Labour has announced a range of new policies at its annual conference in Brighton 21st – 25th September 2019, including major new climate policies and major changes to social security.

Party members agreed a ‘Green New Deal’ motion which aims to reach net-zero carbon emissions by 2030; the UK’s current target is to bring all greenhouse gas emissions to net zero by 2050. At the Conference, Labour also announced plans to increase the number of offshore windfarms, to roll out significant numbers of new charging points for electric vehicles, and the introduction of interest-free loans to support people to buy electric cars.

The plans have been welcomed by Tower Hamlets Mayor John Biggs, who said that this is “the radical action we need from central government to help tackle the climate emergency”.

Labour also announced plans to abolish NHS England prescription charges to make prescribed medicines free at the point of use for everyone for all conditions and free personal care for older people who need social care.

There were also new announcements in social security and tackling poverty, including establishing in in UK law a Right to Food, and scrapping Universal Credit. The plans to scrap Universal Credit (UC) include implementing an emergency package of reforms to mitigate some of the worst features of UC, and replace UC with a new social security system. Labour will also lift up to 300,000 children out of poverty by scrapping the two-child limit and benefit cap.

Mayor of Tower Hamlets John Biggs said: “Labour’s new climate policies are the radical action we need from central government to help tackle the climate emergency. As a council we’re playing our part including installing new electric vehicle charging points, launching an air quality fund, setting up ‘school streets’ and our Liveable Streets fund to make it easier to get about by green forms of transport, but the reality is that we need a Labour government in place to match this action at a national level. Labour’s plans will do just that.

“I also warmly welcome Labour’s plans to bring an end to nearly ten years of Tory austerity and invest in social security and tackling poverty. Policies like scrapping Universal Credit, bringing in free prescriptions for all and free care for older people will make an enormous difference in boroughs like Tower Hamlets, where the Government’s austerity policies of the last ten years have really hit hard.”

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