How many of Labour's policies are in its manifesto?

How many of Labour’s policies are in its manifesto?

Here’s a good question: how many of Labour’s policies are in its manifesto?

Two and a half years ago (November 2021), a commenter to This Site took issue with me for suggesting that Keir Starmer’s leadership was steering Labour towards Toryism or Fascism and sent me a list of then-current policies, demanding to know which of them were either.

I kept that list, because I knew there would be a general election one day and I could do exactly what I propose to do now: compare it with the policies put forward in Labour’s manifesto.

Bear in mind: political parties have no obligation to honour their manifesto commitments – but obviously they will lose trust if they don’t, as these are the policies on which the electorate votes. We are not asked to choose on the basis of policies that are claimed before the manifestos are published.

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So how does Labour’s manifesto compare with those policies of 2021? Let’s have a look:

Fair pay agreements 

2021: “A Labour government will bring together representatives of workers and employers to negotiate pay and conditions in every sector. Collective bargaining in every sector will end the free market free-for-all that encourages undercutting, exploitation and a race to the bottom.”

2024: We will enhance partnership working across employers, workers, trade unions and government and establish a Fair Pay Agreement in adult social care. This sector collective agreement will set fair pay, terms and conditions, along with training standards.

So there will be a fair pay agreement in social care but in no other sector.

Workers’ rights

2021:Give all workers rights from day one in their jobs: sick pay, holiday pay, parental leave and protection against unfair dismissal.

2024: Basic rights from day one to parental leave, sick pay, and protection from unfair dismissal.

Bogus self-employment

2021: Create one, single worker status, banning bogus self-employment.

2024: This is not mentioned in the manifesto.

Zero-hour contracts

2021: Ban zero-hour contracts and ensure all contracts come with minimum hours and reflect normal working life, requiring notice of shift changes and pay.

2024: Banning zero hour contracts is a manifesto commitment.

Ending fire and rehire

2021: “Labour will end the scandalous practice of fire and rehire once and for all.”

2024: Ending fire and rehire is a manifesto commitment.

Right to flexible working

2021: Introduce a new right to flexible working as the default

2024: This is not mentioned in the manifesto.

Protections for carers

2021: Introduce a new right to… protections for those with caring responsibilities

2024: This is not mentioned in the manifesto.

Right to switch off

2021: Introduce a new… right to switch off [telephones/internet, to be free from recall to work after working hours]

2024: This is not mentioned in the manifesto.

Universal statutory sick pay

2021: Increase statutory sick pay and make it universal.

2024: Sick pay is not mentioned in the manifesto, beyond what is stated above.

Mental health and safety

2021: Put mental health and safety on a legal par with physical health and safety, and make sure the laws are enforced by a new, empowered watchdog.

2024: “We will reform the NHS to ensure we give mental health the same attention and focus as physical health

There is no mention of a mental health watchdog in the manifesto.

New deal for working people

2021: Sign into law the new deal for working people within the first 100 days of coming to office.

2024: “Implementing ‘Labour’s Plan to Make Work Pay: Delivering a New Deal for Working People’ in full – introducing legislation within 100 days

Ethics Commission

2021: Set up an integrity and ethics commission to “stamp out the Tory sleaze”.

2024: “We will establish a new independent Ethics and Integrity Commission, with its own independent Chair, to ensure probity in government.”

Race Equality Act

2021: Introduce a Race Equality Act. “A Labour government that would introduce a Race Equality Act to tackle structural racial inequality at source.”

2024: “Labour will introduce a landmark Race Equality Act, to enshrine in law the full right to equal pay for Black, Asian, and other ethnic minority people, strengthen protections against dual discrimination and root out other racial inequalities.”

Reform the Gender Recognition Act

2021: “A Labour government that acknowledges that trans rights are human rights and that would reform the Gender Recognition Act to enable a process for self-identification while continuing to support the 2010 Equalities Act.”

2024: “We will also modernise, simplify, and reform the intrusive and outdated gender recognition law to a new process. We will remove indignities for trans people who deserve recognition and acceptance; whilst retaining the need for a diagnosis of gender dysphoria from a specialist doctor, enabling access to the healthcare pathway.”

Greening the steel industry

2021: A ten-year commitment for the steel industry to go green, “investing up to £3bn, in collaboration with business, over the coming decade”.

