News From Westminster - 16/1/15




Last week's A&E figures exposed the worst week the NHS has experienced in living memory, with record numbers waiting over four hours to be seen, and hospitals around the country declaring "major incident" status. 

Accident-and-emergency-Friarage-Hospital.jpgWith the NHS so important to everyone in this country, and the Tory NHS crisis worsening day after day, it was a staggering omission by David Cameron this week to fail to make the NHS as one of his six election themes.  

Labour will put health and the NHS at the heart of our election campaign because it’s the right thing to do. 

Our new approach to public health, launched this week, forms part of a wider plan to improve health and ensure the NHS remains affordable and sustainable in the century of the ageing society. 

The plans include new pledges to take tougher action to protect children from commercial pressures and the harm caused by alcohol, sugar and smoke and includes a renewed focus on personal responsibility. 

Alongside our fully funded plan to raise £2.5 billion for a Time to Care Fund for the NHS, it underlines Labour’s commitment to making sure the next generation is healthier than the last and that we have an NHS we can all rely on. 

David Cameron does have a plan for the NHS but it is not one that will reassure people who are worried about getting care now or keeping the NHS safe for the next generation. 

It is an extreme plan for even deeper spending cuts which would take public spending back to a share of national income last seen in the 1930s, when there was no NHS and children left school at 14. 

That is not the sort of future I want to see.

Labour has set out a new plan for Britain's future, a plan that works for ordinary families, rewarding the hard work they do and saving the NHS they rely on.




Ed Miliband has this week launched #ShapeYourFuture - Labour’s plan for the next generation.

#Shapeyourfuture will put the ideas and aspirations of young people at the heart of Labour’s plans for the general election and for government. 

New figures published this week show almost one million voters have disappeared from the Electoral Register in the last year, Heiwa_elementary_school_18.jpgparticularly in towns and cities with large numbers of students and young people. 

Ed Miliband has urged them to find their voice and make themselves heard in May’s crucial election for their generation. 

The Tories and Lib Dems have betrayed young people by trebling tuition fees, scrapping the EMA and leaving 750,000 young people unemployed. 

This General Election is not only a chance to hold leaders to account, but also an opportunity for young people to shape their future with better policies on housing, jobs and pay. 

The consultation will run from Friday 16 January to Monday 16 February, including lots of activity on National Voter Registration Day on Thursday 5 February.  I’m calling on as many local young people as possible to participate in the consultation by visiting and by tweeting their ideas on the hashtag #ShapeYourFuture.



One of the main concerns local people raise with me is over the high cost of their energy bills and their struggle to heat their homes. 

That’s why this week in Parliament I voted for Labour’s plans to give the energy regulator the power to cut energy prices when energy_freeze.jpgwholesale costs fall, and take immediate action to ensure that the reductions are passed on to consumers. 

Last week the Government accepted that the energy market is broken. Whenever energy companies announce their price hikes, they always blame wholesale price rises. But when wholesale prices fall, energy companies never seem to pass on the savings and customers rarely see their bills fall. 

Labour has already called for big changes to our energy market, including an energy price freeze until 2017, which would allow energy prices to fall but not to rise, saving the average household £120. We will also fix the energy market for the future, with a tough new regulator to curb rip-off bills. 

Yet despite this problem getting worse, David Cameron has failed to set out any action to ensure families get cheaper gas and electricity prices when wholesale energy costs fall. That’s why Labour has called on the Tory-led government to put their money where their mouth is and back Labour’s plans to help hardworking families with the high price of their energy bills. 

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