student debt

Private Schools Turn Down Bursaries for White Working Class Boys

This is a very interesting story from last weekend’s I. A retired Maths professor, Sir Bryan Thwaites, offered two private schools bursaries for White working class boys. They both turned it down. Their refusal, and the fact that these bursaries are needed, says much about class and race in the early 21st century. The report contained the observation that ‘inverted snobbery and liberal guilt neglect the white poor’. Which is true, but it’s also true that such bursaries wouldn’t quite be so necessary if it weren’t for Thatcherism. Thatcher promised that her reforms would turn Britain into a meritocracy, where everyone could succeed, regardless of class background, provided they had the talent. This has spectacularly not happened. Class mobility was at a standstill during Blair’s administration. Now it seems to have gone into reverse. And at the bottom are the working class that Thatcher and the Tories despise, and Blair neglected.

Thwaites was a working class lad, who had gone to Dulwich and Winchester Colleges on scholarships. He therefore wanted to award them bursaries amounting to £1.2m to set up scholarships for lads from his background. He said he wanted to address the ‘severe national problem of the underperforming white cohort in schools’. The donations amounted to £400,000 for Dulwich and £800,000 for Winchester. They turned them down because they were afraid that the donations broke equality rules. Winchester said that they ‘did not see how discrimination on the grounds of a boy’s colour could ever be compatible with its values’. Dulwich simply said bursaries were available to everyone who passed their entrance exam, ‘regardless of their background.’

Thwaites, who is himself a former college head, told the Times, ‘If [the colleges] were to say ‘We are helping these deprived cohorts of children,’ that would do a hell of a lot for their reputation and show that the independent sector is taking some notice of what’s going on in the world at large. The implication of their refusal… is that they couldn’t give a damn.’

Poor White Educational Underperformance

The newspaper then printed some stats to show why Thwaites believed such bursaries were necessary. Only 15 per cent of White boys receiving free school meals achieve a grade 5 or higher in English and Maths at GCSE in 2018 compared with 33.6 per cent of Asian boys and 23.4 per cent of Black boys.

It also noted that four years ago universities were told to recruit more working class students – particularly boys – after statistics showed that just 10 per cent of young men from the poorest areas went into higher education.

Thwaites therefore said he was turning his attention to state schools and academies would be only too glad to accept his money. Referring to Stormzy’s decision to set up two scholarships for Black undergrads at Cambridge, he asked ‘If Cambridge University can accept a much larger donation in support of Black students, why cannot I do the same for under-privileged White British?’

Trevor Phillips Attacks ‘Inverted Snobbery’ over White Children

The I commented that ‘it is these barriers – of structural inequality and the intersection of race and class – that society tends to tiptoe around in order to avoid honey-yet-difficult conversations.

However, in last month’s Standpoint, Trevor Phillips, the broadcaster and former chair of the Equality and Human Rights Commission, attacked the ‘inverted snobbery’ which held by poor White boys. He claimed that modern society had made institutions ridiculously squeamish about accepting that their treatment of Whites as a ‘non-race’ was itself racist, and added ‘They have become so confused in these ‘woke’ times that a lethal cocktail of inverted snobbery, racial victimhood, and liberal guilt ends up rewarding schools for favouring the Black and Brown rich while neglecting the White poor.”

Comments from Other Academics

The report then said that campaigners have long tried to level the playing field so that every child, regardless of its race, gender or background, was given the best possible start in life. They then quoted Dr Lee Elliot Major, the professor of social mobility at Exeter Uni. He said

Philanthropists want to help people similar to them and, of course, that is their prerogative,. But often the bigger issue is help people who are not like them.

Success comes in many forms. Social mobility is not just about getting those magical tickets to the top schools, because that’s not for everyone. State schools cater to all sorts of potential – some students will be high-flyers, so will need support in applying for prestigious universities. Others will seek out an apprenticeship or attend a local college.

I think it’s great that [Sir Bryan’s donations} could be used to support many pupils going through different routes – not just academic study.