2024: “£2.5 billion to rebuild our steel industry… We will also secure the future of Britain’s automotive and steel industries. We will reward clean energy developers with a British Jobs Bonus, allocating up to £500 million per year from 2026… ”

The manifesto does not directly state that it is a commitment to ‘green’ steel.


2021: Help fund investment in gigafactories. “Not just subsidy but public equity stakes taken by government to ensures a people’s dividend from the green transition.”

2024: “£1.5 billion to new gigafactories so our automotive industry leads the world… We will also update national
planning policy to ensure the planning system meets the needs of a modern economy, making it easier to build laboratories, digital infrastructure, and gigafactories.”

Carbon footprint

2021: Require every major business to tell us their carbon footprint and how it is consistent with net zero.

2024:This is not mentioned in the manifesto.

Healthy living index

2021: A healthy living index to ensure that every government decision improves wellbeing, “just as the Office for Budget Responsibility tracks government spending”.

2024: This is not mentioned in the manifesto.

Social media companies’ duty of care

2021: Legislation that “forces a proper duty of care on social media companies” and introduces “criminal penalties for senior tech executives who repeatedly breach the new law”.

2024: “Labour will build on the Online Safety Act, bringing forward provisions as quickly as possible, and explore
further measures to keep everyone safe online, particularly when using social media.”

Building Works Agency

2021: A new Building Works Agency to assess, fix, fund, certify all tall buildings and pursue those responsible for costs. Legislation to ensure leaseholders won’t pay the costs.

2024: “Labour will also take decisive action to improve building safety, including through regulation, to ensure we never again see a repeat of the Grenfell fire. We will review how to better protect leaseholders from costs and take steps to accelerate the pace of remediation across the country. We will put a renewed focus on ensuring those responsible for the building safety crisis pay to put it right.”

Council and social housing

2021: A “massive increase in council and social homes, fit for all ages”.

2024: “Labour will deliver the biggest increase in social and affordable housebuilding in a generation. We will strengthen planning obligations to ensure new developments provide more affordable homes; make changes to the Affordable Homes Programme to ensure that it delivers more homes from existing funding; and support councils and housing associations to build their capacity and make a greater contribution to affordable housing supply. Labour will prioritise the building of new social rented homes and better protect our existing stock by reviewing the increased right to buy discounts introduced in 2012 and increasing protections on newly-built social housing.”

Right to buy

2021: End “the huge net loss in council houses resulting from Right to Buy and its huge discount”.

2024: “Better protect our existing stock by reviewing the increased right to buy discounts introduced in 2012.”

Rough sleeping

2021: End rough sleeping.

2024: “Labour will develop a new cross-government strategy… to put Britain back on track to ending homelessness.”

No-fault evictions

2021: End no-fault evictions.

2024: “… protecting renters from arbitrary eviction.”

Housing as a human right

2021: Make housing a human right.

2024: This is not mentioned in the manifesto.

Land development

2021: Give local authorities “new powers to buy and develop land for housing, and revitalise town centres, by reforming arcane compensation rules”.

2024: “Labour will further reform compulsory purchase compensation rules to improve land assembly, speed up site delivery, and deliver housing, infrastructure, amenity, and transport benefits in the public interest. We will take steps to ensure that for specific types of development schemes, landowners are awarded fair compensation rather than inflated prices based on the prospect of planning permission.”

Affordable housing

2021: Set a new definition of affordable linked to local wages.

2024: This is not mentioned in the manifesto.

Commitment loopholes

2021: Close loopholes “that let developers wriggle out of commitments”.

2024: This is not mentioned in the manifesto.

First dibs on new developments

2021: Give first time buyers first dibs on new developments.

2024: This is not mentioned in the manifesto.

Hedge fund purchase of new homes

2021: End the practise of foreign hedge funds “purchasing swathes of new homes, off plan”.

2024: Hedge funds are not mentioned in the manifesto.

Transport deserts

2021: End transport deserts by offering affordable and reliable services for rural communities.

2024: Affordable and reliable transport services for rural communities are not mentioned in the manifesto. In fact, the word “rural” does not appear in the manifesto at all.

Universal Credit five-week wait

2021: Scrap the five-week wait for Universal Credit.

