Labour puts workplace issues high on election agenda

The importance of workplace issues to the general election was underlined today when Tony Blair announced that childcare and immigration will be on the “pledge card” that will form a central part in Labour’s election campaign.

The party produced policy promise cards in 1997 and 2001, each time making five policy pledges on issues such as health, crime and education. The cards are distributed to voters with election leaflets.

This time there will be six pledges:

  1. Tough on immigration
  2. Boosting childcare
  3. Cutting NHS waiting times
  4. Improving school discipline
  5. Low inflation and mortgage rates
  6. Extension of the right-to-buy housing scheme.

Immigration has been high on the political agenda in recent weeks. Earlier this week, the government announced that employers caught using illegal immigrants will face fines of up to £2,000 per person.

Labour also plans to introduce a points-based system for student and work migrants to ensure only those with skills lacking in the British workforce will be given the right to stay in the UK.

And childcare is also expected to play a role in the election campaign. Last year, chancellor Gordon Brown sketched out a 10-year strategy on childcare in a bid to make Labour the party of working parents.

The plans came on the back of the Tories’ own, but very different, proposals to help parents achieve an appropriate “work-life balance”.

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