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Labour launches its May election campaign - expert comment

Dr Sinem HidirThe Labour party has launched its campaign for the May elections.

Dr Sinem Hidir, Associate Professor in the Department of Economics, comments:

"Having won the Labour leadership during the pandemic, Sir Keir Starmer has until now found it difficult to meet the high expectations from the new opposition leader without being accused of playing party politics.

"He is aware of the need to be very ambitious in order to deliver on the promise of getting back those votes in the North that leaned Conservative in the last general election.

"A more substantial pay rise for NHS has huge public support, hence it is no surprise that it was the main focus of this manifesto. Government will no doubt hit back by reminding that other public sector workers have had a pay freeze and private sector workers, many of them also frontline, have seen their wages cut or even been made redundant.

"Other key points of the manifesto included tackling crime, fixing social care and rebuilding a stronger economy. Labour will have to back up these promises by policies that would enable the sort of bounce back for the economy which prevents huge unemployment while at the same time carefully managing the public finances.

"These policies must be targeted not only towards the public sector but also towards the private sector, which is arguably struggling more, and where more redundancies are expected once the furlough and other support schemes come to an end."

11 March 2021

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