2024: This is not mentioned in the manifesto.

Benefit cap

2021: End the benefit cap.

2024: This is not mentioned in the manifesto.

Two-child limit on Child Benefit

2021: End the two-child limit.

2024: Neither Child Benefit nor the two-child limit are mentioned in the manifesto.

Replacement of Universal Credit

2021: Replace Universal Credit “with a better system”, including a change to the taper rate so “people keep more of the money they earn” and assessments “focused on what people need to succeed rather than one that treats them with suspicion”.

2024: “Labour is committed to reviewing Universal Credit so that it makes work pay and tackles poverty.” The plan to replace it has been scrapped, then.

Veterans’ mental health

2021: Boost the current £20m government spend on veterans’ mental health by £35m, with a special fund to support mental health care for British veterans and the Afghan personnel now in the UK.

2024: “Labour will ensure veterans have access to the mental health, employment, and housing support and in other areas they need.” But there is no mention of the amount of money allocated to it.

NATO co-operation

2021: Give “the highest priority to security in Europe, North Atlantic and Arctic, pursuing new defence cooperation with European NATO neighbours”.

2024: The manifesto mentions an “unshakeable commitment to the alliance” and to meet NATO obligations in full.

Arms controls

2021: Lead moves in the UN to negotiate new multilateral arms controls.

2024: The manifesto mentions “a robust arms export regime committed to upholding international law”. Is that what the 2021 commitment means?

Rules of conflict

2021: Lead moves in the UN to negotiate rules of conflict for space, cyber and AI.

2024: There is no mention of this in the manifesto, but it does state: “Labour will conduct a Strategic Defence Review within our first year in government”.

Army cuts

2021: Freeze Tory cuts to the army, then review and reverse the numbers if needed.

2024: This is not mentioned in the manifesto.

Tax breaks

2021: Look at “every single tax break” and scrap it if “it doesn’t deliver for the taxpayer or for the economy”

2024: Only one tax break is mentioned.

Tax break for private schools

2021: Scrap the charitable status / tax breaks enjoyed by private schools.

2024: This is in the manifesto.

Business rates

2021: Scrap business rates.

2024: This is in the manifesto. Business rates would be replaced with a new system to raise the same amount of money but in a “fairer” way.

Value for money

2021: Create a new, independent Office for Value for Money.

2024: This is not in the manifesto.

Green investment

2021: Putting an additional £28bn of capital investment into the UK’s green transition for each and every year of this decade.

2024: This has been scrapped – replaced by a much more modest plan costing £4.7 billion per year, to be raised by a windfall tax on large oil and gas firms.

Energy transition commission

2021: An energy transition commission – led by former energy minister Brian Wilson, “to help create a greener, fairer and more prosperous future”.

2024: This is not in the manifesto.

Winter fuel payments

2021: Increase winter fuel payments by £70 for the lowest income pensioners.

2024: This is not in the manifesto.

Children’s Recovery Plan

2021: Children’s Recovery Plan.

2024: This is not mentioned in the manifesto.

Breakfast clubs

2021: Extend the school day for additional activities – breakfast clubs giving children the fuel to learn, art, sport, cooking, coding, book clubs.

2024: This is included in the manifesto.

Teacher training

2021: Invest in training world-class teachers.

2024: This is in the manifesto: 6,500 new teachers plus increased training for teachers and heads.

Small group tutoring

2021: Give schools the resources to expand small group tutoring.

2024: This is not mentioned in the manifesto.

Education Recovery Premium

2021: Support the early years sector, schools and colleges with an Education Recovery Premium, with additional learning support including for children with SEND, and engage with families around the SEND review.

2024: No Education Recovery Premium in the manifesto, but there is a plan to improve SEND provision.

School mental health counsellors

2021: Prioritise young people’s mental health with access to a professional mental health counsellor for every school.

2024: This is in the manifesto.

Work experience and careers advice

2021: Provide every young person with work experience and careers advice, and ensure every child has digital access.

2024: This is in the manifesto.

‘Ten by ten’

2021: A ‘ten by ten’ ambition – “to give every child a great childhood with every child enjoying ten great experiences by the age of ten”.

2024: This is not in the manifesto.

Social care zero-hour contracts

2021: End zero-hour contracts in social care.

