Labour election manifesto: Key points

Ed Miliband launching Labour's election manifesto. Credit: Stefan Rousseau/PA Wire

Labour today launched its manifesto for this year's General Election, including what leader Ed Miliband says are "fully-costed" pledges to raise the minimum wage, freeze rail fares for one year and introduce a new childcare service for working parents.

Launching the party's pledges ahead of the 7 May vote, Miliband made the following promises:

  • A promise to cut the deficit every year and to run a surplus "as soon as possible" in next parliament

  • Accelerating increases in the minimum wage to reach more than £8-an-hour by October 2019

  • Freezing rail fares for one year and introducing new legal rights for passengers

  • The introduction of a new "wraparound" childcare service for working parents

  • No rise in the basic or higher rate of income tax, National Insurance or VAT

  • Tax credits for working families to rise in line with inflation

  • Abolition of "non-dom" tax status

  • Cutting tuition fees from £9,000 to £6,000 a year

On the first page of Labour's manifesto was a pledge of a three-pronged "budget responsibility lock".

The first of those is a promise that every policy will be costed, with none requiring any additional borrowing.

Secondly, the party promised a cut in the deficit every year if Labour wins the election.

And thirdly, Labour vowed to get national debt falling and a surplus on the current budget "as soon as possible" in the next parliament.

Increases in the minimum wage

Labour promised to speed-up already-planned increases in the national minimum wage, with a vow to make it pass £8-an-hour by October 2019.

The party also said it would also strengthen enforcement against employers paying less than the legal amount, with local authorities given a role to play.

'Freezing' rail fares and new passenger rights

Labour says it will tackle the "highest fares in Europe" by introducing more public control, including a promise to freeze fares for one year and introduce a "strict cap" on every route for future increases.

Also introduced would be a legal right for passengers to ensure they can get access to the cheapest ticket for their journey.

Increased childcare for working parents

Labour promised to expand free childcare from 15 to 25 hours per week for working parents of three- and four-year-olds, which the party says would be paid for by an increase in the levy on banks.

On top of this, the party also promised a legal guarantee of access to "wraparound" childcare from 8am to 6pm through their local primary school.

A new not-for-profit National Primary Childcare Service would be introduced to "promote the voluntary and charitable delivery of quality extracurricular activities".

Ruling out tax increases for middle-to-low earners

Labour promised not to increase VAT or the basic or higher rates of income tax or national insurance, while also pledging not to extend VAT to food, children's clothes, books, newspapers or public transport fares.

The party also promised a lower 10p starting rate of tax, paid for by ending the Conservatives' Marriage Tax Allowance.

Tax credits for working families to meet inflation

Ed Miliband's party pledged to "protect" tax credits for working families so that they rise with inflation from next year.

Labour claims tax and benefit changes have left working families £1,100 a year worse off on average.


Already announced before today's manifesto launch was Labour's plan to abolish "non-dom" status so that "all those who make the UK their home pay tax in the same way as the rest of us".

Cutting tuition fees by £3,000

Labour said it will fund a cut in university tuition fees - from £9,000 to £6,000 - by restricting tax relief on pension contributions for the highest earners and "clamping down" on tax avoidance.

The party also promised to introduce a Compulsory Jobs Guarantee - paid for by a bank bonus tax - to provide a paid starter job for any young person unemployed for over a year. Young people would have to take the job or face losing their benefits.