What are the key policies of the Labour Party, with an emphasis on how their policies will affect business, especially smaller businesses?


  • A full review of business rates, want to increase corporation tax for large businesses, and bring in a lower small profits rate of corporation tax for SMEs.
  • Tax rate for people earning £80,000 or more rising to 45 per cent.
  • Tax rate for people earning £123,000 or more to rise to 50 per cent.
  • Increase corporation tax to 26 per cent, but waiver rules for smaller businesses.
  • Give HMRC more powers to fight tax avoidance.
Late Payments
  • Promise to ‘declare war’ on late payments and will demand that all those bidding for government contracts pay their own suppliers in 30 days.
  • National Investment Bank that will bring in private capital finance to deliver £250 billion of lending power.
  • Promised to ban zero hour contracts and unpaid internships.
  • Want the living wage paid to all employees over 18.
  • To grant all workers equal rights from “day one”, including temporary staff.
  • Creation of a Ministry of Labour to support workers' rights.
  • Repeal Trade Union Act.
  • Strengthen rights of women on maternity pay.
  • Four more public holidays a year.

The UK has one of the lowest levels of output per hour in the G7 – only in Japan is it lower, which may explain the glut of minimum wage jobs.

  • Want to create a National Education Service for England, double the number of completed apprenticeships at NVQ level 3 by 2022, and notably, protect funding to SMEs that hire apprentices.
  • A focus of standard superfast broadband with universal availability by 2022, but no dates on 5G. They do, however, promise that on day one they will instruct the National Infrastructure Commission to report on how to roll out ultrafast 300 bps by 2027. They also will appoint a Digital Ambassador to liaise with technology companies to promote Britain as an attractive place for investment. Finally, they are the only party to specifically mention the challenges of rural connectivity and coverage.
  • To support the immigration levels that are supportive of the economy.
  • Scrap income threshold for spouses of immigrants wanting to enter the UK.
  • Migrant/immigrant fund, to support areas impacted by immigration
Reverse privatisationEnergy
  • Partially bring back energy market to public ownership, with one publicly owned supplier in each region.
  • Ban fracking.
  • Central government control of national grid - given the way renewables are developing this policy may be red herring.
  • Cap household bills to £1,000 a year.
  • Ban tuition fees.
  • Increase funding of NHS by £30 billion.
  • Create national care service.
  • Invest £8 billion over the next parliamentary term.
  • Improve rights of care workers.
  • Increase carer allowance.
Executive pay
  • Companies which win government contract must abide by a pay ratio of 20:1 between highest and lowest paid worker
  • Guarantee triple lock: guaranteeing pensions to rise either with inflation, earnings or by 2.5 per cent a year, whichever is the higher.
  • No means testing of winter fuel payments and bus passes.
  • One million new homes, including 100,000 council houses.
  • 4,000 homes for people with a history of rough sleeping
  • Get rid of bedroom tax.
  • Review cuts to universal credit.
  • Lower voting age to 16.
  • Maintain spending at two per cent of GDP.
  • Keep Trident.
  • 10,000 more police officers
See also

What the pre-election manifestoes mean for small businesses