However, Major also pointed out the differences between Stormzy’s and Thwaites’ donations. Major said that he had many conversations with Black undergraduates at Cambridge, who were the first in their families to go to university, and who felt isolated there. He remarked

There are very specific issues around highly selective, very academic universities, because they are quintessentially middle-class and very White and I think [Stormzy’s scholarship] was a legitimate move to address this.

He said that there were discussions leading universities could have to make their campuses more inclusive, continuing

If you’re looking at achievement in schools, I would argue taht this comes down to culture in the home, to class and [household] income.

It’s often the case that White working-class boys are [products of] those backgrounds-but equally there are children from all sorts of backgrounds who live in poverty and aren’t getting as much support as they deserve. And the reason I’m anxious about it is that social mobility is an issue that should bring us together.

Of course there are lots of white working-class boys living in areas of deprivation – but the very fact they’re deprived is glossed over. We’re wasting talent in this country – talent from all backgrounds. (pp. 33-4).

Finally, there was a report in one of the papers that the donation had been accepted by a charity run by a Black man, which had been successful in combating low educational achievement amongst Black lads. He was looking forward to turning around the lives of White boys as he had done with Black.

Looking through the newspaper reports, it’s clear that some people are very uncomfortable with a grant being set up for poor White boys. It’s understandable. British politics and society is dominated by White men, and so a bursary aimed at raising the achievements of White boys seems reactionary, an attack on the feminist and anti-racism campaigns.

Which is why it needed the support of Trevor Phillips and a Black educationalist. 

Winchester College’s excuse for turning down the bursary because it was ‘incompatible with their values’ seems very fake to me, however. A friend of mine was privately educated. He once told me that these schools don’t exist to teach children so much as to give them the network of personal contacts to open careers and other opportunities. They exist to preserve middle and upper class privilege. Rich Blacks and Asians are welcome, but not the poor generally, although they may well accept working class BAME pupils as a gesture towards meritocracy.

Lee Elliot Major’s comment about Black students finding themselves very isolated at Cambridge university is true, but I also know White academics from a working/ lower-middle class background, who intensely resented what they felt was the entitled, patronising attitude of wealthier students from the Oxbridge set. He is right about funding being made available for academic and training paths that are more suitable to students’ aptitudes. There was also a recent report in the I about the massive drop out rate at university. Some of this is no doubt due to the real financial struggles some students face now that tuition fees have been introduced and raised, and they are expected to become massively indebted to fund their education. But some of it is also due to university education now being promoted as the only academic route. A friend of mine, who worked in university administration told me that this wasn’t working and was leading to people dropping out over ten years or more ago.

And I completely accept his observation about the role class, income and background play in academic aspiration. In my experience, this also naturally includes those from Black and Asian backgrounds.

But Blacks, Asians and girls have had much attention focused on improving their academic performance and improving their opportunities, that have not been directed towards White boys from poor backgrounds. And this needs to be addressed.

Doing so does not undermine, or shouldn’t, the efforts to improve performance and opportunities for women and minorities, however.

But if we are serious about improving poor and working class academic performance, whether White, Black or Asian, it will mean rejecting Blairism and its rejection of the working class in order to concentrate on copying the Tories.

A Values Proposition for Free College Policies

Published by Anonymous (not verified) on Thu, 19/12/2019 - 1:03am in

Against the backdrop of a $1.6 trillion student debt crisis and declining college enrollment, free college has emerged as a political lightning rod in today’s higher education debate. Questions about who should and will benefit⁠—and what “free” even means⁠—have created a free-for-whom free-for-all, with proposals varying both by student and institutional access.

To evaluate these policies, and the profound impact they’re likely to have on racial and wealth inequality and economic and democratic access, we need a values framework.

In a new report, Suzanne Kahn, deputy director of the Great Democracy Initiative and a Roosevelt program manager, provides that roadmap, suggesting six policy design questions any proposal should contemplate—including what counts as free and who pays. Drawing on the lessons of precedents around the world, throughout the nation, and across party lines, she also offers potential answers and outcomes. In a second report, Kahn explores what we can learn from the current landscape of American public good provision—including from programs like Medicaid and Medicare—and how we can adapt existing solutions to higher education. 

