The future of work, health and social care and childcare: Round up from day 3 of the Labour Party conference


CommonSpace reporter David Thomson gives a round up of what happened on the third day of the Labour Party conference and looks ahead to Jeremy Corbyn’s keynote speech to delegates this afternoon

TODAY’S INSTALLMENT (28 September) of the round up of the Labour Party conference includes Tuesday’s speeches from Labour’s deputy leader, shadow health secretary and shadow education secretary.

We also look ahead to whar the leader of the Labour party, Jeremy Corbyn, is expected to say in his keynote speech to delegates this afternoon.

Labour deputy leader, Tom Watson MP

In his keynote address to the conference, Labour’s deputy leader announced that it would set up an independent commission on the future of work.

Headed up by a top employment lawyer Helen Mountford QC, it will set out the plans on how to end austerity, following on from Shadow Chancellor John McDonnell’s speech on Monday.

Watson said: “The ideological, blinkered belief that markets are the answer to everything is Tory’s big blindspot.

“We know that. But, of itself, the market’s not the problem either.

“Some things markets are good at; others not, but they always need enlightened intervention to make them work.

“Unfettered markets oligopolies – that’s why all developed economies have extensive and stringent competition law.”

Shadow health secretary, Diane Abbott MP

In the morning session, the conference discussed health and social care issues where the shadow health secretary announced that her party would repeal the Health and Social Care Act.

Diane Abbott said that it would be the first step in ending the failings of marketisation that have damaged the NHS over a number of years.

According to Abbott, the NHS has wasted £1.8bn on PFI contracts. Abbott said: “So Labour will not sign another PFI contract.

“We want a PFI monitoring unit to support NHS providers in holding the contractor to account.”

Abbott added: “Our NHS is there to prevent ill-health and treat the sick.

“It is not there to make money for the investment bankers and private equity specialists who rake off profit from PFI.”

Shadow education secretary, Angela Rayner MP

In the afternoon, under the session of children and education, the shadow education secretary said that Labour’s new childcare taskforce would transform early years provision for every family in the 21st century.

Angela Rayner said: “Our aim will be to provide the care and support for every child to fulfil their potential, and to help parents back to work.

“Access to affordable, high-quality childcare and early years learning is one of the most effective drivers of social mobility.

“Getting it right will improve the life chances of countless children across the country.”

Labour leader, Jeremy Corbyn MP

This afternoon, the leader of the Labour party is expected to tell delegates to end “trench warfare” and prepare for an early General Election.

In his first keynote speech to the conference after winning the leadership contest on Saturday, Corbyn will outline 10 key pledges to rebuild and transform Britain.

These will include full employment, a national education service for all and public ownership and control of services, he is expected to say that “those pledges, the platform on which I was re-elected leader, will now form the framework for what Labour will campaign for – and what a Labour government will do”.

Picture courtesy of David Thomson

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