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Kate Green MP, Labour’s Shadow Minister for Disabled People, responding to reports that more than 150,000 people have raised serious concerns about fit-for-work tests administered by Atos, said:

“David Cameron’s out-of-touch Government needs to get a grip on Atos to ensure they start improving their service. If they aren’t ensuring these tests are handled sensitively, and delivering the right decisions, the Government should sack them. We need a system that delivers the right help to the people who need it.

“The system is failing too many people, and it’s the Government’s responsibility to make sure it’s fit for purpose.”

Cameron’s out-of-touch Government needs to get a grip on Atos - Kate Green

Kate Green MP, Labour’s Shadow Minister for Disabled People, responding to reports that more than 150,000 people have raised serious concerns about fit-for-work tests administered by Atos, said: “David Cameron’s...

David Hanson MP, Labour’s Shadow Immigration Minister, responding to reports that the Home Office, via Capita, are sending texts to British citizens asking them to leave the country, said:

“Theresa May’s immigration system lurches from one gimmick to another with little effect.

“The reports that the Government has allowed a private contractor to send British citizens text message telling them to leave the country demonstrates once more just how shambolic and incompetent the Home Office’s border police is under Theresa May.

“This government have consistently failed on immigration, even by their own standards, with the number of foreign criminals deported dropping by over 13% since the election, border checks being cut with only half as many people stopped, and illegal immigration getting worse.

“These messages will rightly cause distress and offence to British citizens, many of whom have done much to contribute to our society. It is simply wrong for this sort of message to be sent by text, and to be so poorly targeted.

“Yet again, like the offensive and inappropriate ad vans, the Government will be using taxpayer’s hard earned money to offend and alienate its own citizens.”

Response to reports the Home Office are sending texts to British citizens asking them to leave the UK - David Hanson

David Hanson MP, Labour’s Shadow Immigration Minister, responding to reports that the Home Office, via Capita, are sending texts to British citizens asking them to leave the country, said: “Theresa...

Liz Kendall MP, Labour’s Shadow Health and Social Care Minister, said on Jeremy Hunt’s comments reported in today’s newspapers:

"The real national shame is Jeremy Hunt’s attempt to shift the blame for dealing with the very real problems of loneliness amongst elderly people onto families alone.

"He seems completely unaware that there are over 6 million unpaid family carers in Britain today, 1 in 5 of whom provide more than 50 hours care a week for their loved ones.

"These unsung heroes save the taxpayer billions of pounds yet often get precious little support in return.

"Families, friends and neighbours need a decent care system to back up their efforts to look after elderly people, but the reality is our care system is in crisis and has been pushed to the brink of collapse.

"Jeremy Hunt and David Cameron need to take responsibly for their Government’s actions rather than trying to turn the clock back and say it’s down to families alone.

Hunt’s attempt to shift blame for dealing with loneliness amongst elderly people - Kendall

Liz Kendall MP, Labour’s Shadow Health and Social Care Minister, said on Jeremy Hunt’s comments reported in today’s newspapers: "The real national shame is Jeremy Hunt’s attempt to shift the...

Andy Burnham MP, Labour’s Shadow Health Secretary, commenting on the Competition Commission ruling on NHS trust mergers, said:

“It’s a sad day for the NHS when competition lawyers, and not doctors, are deciding what’s best for patients. This decision is a result of David Cameron’s top down reorganisation of the NHS where competition is put ahead of patient care.

"When the NHS is facing such a huge financial challenge, we should be encouraging collaboration and not erecting barriers to it. Yet the Government’s hard-line approach to competition is blocking the efficiency savings the NHS needs to make. It is nothing short of madness that simple collaboration between health professionals is now deemed "anti-competitive". This just shows that you can’t trust David Cameron with the NHS.

"Evidence from around the world tells us that market-based health systems cost more, not less. Ministers have put the NHS on the wrong path. Patients are the losers when doctors can’t talk to each other. This is why Labour has a commitment to remove this market madness from the NHS by repealing the health and social care act in the first Queen’s Speech of the next Labour government. We will put the right values - compassion over competition, integration over fragmentation - at the heart of the NHS.

