Pandemic or no pandemic: attack poverty and inequality

Proposed motion for Labour Party conference 2021, submitted by Southampton Momentum to the Momentum policy process for Labour conference.

Inequalities have worsened the impact of the pandemic; the pandemic has worsened inequalities.

The Marmot report “Build Back Fairer” says: “mismanagement during the pandemic, and the unequal way the pandemic has struck, is of a piece with what happened… in the decade from 2010… enduring social and economic inequalities… mean that public health was threatened before and during the pandemic and will be after.”

We commit to campaigning for and implementing:

Benefits increased to a liveable level. £260pw Universal Credit (TUC demand).
Extension and strengthening of furlough and self-employment schemes.
Increase in the minimum wage to £12ph, scrapping exemptions and differentials. Action to increase wages; substantial increases for public-sector workers.
The right to isolate on full pay; improved sick pay for all, 100% of wages for at least a period.
Repeal of all anti-union laws.
Banning of zero-hours contracts.
Reversal of all cuts since 2010, increased funding.
Comprehensive reversal of privatisation and outsourcing; full public ownership of health and social care.
Abolition of ‘No Recourse to Public Funds’.
Building of at least 100,000 council homes a year.
Creation of millions of secure, well-paid, public jobs in services and green industry.

The Resolution Foundation and Wealth Tax Commission estimate that concentration of wealth in the hands of the super-rich is even worse than previously thought – by £800bn! We need to take back wealth, including through a wealth tax, increased corporation tax, capital gains tax and taxing very high incomes; and taking banking and finance into democratic public ownership.

(247 words)

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