These reports provide instructive and practical models for any free college plan, but they also seek to instill in the policymaking process a moral compass to answer some of the thornier questions facing progressives in 2020 and beyond.

Is it regressive to relieve the tuition burdens of high- and low-income students in the same ways? Are all Americans entitled to higher education by right? And, if they are, what level of education or institutional type fulfills that natural right? Technical college? Community college? Four-year public college?

We can’t answer these questions without examining our bedrock values and conceptions of rights and access. For example, if we consider higher education a requisite for economic success, we might define universal access as a right rather than a privilege. 

As Kahn explains, a goal of universal access necessitates meaningful access: “That means having a public system that offers educational opportunities of adequate quality—and also one that creates the conditions for students to be able to attend and succeed,” she writes. “For example, offering tuition-free access only to the lowest-quality institutions in a public system would be, strictly speaking, ‘universal access,’ but it would not be meaningful.”

Visions for free college vary wildly, and as Kahn’s reports show, their diversity in scope and access mirrors that of existing precedents both within higher education and in other policy realms. In choosing or melding any of these proposals, we must define and prioritize our morals. Without thoughtful policy design, undergirded by coherent and consistent values, there’s no guarantee that a free college plan will achieve what it can and should: universal, meaningful access to higher education.

The post A Values Proposition for Free College Policies appeared first on Roosevelt Institute.

Yes, We Can Implement a Free College Program. American History, and Our Values, Say So

Published by Anonymous (not verified) on Thu, 19/12/2019 - 1:01am in

College affordability has been a major kitchen-table issue for American families for the past three decades. This is not surprising considering that college tuition rates have shot up since the 1980s: Tuition at public four-year colleges increased 213 percent from 1987 to 2017 and 129 percent at private not-for-profit colleges, helping drive the $1.6 trillion student debt crisis. 

In the face of this crisis among others, including rampant inequality in higher education and beyond, proposals to create a national free or debt-free college program have proliferated. Every serious candidate in the Democratic primary field has a position on the subject, and there are multiple bills in Congress to make these proposals a reality. Not surprisingly, this big idea has fueled extensive debate about everything from what costs such a program should cover to whether a program to make college free for everyone is necessary or if a targeted program is more appropriate. The ongoing debate demonstrates widespread agreement that the cost of college has become a problem. In two new papers, the Roosevelt Institute lays out a framework for designing new policies that today’s affordability crisis demands. 

In the first, A Progressive Framework for Free College, Roosevelt Program Manager Suzanne Kahn argues that the ongoing debate over free college must be rooted in values and should begin with policymakers clarifying the core purpose of any plan. For a free college proposal to work at the federal level, policymakers and advocates must be equipped with a solid understanding of how the values and outcomes they wish to achieve would be driven—or thwarted—by certain design choices. Kahn lays out the design questions any free college plan must answer and, drawing lessons from existing free college programs, offers one framework for how a federal free college plan could answer these questions in ways that uphold progressive values. 

In the second paper New Ideas for Free College: Learning from the Landscape of American Public Goods, Kahn broadens her scope to find answers to policy design questions in the models of existing American public good programs. For example: 

  • Medicaid’s disproportionate share payments are a ready-made model for addressing concerns about unequal funding among institutions and the threat that free college policies could pose to private, minority-serving institutions;
  • The Unemployment Insurance program’s experience-rating system for taxing employers offers a strategy for raising funds while disincentivizing credentialization; and 
  • The regulated utility model could keep tuition costs in line with what providing an education requires and prevent tuition from inflating in response to new federal funding. 

Access to college cannot just mean the ability to enroll. To be meaningful and equitable, access must create the conditions that allow people to be able to succeed in school and after. To learn more about why we need bold public programs, read our New Rules for the 21st Century report. 

To learn why this matters, and why the time is right for a values framework in the free college debate, read more from Roosevelt Editorial Manager Matt Hughes.


