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Labour’s First Week in Government

Since the election results were announced on Friday 5th July, the Labour Party has been extremely busy - from swearing in a whole new cabinet to highlighting key areas of focus.

A photo of Daniel Sharpe-Szunko, the author

By Daniel Sharpe-Szunko

Published on: 11 July 2024

4 min read

Labour’s First Week in Government

We’re one week into the new Labour government which marks a new era for the British economy and political landscape. Thursday 4th July 2024 marked a major shift in thinking and behaviour for the UK, but what does that now mean for parents and families?

The key message to the Labour campaign from Keir Starmer and his party was ‘Change for Britain’. We highlighted some of the key promises from the Labour Party manifesto that could impact families and parents over the next term of government.

Labour’s landslide win has also given them unprecedented power to be able to build a brighter future for the British economy. Alternatively, this could mark a new period for more disappointment and political promises that don’t get delivered.

What has Labour done this week?

Since the election results were announced at around 8am on Friday 5th July, the Labour Party has been extremely busy. We’ve already seen the new cabinet has been sworn in and the plan for ‘Change’ is starting to show through.

You can already tell a lot about the new government from its cabinet appointments, which also shows the direction of travel.

New Cabinet Ministers include:

Angela Rayner – Deputy Prime Minister
Rachel Reeves – Chancellor
Wes Streeting – Health Secretary
Bridget Phillipson – Education Secretary
Ed Miliband – Energy Secretary
Liz Kendall – Work and Pensions Secretary
Jonathan Reynolds – Business and Trade Secretary
Peter Kyle – Science, Innovation, and Technology Secretary
Louise Haigh – Transport Secretary

For a full list and breakdown of the new Labour Party cabinet you can visit BBC News ‘Who’s in Keir Starmer’s new cabinet?’.

What has Labour promised for parents and families?

Last week marked the end of 14 years in charge for the Conservatives and the new era to ‘Change Britain’ with Keir Starmer’s Labour. His victory speech last Friday told the people of Britain “We did it, you campaigned for it, you fought for it, you voted for it, and now it has arrived, change begins now”.

Some of the main promises from Labour are to ‘kickstart economic growth’ which it intends to do by getting more people back to work, this includes a number of unanswered questions about the Personal Independence Payment (PIP).

We also wrote last week about several promises to help parents to get back in to work, including:

  • Free breakfast clubs
  • Maternity and Paternity pay review
  • 100,000 new Nursery places

What does Labour mean for Working Parents?

We talked last week about how the new Labour government plans to support working parents and especially young families.

Snapshot of the Labour Party plans for working parents:

  • 30 Hours of Funded Childcare to be introduced by September 2025 which will be an extension of the Tory Party Childcare reform.
  • Free Breakfast Clubs for all Primary School age children to improve school attendance levels, which will be offered to parents, regardless of your income.
  • 100,000 new Nursery places will be created by using unused primary school classrooms and will be funded by a 20% VAT charge on private school fees.
  • Maternity and Paternity pay is to be reviewed and revamped this year to help support working families.
  • Zero Hours Contracts are to be banned under new legislation to stop exploiting workers.
  • Equal pay and protection for Maternity and Menopause discrimination for women, plus a review of Sexual Harassment in the workplace.
  • Tackle Poverty and updates to Universal Credit to help those in a low income household.

What will happen to Cost of Living Payments for Families?

The Conservatives Cost of Living Payment scheme has now stopped and we’re waiting for confirmation from the Labour government will put in its place. Labour has been outspoken about how it intends to tackle the ‘Cost of Living Crisis’ which it must now address from the Tory reign.

Labour is also yet to address its plans for the Household Support Fund which was introduced by the Conservatives in September 2023.

Keir Starmer made several pledges during his campaign to ‘deliver economic stability’ which will be through tough spending rules to grow the British economy. This also included plans to reduce taxes, inflation, and to keep mortgage rates down.

How will Labour reduce Mortgage Rates?

Labour comes in to power at an ideal time to help British households with rising mortgage costs and a stagnating housing market. This could be one of the biggest and best opportunities for Labour to increase its popularity with the public.

The current mortgage interest rate has held at 5.25% since August 2023 and with an impending review from the Monetary Policy Committee on the 1st  August, this could be a big opportunity. City experts and economists expect that the Bank of England will reduce the mortgage interest rate by 0.25% this time.

It is also now anticipated that there could be a further 0.25% reduction later this year, depending on how the global markets react to the new government.

A drop in mortgage rates could also be the catalyst that might stimulate much needed growth in the UK housing market. Labour’s commitments to supercharge housebuilding with 1.5 million new homes could also play a major role in this, as long as it keeps its promises.

What should I do with my mortgage?

You can review your current mortgage deal at any time to see whether the recent mortgage rate reductions are worthwhile. Most of the Big Six high street mortgage lenders have already reacted to the new government and likely reduction from the Bank of England, with mortgage rates coming down by as much as 0.3%.

If you want to get your mortgage reviewed by a qualified mortgage specialist then you can contact 0800 009 6559 or CLICK HERE for more information.