Election 2017

Corbyn pledges one million jobs for British workers

Jeremy Corbyn Image copyright AFP/Getty

The "vast majority" of the one million good quality jobs Labour has pledged would go to British workers, Jeremy Corbyn has said.

A Labour government would pump £250bn into industry through a new national investment bank to "unleash" untapped potential across the country, he said.

Speaking in York, Mr Corbyn said Labour's industrial strategy was "serious, comprehensive and radical".

He and Theresa May will face questions later on a BBC Question Time special.

But during the campaign event at York Science Park innovation centre, Mr Corbyn attempted to shift the focus of the election debate on to domestic policy, rather than the themes of leadership and Brexit favoured by the Tories.

He said Labour would build an economy where "everyone shares in our country's wealth".

Asked if he could guarantee that all or a proportion of the one million jobs would go to British workers, Mr Corbyn said after the speech: "They would obviously be for people looking for work.

"The vast majority will be for people coming out of our schools and our colleges and our universities - and we will not allow anyone to only recruit overseas for jobs here.

"They've got to recruit in an open way so that everyone gets a fair chance.

"So we will not be allowing companies to import an entire workforce from overseas."

Image copyright PA

Mr Corbyn said the UK needed to have a relationship with the rest of the world, adding: "We have to maintain that close connection between the universities and industries".

The UK must "harness the talents... in every nation and region" and cannot "try to sustain its economy on the back of the growth of the financial sector in one corner of England".

Mr Corbyn highlighted Labour plans to pump £250bn into industry through a new national investment bank and create a network of regional development banks, as well as a national transformation fund.

He said years of Conservative rule have resulted in stagnating productivity, falling public sector net investment and average wages forecast to be lower in real terms in 2021/22 than their 2007/8 level.

Mr Corbyn argues that the "richest have got richer" while others have seen incomes fall or stagnate under a Conservative government.

But Conservative Chancellor Philip Hammond said his party had "made real progress in fixing the mess we inherited from Labour, helping businesses create 2.9 million more jobs".

"Jeremy Corbyn will not create jobs, he will destroy them. His reckless plans for higher taxes and more borrowing will wreck the economy and we will all pay the price," he said.

Leading innovator

After Mr Corbyn's speech, shadow business secretary Rebecca Long-Bailey said Labour's first industrial mission would be to ensure that 60% of UK energy comes from low carbon or renewable sources by 2020.

She also outlined plans to make Britain a leading innovator.

Labour unveiled pledges costing £48.6bn - to be funded from extra tax revenue - in its election manifesto.

The income tax rate would rise to 45p for earnings above £80,000 and then to 50p in each pound earned over £123,000.

Other fundraising measures including corporation tax rises, a crackdown on tax avoidance and an "excessive pay levy" on salaries above £330,000.

It also says it will borrow money to pay for future investment.

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