The post Yes, We Can Implement a Free College Program. American History, and Our Values, Say So appeared first on Roosevelt Institute.

Short Guardian Video of Corbyn’s Election Promises

Labour launched its manifesto yesterday, as did the Tories, and the newspapers and TV were full of it. The Guardian, however, produced this little video in which Corbyn presents the party’s manifesto promises in just a minute and a half.

The Labour leader says

‘Labour’s manifesto is a manifesto for hope. That is what this document is. We will unleash a record investment blitz. And it will rebuild our schools, our hospitals, care homes and the housing we so desperately need. Every town, every city and every region. So a Labour government will ensure that big oil and gas corporations that profit from heating up our planet will shoulder the burden and pay their fair share through a just transition tax. We’ll get Brexit sorted within six months. We will secure a sensible deal that protects manufacturing and the Good Friday Agreement. And then put it to a public vote alongside the option of remaining in the EU. And yes, be clear, we will scrap university tuition fees.’ 

At this point there is massive cheering from his audience. He goes on

‘We are going to give you the very fastest, full fiber broadband for free. That is real change. And Labour will scrap Universal Credit.’

More cheering and applause. Corbyn’s speech ends with

‘It’s time for real change. Thank you!’

The crowd rises to give him a standing ovation.

Okay, so this is a very short, very edited version of Corbyn’s speech, just giving the briefest outline of the party’s policies. But it shows that Corbyn’s policies offer real change after forty years of Thatcherism, which has decimated our schools, NHS and public services and destroyed people’s health and lives through savage welfare cuts intended to punish the poor so that the rich could profit. All of which was also carried out by the smarmy face of Blair’s New Labour, who tried presenting themselves as some kind of caring alternative to the Tories, while taking over their odious policies and actually going further.

And as Corbyn says, this is a manifesto of hope. Zelo Street has written a post comparing it with the radical changes that set up the welfare state by Clement Attlee’s 1940s Labour government and their manifesto, Let Us Face the Future. The Sage of Crewe describes how Attlee’s reforms, which set up the post-war consensus, were destroyed by Thatcher, leaving nothing but poverty and run-down, struggling public services, including the NHS, so that the rich 1% can get even richer.

But he writes

Today, Labour brought something to the General Election campaign that recalled the message of 1945, and that something was hope. Hope that students of whatever age would not be saddled with tens of thousands of Pounds of debt for years after graduating. Hope that the punitive benefit sanctions régime would no longer target the sick and disabled. Hope that a living wage really would be enough to live on.

Hope that those out-of-towners without cars would not be effectively trapped in their homes at weekends and in the evening because of public transport cuts. Hope that the NHS would be able to cope without leaving emergency admissions on trolleys in corridors. Hope that someone would, at last, take the Climate Emergency seriously. Hope that the scourge of Universal Credit would at last be consigned to the dustbin of history.

Hope that the victims of press abuse would finally see the long-overdue completion of the Leveson Inquiry, so shamelessly ducked by the Tories in exchange for favourable coverage. Hope that bad housing, and bad landlords, would finally become a thing of the past. Hope that the Police and Fire services will be able to cope, giving security and peace of mind to everyone. Hope of an end to homelessness.

Hope that education will be resourced properly, that teachers will be supported in their work, that pupils will not have to ask parents or guardians to help pay for what should be classroom essentials. Hope of real action to challenge racism in all its forms. Hope for 1950s women that pension injustice will be acknowledged – and tackled. Hope that the divisions caused by the 2016 EU referendum can finally be healed.

He goes on to predict how the people, who have profited from the poverty and misery Thatcherism, and particularly the austerity imposed by the Tories and Lib Dems over the past 9-10 years, will fight to prevent these hopes being realised. He points out that

that alone tells you whose interest is served by the decade of decay that has ravaged so many towns and cities across the country.

And concludes

‘Labour has promised us hope. Let Us Face The Future Once More.’

This is all precisely what we need, which is why the establishment will do everything they can to prevent ordinary people getting the government, a Labour government, that they deserve. Because, as the Galaxy’s dictator Servalan once said in the BBC SF series Blake’s 7, ‘Hope is very dangerous’.



