UK Labour tout 32-hour work week and abolishing private schools at Conference

In his speech at the Labour Party’s conference in Brighton,John McDonnell said Britons were working some of the longest hours in Europe and promised that would change.

UK Labour tout 32-hour work week and abolishing private schools at Conference

The average working week in the UK will be reduced to 32 hours within 10 years under a Labour government, MP John McDonnell promised.

The UK's shadow chancellor claimed the move to an effective four-day week could be achieved with no reduction in pay for workers.

In his speech at the Labour Party’s conference in Brighton, he said Britons were working some of the longest hours in Europe and promised that would change.

Mr McDonnell said: “We should work to live, not live to work.

“In the 1860s people worked a 65-hour week. Thanks to past Labour governments – but actually mainly thanks to the trade union movement – by the 1970s the average working week had been reduced to 43 hours.

“As society got richer, we could spend fewer hours at work. But in recent decades progress has stalled.

“People in our country work some of the longest hours in Europe,

Since the 1980s the link between increasing productivity and expanding free time has been broken. It’s time to put that right.

“So I can tell you today that the next Labour government will reduce the average full-time working week to 32 hours within the next decade.

“It will be a shorter working week with no loss of pay.”

Meanwhile, Labour’s “far-left” policy of abolishing private schools has been branded a “worrying proposition” by a senior education figure.

Matthew Adshead, vice-chair of the Independent Schools Association (ISA), called the pledge – which Labour members approved at its party conference in Brighton – “incredulous”.

Shadow education secretary Angela Rayner has vowed to “integrate” all private schools into the state sector if Labour comes to power.

Delegates approved a motion on Sunday which said such a commitment should be included in the party’s next general election manifesto.

Mr Adshead, a private school headmaster, told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme: “For me it seems quite incredulous that in 2019 I’m discussing whether my private land will be seized and redistributed.

It doesn’t feel like I’m living in the UK anymore.

“I was a state educated young man who worked hard, saw an opportunity to get into education and business by becoming a school proprietor, so my life’s work to create a family-run loving prep school, where the children, parents and staff are completely happy, would then be seized and redistributed.”

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