Jeremy Corbyn will say on Thursday that he welcomes the hatred of the rich and powerful, as he unveils a Labour general election manifesto filled with radical plans including £75bn for the largest council house building programme in three generations.
In a defiant message to critics of his left-wing platform, the Labour leader will say that “ferocious” attacks on him are a sign that the powerful elite are scared of his determination to change a system rigged in their favour.
And quoting Franklin Roosevelt, the president who led the US out of the Great Depression, he will say: “They are unanimous in their hate for me, and I welcome their hatred”.
The manifesto, entitled It’s Time for Real Change, will spell out Labour’s plans for income tax hikes for the wealthiest, nationalisation of key utilities, free broadband and a £10-an-hour minimum wage as Mr Corbyn fights to overturn the Conservative lead in the polls ahead of the 12 December election.
And it will unveil proposals to build 100,000 council houses and 50,000 “genuinely affordable” homes a year by the end of the next parliament in 2024.
Labour said the “housing revolution” will bring the number of new social homes to a level not seen since the 1960s, with the largest council house building drive since the post-war years.
Housing charities and industry bodies said the policy was “transformational” and “a game changer”.
Shelter chief executive Polly Neate said Labour had thrown down the gauntlet to other parties on housing, declaring: “Labour’s plan would be transformational for housing in this country. A pledge to build social homes at this scale would, if implemented, do more than any other single measure to end the housing emergency and give new, affordable, safe homes to the hundreds of thousands currently without one.”
Kate Henderson, chief executive of the National Housing Federation, which represents housing associations, said: “These proposals would be a real game changer for social housing. The housing crisis is having a disastrous effect on millions of people in England, and we need to build 145,000 new social homes every year if we are to end it. We can fix the housing crisis, and this is the level of investment that will be needed.”
Under the plans, half of Labour’s £150bn social transformation fund, which will be funded through additional borrowing, would be spent on low-cost housing – equating to £75bn over the next five years.
Labour will tear up the government’s definition of affordable housing as properties priced 20 per cent below local market values, replacing it with a new Labour definition linked to local incomes.
Citing figures showing that fewer than 1,000 government-funded affordable homes for social rent and 3,000 council homes were built last year, Mr Corbyn said: “Housing should be for the many, not a speculation opportunity for dodgy landlords and the wealthy few.
“I am determined to create a society where working class communities and young people have access to affordable, good quality council and social homes.
“Everyone knows someone affected by the housing crisis. Labour is offering real change to fix it.”
Dodgy landlords, along with bankers, billionaires, bad bosses, polluting corporations, privatised utility bosses and tech giants were united in hostility towards him because of Labour’s plans to shake up the system, he will say.
Launching Labour’s manifesto in Birmingham, he will say that it represents the “most radical and ambitious plan to transform our country in decades”.
And he will tell voters that the hostility of the rich and powerful is “inevitable” because Labour is “on your side”, adding: “They know we will deliver our plans, which is why they want to stop us being elected.”
“They know we will go after the tax dodgers, the bad bosses and the big polluters so that everybody in our country gets a fair chance in life,” Mr Corbyn will say.
“That’s why they throw everything they’ve got at us. Because they’re scared of real change. Because they aren’t on your side.
“A third of Britain’s billionaires have donated to the Conservative Party. The billionaires and the super rich, the tax dodgers, the bad bosses and the big polluters – they own the Conservative Party.
“But they don’t own us. They don’t own the Labour Party. The people own the Labour Party. That’s why the billionaires attack us. That’s why the billionaire-owned media makes things up about us.”
Mr Corbyn will say that Labour’s “manifesto of hope” is fully costed and involves no tax increases on 95 per cent of taxpayers.
And he will say that it invites the “implacable hostility and opposition” of vested interests and the rich because it will ensure that those at the top pay more to fund public services and that polluters pay for the cost of the damage they cause, while delivering a £10 minimum wage, free broadband and nationalisation of rail, gas, electricity and water industries as well as preventing private companies from sucking profit out of the NHS.
“You can trust us to do all this because we’re opposed by the vested interests for standing up for a different kind of society,” the Labour leader will say. “We’ll deliver real change for the many, and not the few. That’s what this manifesto is all about.
“And you really can have this plan for real change because you don’t need money to buy it. You just need a vote – and your vote can be more powerful than all their wealth.”
For Tories, housing secretary Robert Jenrick responded: “Under the Conservatives we’ve delivered 450,000 new affordable homes, increased housing supply to its highest level for almost 30 years and increased housebuilding by 93 per cent in the last six years.
“After the last Labour government decimated social housing numbers we know there is more to do. This is why we’ve committed £9 billion to deliver a further quarter of a million more affordable new homes whilst continuing to build more homes – helping thousands more onto the property ladder.”
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