New Labour

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  • Created on: 17-01-16 15:31


The old collectivist ideas of Labour were replaced by a greater emphasis on individualism - the ability of the individual to realise his or her own goals and aspirations.


  • Lower personal taxation, introduced by the Conservatives, to be retained to encourage work and enterprise.
  • Home ownership to be encouraged and supported.
  • Small businesses to be encouraged and supported.
  • A stress on education, including the expansion of higher education, to maximise the ability of individuals to widen their opportunities and to be socially mobile, in order to improve their living standards and status.
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Free market

New Labour accepted that free market capitalism was the best form of wealth creator. The state should take control of enterprises only when they cannot be made to act in the public interest. 


  • No return to nationalisation of industries and some further privatisation to take place when justified.
  • Reduce corporate taxes to encourage enterprise, innovation and investment.
  • Private sector enterprises to be able to compete with public sector organisations in such areas as school and hospital building, local government services, prisons and road maintenance.
  • Weak trade unions to ensure free labour markets. 
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Welfare state

New Labour fully supported the welfare state and increased spending in that area. However, welfare benefits were to be used as an incentive, rather than a disincentive to work and self-reliance. Welfare was to be targeted to those in most need rather than simply universal.


  • Increased spending on health and education.
  • Welfare benefits to be reformed and targeted on those in most need and withheld from those who do not seek work.
  • Improved efficiency by allowing the private sector to compete to provide services for the welfare state.
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Social justice

New Labour shared many of the beliefs and ideas of traditional Labour on social justice.


  • Provide education and other benefits to widen personal opportunity. Special stress on higher education and pre-school education.
  • The welfare state used to guarantee living standards.
  • Strong laws to guarantee equal rights and outlaw discrimination.
  • The minimum wage to elminate unacceptably low wages.
  • A general attack on child poverty throug the welfare and education systems.
  • The tax credit system to guarantee minimum standards of living.
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New Labour replaced the traditional Labour belief in the class system with communitarianism. This is a belief that, in a world of free market capitalism and individualism, all still have the responsibility to care for the community collectively. 


  • A caring attitude to the environment, with strong green policies.
  • An emphasis on schools, local welfare services, and strong social services.
  • State support for local voluntary associations. 
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Ethical foreign policy

A belief that the UK has a responsibility for poorer parts of the world and that caring for the developing world is in the UK's self-interest.


  • Increasing foreign aid.
  • Campaigning to cancel Third World debt.
  • Campaigning for more free market policies in world trade.
  • Intervening abroad where democracy and human rights are threatened. 
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