News From Westminster - 16/02/2015

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Labour’s plan for education today will drive our economy tomorrow

When I speak to local parents, one of the most common concerns raised is about whether their children are getting the best istock_education.jpgeducation available and whether local schools can be improved.

We all want our children to get a good education so they can get on in life. But to do that we have to make sure they have the high-quality teaching and resources they need.

That’s why I’m backing Labour’s plan for an education system that equips young people with the skills and knowledge they need to succeed in the future.

Unlike the Tories, Labour will not only protect the schools budget but the entire education budget, increasing it in line with inflation, ensuring that we invest in our young people who will drive our future economic success.

Parents are clear that they want smaller classes for their children, and teachers are clear that smaller classes are better for learning. That’s why Labour will end the wasteful Tory policy of opening Free Schools in areas where there is no shortage of school places, and use that money to fund more school places so we can cap class sizes for five, six and seven year-olds so they are no bigger than 30 pupils.

Labour will also end the scandal of 1.6 million children being educated in under-performing schools. It’s time to put an end to this chronic under-achievement and make sure we drive up standards in every classroom, in every school.

So Labour will issue every area with a new standards challenge setting a tough target to raise performance, with every school locally accountable to a new Director of School Standards.  We’ll also ensure that all teachers in state schools become properly qualified, and continue to build their skills, so local parents know that their children are getting a high-quality education.

The next Labour government will invest in our education system so our children and young people can build the long-term economic success our country needs.

LABOUR WILL CRACK DOWN ON TAX AVOIDANCE AS PART OF A BETTER PLAN FOR WORKING FAMILIES

Labour has last week set out the measures it will take to tackle tax avoidance in the first months of a Labour Government. David Cameron and George Osborne have failed to deliver on tackling tax avoidance in the last five years.Tax-avoidance2.jpg

They have failed to close the loopholes Labour has highlighted and the amount of uncollected tax has risen under this Government.

And this week in Parliament Tory MPs voted against Labour’s plans to crack down harder on tax avoidance.

Hard working families have had enough of David Cameron’s failing economy, and his economic plan which doesn’t work for them because it always prioritises helping a few at the top.

A Labour government will act where the Tories have failed.

We will use our first Finance Bill to close loopholes that cost the exchequer billions of pounds a year, increase transparency and toughen up penalties.

The choice at this election is between a failing plan and a better plan for working families. The Tories just don’t understand that Britain only succeeds when working families succeed.

That’s why Labour’s plan offers a better future: for living standards, for the next generation and for the NHS.

Better childcare is key to Labour’s plan to help working families succeed

At the heart of Labour’s plan is the belief that Britain succeeds when working families succeed.

4269396864_d6efda2bb8_o.jpgFamilies today are frustrated with a childcare system that hasn’t caught up with the realities of modern life, with parents increasingly struggling to balance the demands of work and family at a time when they are facing a cost of living crisis.

David Cameron has failed to give working families the support they need, with families £1,127 worse off on average as a result of tax and benefit reforms introduced by his government.

The next Labour government will help families cope with the pressures of juggling work and care in modern life today; tackling the shortage of childcare places by doubling the number available at Sure Start - at least 50,000 more – and support for new dads through a doubling of paternity leave and an increase in paternity pay.

The Tories’ plan is failing working families because they chose to prioritise helping a few at the top. They just don’t understand that Britain only succeeds when working families succeed. 

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