The Labour party manifesto, launched this week, included a number of technology-related plans, ranging from how the party plans to support the digital sector to how it will use tech to improve government.
With the general election just 23 days away, we take a look at what Labour has pledged to do if it wins power.
1. High speed broadband for all by 2020
The manifesto says Labour will ensure all parts of the UK have access to “affordable, high speed broadband” by 2020. The party promised to work with the industry and regulator Ofcom to increase private sector investment and reduce ‘not spots’.
2. Support for high-tech clusters
The party promised to continue to support high-tech clusters, saying they have already “spun out hundreds of companies creating thousands of jobs”.
3. Increase number of citizens online
Labour said it will back community campaigns to reduce the proportion of citizens unable to use the internet. It also promised to “help those who need it to get the skills to make the most of digital technology”.
4. Use tech to improve public services
The manifesto promised Labour will use digital technology to improve public services, creating a “more responsive, devolved, and less costly system of government”. People will be able to provide feedback on public services “quickly and simply”, it said.
5. Release open data ‘by default’
Labour promised to release open data “by default”, including public sector performance data.
6. Pause Universal Credit
The party confirmed it will pause and review Universal Credit before deciding how and whether to continue the programme. However Labour said it “supports the principle” behind the scheme, set up by work and pensions minister Iain Duncan Smith MP (pictured).
7. Small companies to win government work
Labour will give SMEs “a voice at the heart of government” by setting up a “Small Business Administration”, the manifesto said. The unit will ensure government contracts are accessible to small firms and ensure regulations are designed with them in mind, it added.
8. Get firms to disclose cyber security breaches?
Labour said it will consult whether to make it a legal requirement for all private companies to report serious cyber attacks threatening national infrastructure. It will also require every firm working with the Ministry of Defence to sign up to a cyber security charter.