2024: This is in the manifesto.

Living wage for care workers

2021: Pay care workers at least the living wage.

2024: This is not in the manifesto.

Dementia research

2021: Double current funding for dementia research.

2024: This is not in the manifesto.

Police hubs

2021: Open neighbourhood ‘police hubs’ in every community.

2024: This is not in the manifesto, but an increased focus on neighbourhood policing is.

Special constables

2021: Launch a major recruitment drive for special constables.

2024: This is in the manifesto.

Child Exploitation Register

2021: Create a new Child Exploitation Register for those drawing children into county lines drug gangs.

2024: This is not mentioned in the manifesto.

Protection for women and girls

2021: Pass new laws to protect women and girls from domestic abuse, harassment, intimidation and violence.

2024: Protection from domestic abuse, harassment and violence is included in the manifesto, although it is not clear whether new laws will be passed.

UN Convention on the Rights of the Child

2021: Legislate to bring the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child into domestic law.

2024: This is not in the manifesto.

Fast-tracking rape and sexual assault cases in courts

2021: Fast-track rape and sexual assault cases in courts.

2024: Rape cases will be fast-tracked. Sexual assault is not mentioned in the manifesto.

Minimum sentences for rapists

2021: Increase minimum sentences for rapists.

2024: Minimum sentences are not mentioned in the manifesto.

Street harassment

2021: Create a new offence for street harassment.

2024: This is not mentioned in the manifesto.

Legal aid for domestic abuse victims

2021: Ensure victims of domestic abuse get the legal aid they need.

2024: This is not in the manifesto.


2021: Make misogyny a hate crime.

2024: This is not in the manifesto. Instead, it mentions schools teaching young people about healthy relationships and consent.

Victims’ rights

2021: Enshrine victims’ rights in law.

2024:  This is not in the manifesto.

National pro bono service

2021: Support the introduction of a new national pro bono service, with “binding pro bono targets to support those who can’t afford legal advice and are ineligible for legal aid”.

2024: This is not mentioned in the manifesto.

Lammy review

2021: Implement the Lammy Review.

2024: The Lammy Review is not mentioned in the manifesto.

Equality in the courts

2021: Introduce targets to bring in more women and more ethnic minorities to the most senior positions in our courts.

2024: This is not mentioned in the manifesto.

Mental health support

2021: Guarantee mental health support will be available in less than a month.

2024: This is not in the manifesto.

Mental health professionals

2021: Recruit staff so there are over 8,500 more mental health professionals supporting a million more people every year.

2024: This is in the manifesto.

Mental health spending

2021: Never allow spending on mental health to fall.

2024: This is not in the manifesto.

Specialist mental health support for schools

2021: Ensure every school has specialist support and every community has an open access mental health hub.

2024: Specialist support for every school is in the manifesto. So are community mental health hubs.

School improvement plan

2021: Launch “the most ambitious school improvement plan in a generation”.

2024: This is not mentioned in the manifesto. Improvements within schools are, but this may refer to structural improvements to buildings.

Duties of company directors

2021: Change the priority duty of directors to make the long-term success of the company the main priority.

2024: This is not mentioned in the manifesto.

Science, research and development

2021: Make Britain a world leader in science and R&D, setting a target to invest a minimum of 3% of GDP.

2024: This is not in the manifesto.

Green New Deal

2021: Bring forward a Green New Deal, including a Climate Investment Pledge “to put us back on track to cut the substantial majority of emissions this decade”.

2024: Neither the Green New Deal nor a Climate Investment Pledge are mentioned in the manifesto.


2021: Fit out every home that needs it over the next decade, to make sure they are warm, well-insulated and cost less to heat, and create thousands of jobs in the process.

2024: The manifesto includes commitments to insulation.

Clean Air Act

2021: Introduce a Clean Air Act.

2024: This is not in the manifesto

‘Net zero’ test

2021: Meet a “net zero” test for everything Labour does in government “to ensure that the prosperity we enjoy does not come at the cost of the climate”.

2024: No such test is mentioned in the manifesto.

So there you have it – and it’s a mixed bag.

There are some laudable policies – and a lot of omissions.

It will be for you to decide whether what remains of the ambitious set of policies laid out in 2021 is worth your vote.

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