News From Westminster - 08/02/2015





David Cameron says the economy is working, but for too many people life is getting harder. His plan is failing because he doesn’t understand that Britain only succeeds when working families succeed. 

pay_packet_peanuts.jpgFigures published this week show that by 2020 the number of working people reliant on Housing Benefit will have more than doubled during the decade.  In this constituency the number of working people claiming housing benefit has risen by 70% since 2010. 

We need more opportunities for young people who need routes to high skilled better paid jobs. Instead, David Cameron has allowed the trusted apprenticeship brand to be undermined and the number of 19-24 year olds starting apprenticeships fell in the last year.

David Cameron says his plan is working, but how can it be a success when so many working people are falling behind?

Britain can’t afford another five years of this. The Tories’ low wage, low skill economy is driving up the benefits bill and undermining tax revenues. If wages fell short of expectations in the next parliament to the same extent as they have in this Britain will face another £9 billion in social security spending – a £337 bill for every household in the country.

Labour has a better plan which will make work pay and keep the benefits bill down.

We will once again rescue apprenticeships from the scrapheap and we will help businesses create and fill more productive, high skilled jobs.  We will tackle low pay by raising the National Minimum Wage to £8 an hour and end the abuse of zero hour contracts so we can all earn our way to a better standard of living.

David Cameron fails to understand that everyone loses out in a low pay economy. Only a Labour government can make work pay.




Britain faces the biggest housing crisis in a generation with less than half the number of new homes we need being built.

The Tory-led government refuses to do anything about it. Their record is shocking with house building now at its lowest level since terraced_houses_manchester.jpgthe 1920s.

Renters in Heywood and Middleton are now paying more in rent than ever before. They face rip-off charges by letting agents, unpredictable jumps in their rent and insecure short-term tenancies.

The next Labour government will change the law to make three-year tenancies the norm and protect against excessive rent increases to give working families the stability they deserve.  And we’ll take action to ban rip-off letting agents’ fees for tenants, saving renters an average of £350 in costs each time they move.

We have also set out plans to introduce a self- funded national register of landlords to drive up standards across the sector. We’ll also bring an end to cold homes by setting a new target to upgrade the energy efficiency of privately rented properties.

The private rental market has changed and now the law has to as well. We won’t get the change we need under the Tories. Only Labour will improve the private rented sector to end the unfairness and make it work for working people in Heywood and Middleton.



The choice at this election is between the Tories’ failing plan, and a better plan for working families. 

Infrastructure_(1).pngThe Tories’ plan is failing working families because they chose to prioritise helping a few at the top, instead of making sure hard working families can succeed. 

That’s why Labour has this week set out an ambitious vision for Britain’s long-term infrastructure needs.

Infrastructure investment is vital to boosting growth and productivity in a way which raises living standards for the many, not just a few at the top.

For too long successive governments have ducked and delayed the vital decisions we need to take for the long term. As a country we have got to stop kicking big decisions into the long grass.

So the next Labour government will set up an independent National Infrastructure Commission to identify our long-term infrastructure needs, from energy to flood defences and transport. A draft Bill has already been published to ensure that these plans can be fast-tracked through Parliament following Labour’s first Queen’s Speech after the election.

We need an ambitious vision to ensure Britain has a transport network that spreads prosperity to every part of the country, is the best place in the world to do scientific research and meets the challenge of climate change.

Labour’s plan offers a better future: for living standards, for the next generation, for the economy and for the country.

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