Competition Commission ruling on NHS trust mergers - response from Andy Burnham

Andy Burnham MP, Labour’s Shadow Health Secretary, commenting on the Competition Commission ruling on NHS trust mergers, said: “It’s a sad day for the NHS when competition lawyers, and not...

Tristram Hunt MP, Labour’s Shadow Education Secretary, responding to revelations in the Guardian on the failings at one of Michael Gove’s flagship free schools, said:

“What this report exposes is that David Cameron and Michael Gove’s Free School programme has become a dangerous free-for-all: an out of control ideological experiment that has closed a school, leaving 400 children losing an entire week of learning.

“Pupils have been failed on every possible measure and parents will want to know how David Cameron and Michael Gove have allowed this to happen – especially as Ofsted identified that this school was not meeting the basic requirements on child protection before it was opened. Far from an isolated incident, the failings at this school reveal the systemic threat to education standards under this Government.

“David Cameron and Michael Gove can no longer ignore this issue – it is a crisis entirely of their own making.”

Ofsted report exposes Cameron and Gove’s Free School programme as a dangerous free-for-all - Tristram Hunt

Tristram Hunt MP, Labour’s Shadow Education Secretary, responding to revelations in the Guardian on the failings at one of Michael Gove’s flagship free schools, said:“What this report exposes is that...

Ed Miliband will today (Thurs) set out how the next Labour Government will raise millions of pounds through a levy on the profits of payday lenders - money which will be used to double the public funds available for low cost alternatives such as credit unions.

He will also announce that Stella Creasy, the new Shadow Minister for Competition and Consumer Affairs, has been given special responsibility to lead One Nation Labour’s campaign against abuses by legal loan sharks which have blighted Britain’s high streets and left many families with huge levels of personal debt.

The Labour leader will show how the latest proposals are part of One Nation Labour’s plan to tackle the worst cost of living crisis since 1870. He will also praise the work done by Labour campaigners across the country in helping families deal with soaring personal debt.

The measures he is announcing today come in addition to previous policy commitments on capping the cost of credit and giving local authorities new powers to limit the spread of payday lending shops in town centres.

On a visit to Peckham with Ms Creasy, Mr Miliband will visit the office of a credit union and meet some of the people who have suffered at the hands of payday lenders.

Ed Miliband is expected to say:

“The cost of living crisis afflicting millions of Britain’s families is so bad that it is creating a personal debt crisis too.

“The prices families have to pay keep on rising faster and faster than the wages they are paid. And, as a result, the market in payday lending has doubled in just four years. Almost a third of the payday loans taken out in Britain at the moment are to cover the cost of people’s gas and electricity bills.

“For too many families the end of the month is now their own personal credit crunch.

“A One Nation Labour Government would deal with the causes of the cost of living crisis. But it would also act to help prevent people falling into unpayable debt with radical reform of the payday lending market.

“We would cap the cost of credit, halt the spread of payday lenders on our high streets and force them to fund the credit unions that can offer a real alternative for people in desperate need.

“We must protect the most vulnerable people in our society from the worst of exploitation by payday lenders. And it is right that the companies that benefit from people’s financial plight, accept their responsibilities to help ensure affordable credit is available.”

Stella Creasy is expected to say:

“Across the country Sharkstoppers and Debtbusters campaigners are working to address the damage payday lending debt is doing to the finances of millions of families who are struggling to make ends meet.

“Whether helping to increase the capital credit unions have to enable them to lend more, kicking these companies out of their football grounds and shopping centres, or supporting debt advice to those caught in spiral of debt by the practices of these firms, these are the people dealing first hand with this Government’s failure to learn from other countries in capping the cost of credit.

“We are determined to see a cap introduced in the UK so that we can see an end to this legal loan sharking and give British consumers the protection they deserve.”

Miliband: Labour will act on payday lending

Ed Miliband will today (Thurs) set out how the next Labour Government will raise millions of pounds through a levy on the profits of payday lenders - money which will...