Ten things to know about the 2019-20 Alberta budget

I’ve just written a ‘top 10’ overview of the recent Alberta budget. Points raised in the post include the following:

-The budget lays out a four-year strategy of spending cuts, letting population growth and inflation do much of the heavy lifting.

-After one accounts for both population growth and inflation, annual provincial spending in Alberta by 2022 is projected to be 16.2% lower than it was last year.

-Alberta remains Canada’s lowest-taxed province. It also remains the only province without a provincial sales tax.

The full blog post can be read here.

Ten things to know about the 2019-20 Alberta budget

I’ve just written a ‘top 10’ overview of the recent Alberta budget. Points raised in the post include the following:

-The budget lays out a four-year strategy of spending cuts, letting population growth and inflation do much of the heavy lifting.

-After one accounts for both population growth and inflation, annual provincial spending in Alberta by 2022 is projected to be 16.2% lower than it was last year.

-Alberta remains Canada’s lowest-taxed province. It also remains the only province without a provincial sales tax.

The full blog post can be read here.

Ten things to know about poverty measurement in Canada

Published by Anonymous (not verified) on Fri, 01/11/2019 - 9:27am in

I’ve written a blog post providing an overview of poverty measurement in Canada. Points raised in the post include the following:

-One’s choice of poverty measure has a major impact on whether poverty is seen to be increasing or decreasing over time.

-Canada’s federal government recently chose the make the Market Basket Measure (MBM) its official poverty measure.

-According to the MBM, Canada has seen a major decrease in poverty over the past decade.

-Also according to the MBM, there is very little seniors’ poverty in Canada.

-The debate about poverty measurement in Canada has largely ignored the concept of asset poverty.

The link to the blog post is here.

Ten things to know about poverty measurement in Canada

Published by Anonymous (not verified) on Fri, 01/11/2019 - 9:27am in

I’ve written a blog post providing an overview of poverty measurement in Canada. Points raised in the post include the following:

-One’s choice of poverty measure has a major impact on whether poverty is seen to be increasing or decreasing over time.

-Canada’s federal government recently chose the make the Market Basket Measure (MBM) its official poverty measure.

-According to the MBM, Canada has seen a major decrease in poverty over the past decade.

-Also according to the MBM, there is very little seniors’ poverty in Canada.

-The debate about poverty measurement in Canada has largely ignored the concept of asset poverty.

The link to the blog post is here.

Dismantling Broken Power Structures in Higher Ed

Published by Anonymous (not verified) on Fri, 18/10/2019 - 8:37am in

For decades, regulators have had only limited success in taming a for-profit college industry that routinely defrauds students, inflates prices, and produces devastatingly bad outcomes for student loan borrowers. But recently, instead of promoting complex regulatory schemes, some policymakers have offered a simple solution: take away for-profit colleges’ federal subsidies. Today, Rep. Pramila Jayapal (D-WA) and Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-OH) introduced the Students Not Profits Act to remove for-profit colleges from eligibility for federal student financial aid. A ban on federal subsidies is currently the only solution that truly confronts the power imbalance that has built up in the for-profit education sector and also ensures sustained improvement in affordability and equity for all students.

To understand why a ban on subsidies for for-profit education is important, it’s helpful to have a little background on the industry—and its relationship to the federal government. For-profit colleges represent a relatively small slice of our nation’s higher education system—just 5 percent of students attend these institutions—but they eat up a disproportionately large share of federal grants and loans for college. About 13 percent of Pell Grant dollars go to for-profit institutions, and almost a third of for-profit colleges derived between 80 and 90 percent of their revenue from federal sources in 2014. And students who attend for-profit colleges are far more likely to incur significant debt. 

