I’ve lost count of how many Labour Party Conferences I’ve attended – past years have seen me go along in different guises, as student, delegate, MP – and this year as ‘mum’ and accompanied by baby Eli. Given my new role I’m really pleased Labour has prioritised the needs of children and unveiled a radical expansion and transformation of free universal childcare benefiting more than a million children and their families.
The Tories current support for childcare is patchy and is holding back too many parents and families. Under Labour’s plans, 30 hours of high quality, genuinely free childcare will be available to all 2, 3 and 4 year olds, with no means testing. We’ll also provide additional subsided hours of childcare on top of the free 30 hour allowance. These additional hours will be free for those on the lowest incomes and, for those on the highest incomes, they will be offered for no more than £4 per hour. There are also many more exciting plans we’ve unveiled at this conference – for more detail have a look at my website www.catsmith.co.uk.
The environment is also at the heart of our plans for Government. We’ll implement a rollout of green technologies including 13,500 onshore and offshore wind turbines, solar panels on thousands of roofs and wide-scale home insulation. We’ll expand other renewable technologies including tidal power, hydrogen and nuclear to achieve a commitment to reduce emissions of 60% by 2030.
We’ve also unveiled plans for a new, publicly-owned water system, run by local councils, workers and customers with unprecedented openness and transparency in how the industry will be managed.
It comes as part of a package of measures to broaden ownership and control in the economy, including giving workers a third of seats on boards, billions of pounds for public services to be raised from our ‘Inclusive Ownership Fund’ and a wide-ranging consultation on putting workers and service users in charge of running the water, energy, rail and mail industries which Labour will bring into public ownership. We are ready not just to fight another election campaign but to implement our programme when we win including the greatest extension of economic democratic rights that this country has ever seen.
For more in-depth information on our policy announcements head to the ‘Conference 2018’ page.