Means tested tuition fees, extra tax for the NHS and compulsory ‘citizen’s service’ for school leavers: Chuka Umunna sets out his manifesto but insists it is NOT all agreed by the new Independent Group
- Chuka Umunna published a 50-page pamphlet setting out his ‘progressive’ ideas
- The document outlines seven broad policy areas including on health spending
- Umunna said it was crucial to say what he was for not just against Labour
- Said it is a personal manifesto not officially endorsed by the Independent Group
Chuka Umunna today published a manifesto featuring means tested tuition fees and extra taxes to pay for the NHS.
The 50-page pamphlet sets out a raft of policy ideas which Mr Umunna says are based around six ‘progressive’ values.
The MP for Streatham insisted it was a ‘personal’ manifesto and not one agreed by the new Independent Group – but said the other 10 MPs on the group did back much of the document.
Mr Umunna was appointed ‘spokesman’ for the new group last week but is not yet its formally its leader – despite his role organising the shock defections.
Chuka Umunna (pictured on Tuesday at the Electoral Commission today published a manifesto featuring means tested tuition fees and extra taxes to pay for the NHS
Mr Umunna told the Independent his ideas were based on six key values and principles – ‘unity, reciprocity, work, family and community, democracy and patriotic internationalism’.
He said: ‘Our departure from the status quo parties was in part framed by reference to what we were against and what we disliked both about the policies and the cultures of what we had left.
‘This pamphlet sets out what I think those who subscribe to progressive politics are actually for.’
Mr Umunna said the other members ‘agree with much of what I have written’, but stressed: ‘This pamphlet is written in a personal capacity and deliberately so.’
In his seven point plan, Mr Umunna proposes:
- Means testing tuition fees to help students from low income families get to university. He opposes axing all tuition fees because it would be a ‘waste of money’
- A hypothecated tax to raise extra money specifically for the NHS
- Mandatory citizen’s service for school leavers to tackle ‘social apartheid’ in the UK
- Cracking down on excessive board room pay
- Reforming utilities by creating ‘public benefit companies’ that enshrine public purposes in privatised firms
- Reforming the tax system so unearned income is taxed at the same rate as wages with the extra revenue diverted to universal child care
- Public funding for political parties to deter big money donors and malign influence from Britain’s democracy
The MP for Streatham insisted it was a ‘personal’ manifesto and not one agreed by the new Independent Group (pictured at their first formal meeting last week) – but said the other 10 MPs on the group did back much of the document
Mr Umunna said: ‘It is time we dump this country’s old-fashioned politics and create a new politics that does justice to who we are today and gives this country a politics fit for the 21st century, not the last one.
‘A politics that looks, listens and learns from ideas and experience elsewhere in the world to better inform the course we take at home.’
TIG has eight former Labour MPs including Mr Umunna and three ex-Tories.
In a call for more to join them, Mr Umunna said: ‘The truth is too many progressive people are sitting in parties which, through those parties’ words and deeds, are no longer true to their values.
‘This leads to the inescapable conclusion that our politics needs to be reconfigured to better reflect modern Britain and that it is time for the different progressive political traditions to come together under one roof – a new progressive party.’