The substantial investment of federal dollars in for-profit colleges is problematic for three reasons. First, it subsidizes institutions that maximize extraction, offering educational programs that are of very low cost to the institution at very high prices for consumers. The very worst for-profit institutions even engage in fraud and misrepresentation to maximize profits. Second, it subsidizes programs that have exceptionally poor outcomes—both in terms of students’ likelihood to complete an educational credential and their ability to repay their debts upon leaving school. Third, it allocates federal money toward for-profit colleges that have targeted populations that are already marginalized by our higher education system: students of color and low-income Americans. 

As my colleagues Nell Abernathy, Darrick Hamilton, and I wrote in New Rules for the 21st Century, the markets-first neoliberal thinking of the last five decades has instilled in many policymakers an inherent distrust of government solutions, as well as an unfounded assumption that markets will be most effective in solving public problems. In this frame, regulation seems like the best option for dealing with the scourge of for-profit colleges. But in that same paper, we offer a different framework for understanding how to think about the best way to deploy government investment and influence in areas like education: analyzing how concentrated private power affects a particular market and how public power—government power—can most effectively be deployed to meet people’s most fundamental needs. 

Looking at for-profit education from the perspective of power clearly shows why the government’s subsidize-and-regulate approach hasn’t worked. The rules and incentives that have resulted in a concentration of power in the economy writ large have had a powerful effect on for-profit education. Current tax policy incentivizes wealth hoarding by those at the top of the economy, including colleges’ corporate executives. “Shareholder-first” orthodoxy incentivizes publicly traded colleges to invest in ways that maximize shareholder profit over value for customers and tie corporate compensation to share values. Lax enforcement of antitrust and consumer laws incentivizes colleges to consolidate market power under huge umbrella companies and market their programs aggressively. And the limited regulation of private equity incentivizes private investments in for-profit colleges that are aimed solely at profit, decimating both schools and students’ prospects in the process. Taken as a whole, these incentives drive for-profit colleges to find the most expedient ways to draw in students and federal dollars, and they make it exceedingly difficult to craft a regulatory scheme that steers the schools toward focusing on students’ and taxpayers’ best interests. 

Of course, regulation sometimes works. Between 2010 and 2016, a sustained push by policymakers and advocates to investigate and rein in the industry resulted in a substantial drop in enrollment and widespread college closures. But as The Century Foundation’s Bob Shireman points out, effective regulation in this space is cyclical: “federal money stokes scandals, regulations are adopted in response, the regulations are then relaxed, and the scandals repeat.” That’s because for-profit colleges have been able to convert their economic prowess into an enormous amount of political power. For-profit colleges leverage our government’s susceptibility to corruption and influence peddling by hiring influential former legislators as their lobbyists, making campaign contributions to key policymakers, investing in think tanks who support their point of view, and even funding “astroturf” campaigns to mimic grassroots advocacy for their positions.  

As we argue in New Rules, tackling concentrated private power in the economy and our government is essential to building a stronger economy—and doing so could really change the incentives and practices at for-profit colleges. We can take some big swings at the incentive structure that governs for-profit colleges, and we can sever the link between financial power and political influence. 

But even then, subsidizing for-profit colleges would not make sense, because it is not an effective use of public power. The federal government has two main goals in higher education: ensuring universal access to college for all who want it and eliminating the effects of discrimination in postsecondary education. Subsidizing private providers in the market is an exceedingly difficult way to do this. The government must ensure quality and equitable access without much direct control over either, while fighting against the market’s incentives to do neither. Further, the government must find the appropriate level of subsidization in a field where the cost of providing quality education is unclear, and for-profit providers have a strong incentive to inflate prices and extract profits. The government’s goals are far better served by offering a “public option”—through a set of public colleges that are accessible to all, that seek to overcome the history of discrimination in higher education, and that set a floor for quality in the higher education market. 

The case against federal subsidies to for-profit colleges is compelling. But two main barriers stand in the way of a ban. First, the notion that a market-based approach is better, more effective, and somehow more just than public provision is deeply embedded in our political culture. Second, for-profit colleges still hold substantial political power. These obstacles are substantial, but not insurmountable. Overcoming them starts with leaders who are willing to speak up and make a principled case for a better economy and society. 

