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Labour is planning to partly nationalise Britain’s energy industry and fully renationalise the railways and Royal Mail, as Jeremy Corbyn prepares to launch his party’s most left-wing manifesto since 1983.
In a major embarrassment to the Labour leader, the entire 43-page draft was leaked to the Daily Mirror and Daily Telegraph before a meeting on Thursday to finalise its contents in advance of next week’s formal launch.
Under the proposals university tuition fees would be abolished entirely, and town halls would be instructed to build 100,000 new council houses a year under a new Department for Housing.
“We do not comment on leaks,” a Labour spokesman said. “We will announce our plans in our policies in our manifesto, which is our plan to transform Britain for the many not the few.”
The renationalisation plans stop short of proposing a state takeover of existing energy companies. A new publicly owned competitor firm would be established in every region of the UK.
The Mirror reports that the manifesto says these new start-up nationalised firms would use their profits to cut tariffs and fight to end fuel poverty – so forcing the Big Six to cut their own prices.
A Labour government would take full control over the National Grid and the “policy functions” of regulator Ofgem.
The draft manifesto also pledges to bring the Royal Mail back into public ownership following the coalition government’s “historic mistake” of selling it off.
Publicly owned bus companies would be established and railways renationalised as each private franchise expires with a pledge “to repeal the Railways Act 1993 under which the Conservatives privatised our railways.”
A Ministry of Labour would be introduced to oversee increased unionisation across the workforce, according to the draft plan.
Labour is promising higher taxes on those earning more than £80,000 and higher corporation taxes, while more borrowing would take the strain in a £250bn infrastructure investment plan over the next decade.
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