Labour and the Conservatives will step up their bidding war for working-class voters on Monday with a raft of eye-catching policies on workers’ rights and the NHS, as the general election campaign steps up a gear with just over three weeks to go until polling day.
Jeremy Corbyn will promise to take a million patients off NHS waiting lists by 2020 and Theresa May will unveil what she claims is the biggest extension of workers’ rights by any Conservative government, as the parties compete hard for the backing of what the prime minister calls “ordinary working-class people”.
Corbyn will address an audience of 3,000 nurses on Monday at the annual Royal College of Nursing conference in Liverpool, where he will promise that Labour will spend an extra £37bn over the next parliament on a “new deal” for the NHS.
Labour calculates that would allow the NHS to take a million people off waiting lists by the end of the parliament by guaranteeing access to treatment within 18 weeks, and to guarantee that patients could always be seen in A&E within four hours.
The Labour leader will repeat the party’s pledge to lift the 1% pay cap for public sector workers that has restrained nurses’ wages. He will tell nurses, who voted to ballot for strike action over pay on Sunday: “Imagine what would happen to the NHS if the Conservatives under Theresa May were to have another five years in power. It would be unrecognisable: a national health service in name, cut back, broken up and plundered by private corporations.”