The post Dismantling Broken Power Structures in Higher Ed appeared first on Roosevelt Institute.

The ‘I’ on Labour’s Manifesto Policies

Thursday’s edition of the I, for 10th October 2019, carried an article by Nigel outlining Labour’s election promises. The article ‘What will be in the Labour Party election manifesto’, stated that ‘Jeremy Corbyn aims to target areas for radical change’. These were itemised and described as follows


The plicy issue likely to be at the heart of the election campaign. One in office, Labour would spend three months negotiating a new Brexit deal with Brussels to enable Britain to remain in customs union with the European Union and be closely aligned to the European single market.

It would then organise a referendum within six months, offering voters a choice between Labour’s deal and remaining in the EU. Labour would hold a special conference to decide which side it would endorse in the referendum.


Labour says its tax-raising plans would only affect give per cent of taxpayers. It is currently committed to increase income tax rates to 45 per cent for salaries over £80,000 and to 50 per cent for salaries over £123,000.

Cuts to corporation tax would be reversed and the rate would be fixed at around 26 per cent. 


Labour is pledging to spend £250bn on upgrading the UK’s transport, energy and broadband infrastructure. Another £250bn of capital would be provided for businesses and co-ops to “breathe new life into every community”.


Labour would bring the railways, Royal Mail, the water companies and the National Grid into public ownership so “essential services we all rely on are run by and for the public, not for profit.”

Minimum Wage

Workers of all kinds would be legally entitled to a UK-wide minimum wage of £10 an hour. LOabour says the move will make the average 16- and 17-year-old in employment more than £2,500 a year better off.

Free Personal Care

A new National Care Service would help elderly people in England with daily tasks such as getting out of bed, bathing, washing and preparing meals in their own homes and residential care, and provide better training for carers. The £16bn annual cost would come out of general taxation.

Free Prescriptions

Prescription charges would be abolished in England. They are already free in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland. 

More than 80 per cent of English prescriptions are already issued free of charge, but in other cases patients pay £9 per item.

Boost Doctor Numbers

The number of GP trainees in England would rise by 50 per cent to tackle a recruitment crisis. Labour says it would mean an extra 27 million GP appointments per year.

Scrap Tuition Fees

One of the party’s most popular policies at the last election, Labour is committed to scrapping university tuition fees in England and Wales, which currently stand at a maximum of £9,250 a year.

It would also cancel existing student debt, which the party says has reached “unsustainable” levels.

End Rough Sleeping

Labour would end rough sleeping in five years by allocating thousands of extra homes to people with a history of living on the streets.

Outlaw Fracking/ Increase Renewables

Fracking would be banned “once and for all”, with Labour putting its emphasis on developing clean and renewable energy.

The party wants 60 per cent of UK energy from zero-carbon or renewable sources by 2030 and would build 37 state-owned offshore windfarms. it is pledging to create hundreds of thousands of jobs in a Green Industrial Revolution.

Scrap Ofsted

The schools inspectorate, which the party claims causes higher workload and stress for teachers, would be abolished and replaced with a two-stage inspection regime.

A Four-Day Working Week

Labour would cut the average working week to 32 hours within ten years, but with no loss of pay. It would end the opt-out from the European Working Time Directive, which lets firms sidestep EU rules on limiting hours to 48 a week. Zero hours contracts would be banned.

Overturn Union Legislation

Margaret Thatcher’s union legislation would be scrapped as a priority, and moves begun towards collective bargaining in different sectors of the economy.

Reverse Legal Aid Cut

Labour would expand legal aid as a priority with help focussed on housing cases and family law.

These are all policies that this country desperately needs, and so you can expect the Tories, the Lib Dems and the lamestream media, not to mention the Thatcherite entryists in the Labour Party itself, to scream ‘extremism!’ and do everything they can to stop them.

And you can trust that the party is absolutely serious about honouring these promises. Unlike David Cameron, Tweezer and Boris Johnson, all of whose promises about restoring the health service and reversing cuts, bringing down the deficit and ending austerity, have proven and will prove to be nothing but hollow lies.