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Labour Leader Keir Starmer Puts Wealth Creation At Heart Of Poll Offer

Keir Starmer, leader of the UK opposition Labour Party, is due to announce how his party will run the government on Thursday.

London:

Britain’s opposition Labour Party leader Keir Starmer will unveil his party’s governing platform on Thursday, putting wealth creation and economic growth at the heart of his appeal to voters ahead of the July 4 general election, which opinion polls suggest he will win.

With three weeks to go until the election, Starmer became the latest leader to publish his party’s manifesto, a blueprint for what Labour would do if it won power, which he described as marking a “complete change of direction”.

Just two days after Chancellor Rishi Sunak announced 17 billion pounds ($21.8 billion) in tax cuts in the Conservative manifesto, Labour will argue that its proposals are a “serious, fully costed and fully funded programme of reform” in contrast to the ruling party’s “desperate and underfunded wish list.”

It would also mark a clear departure from Labour’s long-held image as a “tax-and-spend” party – a message that could further erode support from those on the party’s left.

“This is a manifesto for wealth creation, that is our number one priority. The mandate we want for the UK in this election is economic growth,” Starmer is expected to say, according to excerpts of the speech.

Starmer, long criticised for the party’s reliance on tax hikes to fund public services, will reject that idea and say he wants a Labour government to focus on wealth creation – part of a strategy to get businesses to help fund many of the party’s projects and boost Britain’s modest growth.

“So let me be very clear, this manifesto completely rejects those arguments,” he said, promising to reform planning rules, change the infrastructure to support investment and transform the jobs market.

“This changed Labour party has a plan for growth. We are for business and we are for workers. We are the party of wealth creation.”

Starmer’s message is part of an attempt to convince voters that the Labour party has changed since it was led by Jeremy Corbyn, the left-wing veteran who in 2019 led the party to its worst defeat in 84 years after years of business charm offensive.

Mr Starmer has pulled Labour to the centre and his team has reaffirmed their commitment to strict spending rules, with Treasury chief Rachel Reeves describing his approach as “ironically disciplined”.

The Labour Party has maintained a similar stance in the election campaign. It is trailing the Conservatives by about 20 percentage points in opinion polls, but is concerned that the gap will narrow. Despite calls from within the party for it to be bolder, the party has stuck to its core policies.

Some voters, business leaders and critics say that approach leaves little detail about what the party would propose in some of its key policy areas, such as a strategy to boost investment in tackling climate change.

They will be hoping the manifesto provides further details.

(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)

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