state pension reform, long-term care funding and banking reform.
Miliband says Britain needs “new ideas” and a Labour Government would introduce six bills on consumer protection, housing, taxes, jobs, banking and immigration.
In its consumers bill, Labour says pensioners can find half their pension wiped out by hidden costs and charges when they retire.
It pledges to cap pension charges at 1 per cent and force all pension funds to offer the same transparent charging structure so consumers know what they are paying before they sign up.
In its housing bill, Labour says more people are privately renting and face “rip-off’ fees and poor quality housing. It pledges to create a national register of landlords that can strike off “rogues”, end “confusing and inconsistent” letting agent fees and allow longer-term tenancies.
In its finance bill, Labour would re-introduce a 10p tax rate on £1,000 above the personal allowance, paid for by an annual mansion tax charge on homes worth over £2m.
It would also increase the top rate of tax back to 50p, temporarily cut VAT back to 17.5 per cent and introduce a national insurance holiday for small firms taking on workers.
In its jobs bill, Labour says it would create a compulsory jobs guarantee for any adult who has been unemployed for two years. It would be paid for by cutting pension tax relief to 20 per cent for those earning £150,000 or more.
In its banking bill, Labour says it would create a code of conduct for bankers with the worst offenders struck off, as well as toughening criminal sanctions against those in financial crime.
The Government is ring-fencing banks’ retail divisions from their investment arms in its banking reform bill and retained the power to go further and break up them up if they misbehave. Labour wants to retain the power to break up all banks at once if there is not a genuine culture change, as recommended by the parliamentary commission on banking standards.
In its immigration bill, Labour says it would double the fines for those breaching the national minimum wage to stop immigrant workers being exploited and undercutting UK workers.
Miliband says: “Britain needs new ideas rather than just more of the same. A One Nation Labour government would introduce an economic programme next week in the Queen’s Speech which would show how we can tackle this crisis together.”