Keir Starmer sets out Labour’s 4 demands to protect families during lockdown

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Keir Starmer has demanded that Tories step up to protect families as they struggle through England's third lockdown and prepare for its aftermath.

In a speech later this morning, the Labour leader will set out four policy priorities that he will argue are essential for people's economic wellbeing.

Mr Starmer will call on Tory Ministers to scrap council tax rises by giving local government more money, stop the looming cut in Universal Credit, give key workers a pay rise and extend the ban on evictions and repossessions.

He will also describe how Britain can rise up after the pandemic, using the creation of the NHS after the Second World War as inspiration.

He will tell the British people that they “can build a country worthy of the sacrifices” made during the pandemic in the same way that a Labour administration “built the welfare state from the rubble of war” after 1945.

He is set to call for families to be “put first” during the latest lockdown, demanding ministers protect epidemic-hit households budgets from council tax hikes and cuts to Universal Credit.

The Labour leader will argue that the country must rebuild in the wake of the virus
(Image: AFP via Getty Images)

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Labour analysis suggests that a 5% council tax rise – permitted after Chancellor Rishi Sunak signalled the go-ahead during his Spending Review for council tax and the social care levy to be hiked by 2% and 3% respectively – for those living in a band D property would see bills increase by an average of £90 in April.

Stopping the planned April cut in Universal Credit would put an extra £1,000 in the pockets of six million families, the party also said.

Mr Starmer will also press for key workers, such as teachers, the armed forces and care workers, to be given pay rises and for the ban on home evictions and repossessions to be extended for as long as the UK remains in lockdown.

“This is the Government that gave Dominic Cummings a £40,000 pay rise but won’t pay our carers a decent wage,” he is expected to say.

“This is the Government that wasted £22 billion of taxpayers’ money on a testing system that doesn’t work but now won’t find the money to support families.

“And this is the Government that sprayed money on private contracts that didn’t deliver but won’t give councils the support they need.

“That’s why I’m calling on the Government today to put families first during this lockdown.”

Amanda Milling, co-chairman of the Conservative Party, said: “ Keir Starmer is once again calling for actions the Conservatives are already taking in Government.

“We have delivered an unprecedented £280 billion package of support to protect jobs, livelihoods and public services through this pandemic: paying the wages of nearly 10 million workers through our furlough scheme, increasing Universal Credit by £1,000 and giving councils extra funding to help the most vulnerable.

“The Conservatives will continue to put families and communities at the heart of every decision we take as we deliver on our promises to the British people.”

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