Rachel Reeves MP, Labour’s Shadow Work and Pensions Secretary, responding to a report from the Social Mobility and Child Poverty Commission, said:

“This powerful report offers a timely warning that the cost of living crisis faced by families today also threatens the promise of a better tomorrow for Britain’s next generation.

“While David Cameron congratulates himself on the long delayed recovery, the reality is that the majority are barely benefiting, with ordinary families’ living standards squeezed and social divisions deepening as a result of this government’s decisions to put a privileged few first. Families are £891 worse off this year because of changes introduced since 2010, while David Cameron’s Government is reversing the last Labour Government’s progress on child poverty - pushing 300,000 more children into absolute poverty in the last year alone.

“As Ed Miliband has said, Britain can and must do better than this. We can’t succeed as a country unless everyone has a chance to play their part and feels they have a stake in our future.”

Powerful report offers a timely warning that cost of living crisis faced by families threatens promise of a better tomorrow - Rachel Reeves

Rachel Reeves MP, Labour’s Shadow Work and Pensions Secretary, responding to a report from the Social Mobility and Child Poverty Commission, said: “This powerful report offers a timely warning that...

Caroline Flint MP, Labour’s Shadow Energy and Climate Change Secretary, commenting on British Gas’s announcement that they will increase gas prices by 8.4% and electricity prices by 10.4% from 23 November 2013, said:

“These latest price rises show clearer than ever why Labour’s price freeze is needed. People are sick and tired of being left out of pocket because of David Cameron’s failure to stand up to the energy companies.

“Britain’s energy market isn’t working for ordinary families and businesses. Labour’s energy freeze will save money for 27 million households and 2.4 million businesses and our plans to reset the market will deliver fairer prices in the future.”

British Gas price rises show clearer than ever why Labour’s price freeze is needed - Flint

Caroline Flint MP, Labour’s Shadow Energy and Climate Change Secretary, commenting on British Gas’s announcement that they will increase gas prices by 8.4% and electricity prices by 10.4% from 23...

Liam Byrne MP, Labour’s Shadow Minister for Universities, Science and Skills, responding to today’s apprenticeship statistics, said:

“Today’s damning figures show the apprenticeship programme has slammed into reverse under David Cameron, with 25,000 fewer apprentices starting than last year. Worse, we now have fewer young people starting an apprenticeship than at the time of the last election.

“At a time when there are nearly a million young people out of work, this just isn’t good enough. This is why the Government needs to use the money it already spends on public procurement to create thousands of new apprenticeship opportunities, as Ed Miliband called for earlier this year.

“And as today’s report from the Sutton Trust highlights, we need a radical overhaul of the system to ensure apprenticeships are a gold standard once again. Building on the work of our independent Skills Taskforce One Nation Labour will create a new universal standard apprenticeships so that they are qualifications that employers and young people can trust.”

Apprenticeship programme has slammed into reverse under David Cameron - Liam Byrne

Liam Byrne MP, Labour’s Shadow Minister for Universities, Science and Skills, responding to today’s apprenticeship statistics, said: “Today’s damning figures show the apprenticeship programme has slammed into reverse under David...

Maria Eagle MP, Labour’s Shadow Environment Secretary, responding to Owen Paterson’s admission that the Gloucestershire badger cull has fallen well short of its target, said:

“The Government’s costly and unscientific cull of badgers has failed, with just a thirty per cent reduction in the badger population in Gloucestershire achieved against the seventy per cent a measure of success set by Ministers. Instead of rigging the results of the trials by extending their length, risking spreading TB and infecting cattle, Owen Paterson should abandon this misguided approach.

“Eradicating TB from cattle is vital for farmers, the wider rural economy, taxpayers and wildlife and it is now time for a genuinely science-based approach based on vaccination of cattle and badgers and proper restrictions on the movement of livestock.

The Government’s costly and unscientific cull of badgers has failed – Maria Eagle

Maria Eagle MP, Labour’s Shadow Environment Secretary, responding to Owen Paterson’s admission that the Gloucestershire badger cull has fallen well short of its target, said:“The Government’s costly and unscientific cull...

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