News from the national Labour Party
John McDonnell: This budget needs to be an emergency budget for our public services that are in crisis, not a budget desperately designed to save the jobs of a weak Prime Minister and her embattled Chancellor.
John McDonnell MP, Labour’s Shadow Chancellor, will today (Thursday) give a keynote speech at Church House in London, where he will set out the five main demands that Labour wants to see in next week’s Autumn Budget.
The Shadow Chancellor will argue that the country needs an ‘emergency Budget’ to save our public services that are in crisis, not a budget desperately designed to save the jobs of a weak Prime Minister and her embattled Chancellor. The Shadow Chancellor will call for a Budget that deals with the growing emergency faced by working families and our vital public services, which have been left in crisis after seven years of Tory austerity.
He will also make the argument that this Government is not prepared to clamp down on tax avoidance, but instead wants to engage in a race to the bottom in low corporation tax rates.
John McDonnell will argue that after seven years of Tory economic mismanagement the Chancellor must change course next week, by abandoning his planned tax giveaways to a wealthy few and instead bringing greater fairness into the tax system.
The Shadow Chancellor will set out five central demands for next week’s Autumn Budget:
1. Pause and fix Universal Credit
2. Provide new funding to lift the public sector pay cap
3. Serious funding for infrastructure across the whole country
4. Properly fund our public services including health, education, and local government
5. Launch a large-scale public house-building programme
John McDonnell MP, Labour’s Shadow Chancellor, in his speech today at Church House, is expected to say:
“In his first year as Chancellor, Philip Hammond has demonstrated that he completely fails to understand how working people are struggling after seven years of Tory austerity.
“Next week the country needs an ‘emergency Budget’ for our public services that are in crisis, not a budget desperately designed to save the jobs of a weak Prime Minister and her embattled Chancellor.
“There has to be a genuine and decisive change of course.
“As the Paradise Papers revealed yet again, the Tories have created an economy in which the rich elite at the top do better than ever, while the rest of us have to live with our vital public services teetering on the brink.
“While the Tories refuse to properly clamp down on tax avoidance and push ahead with tax giveaways to the corporations and super rich, public sector workers like our nurses are relying on food banks.
“Our schools’ head teachers have to ask parents for donations to keep them open for our children.
“Our NHS is so badly underfunded that a quarter of nurses are forced to take a second job.
“Local councils have had their funding for children’s services slashed to the point that charities now warn the crisis risks turning into a catastrophe.
“Philip Hammond wants you to believe there is nothing that can be done to end these scandals. And that the millions more children who will grow up in poverty under this government due to their policies, cannot be prevented.
“He wants you to believe that the housing crisis in our country cannot be fixed in the way that Labour has consistently called for, and even colleagues in his own Cabinet have argued for, by increasing investment to build more housing.
“He wants to pretend he cannot invest on the scale needed, yet he has already borrowed more in his first year as Chancellor than any of his predecessors in their first year at the Treasury.
“There is a better way than this. But it needs a complete break with past failures.“
John McDonnell: This budget needs to be an emergency budget for our public services that are in crisis, not a budget desperately designed to save the jobs of a weak Prime...
Tracy Brabin MP, Labour’s Shadow Early Years Minister, responding to the poll by Action for Children on Children’s Centres, said:
“Tory cuts to funding for children’s services are making it impossible for councils to provide the support that children and families need.
“It should shame ministers that they’re overseeing such a dramatic fall in these services when nearly half of children fail to meet developmental milestones by age five. It goes to show ‘social mobility’ is nothing but a catchphrase to them.
“With Sure Start Centres closing across the country at an alarming rate, as their funding continues to be slashed, there are more and more children who need support, but are not able to access it because of this Government.
“The next Labour Government will provide these vital services with the funding they need, including a ring-fenced grant of £500 million a year for Sure Start
Tracy Brabin MP, Labour’s Shadow Early Years Minister, responding to the poll by Action for Children on Children’s Centres, said: “Tory cuts to funding for children’s services are making it...
Jonathan Ashworth, Labour’s Shadow Health Secretary, responding to Jeremy Hunt’s claim in the House of Commons that the NHS pay cap has been lifted, said:
“The Secretary of State tells the Commons the NHS pay cap’s been lifted but he cannot say whether this is going to come from existing budgets or not. It looks like hospitals will be forced to cut other services to find the funds.
“Jeremy Hunt is trying to face both ways on NHS pay and it just means even more uncertainty. While the Government dithers, staff continue to leave the NHS and patients continue to be at risk from short staffed services.
“There has still been no confirmation of any of this from the Treasury. The Government need to immediately confirm that extra funding will be provided to lift the NHS pay cap so that all staff can benefit from a long overdue pay rise.”
Jonathan Ashworth, Labour’s Shadow Health Secretary, responding to Jeremy Hunt’s claim in the House of Commons that the NHS pay cap has been lifted, said: “The Secretary of State tells...
John McDonnell MP, Labour’s Shadow Chancellor, commenting on the IMF’s report out today, said:
“The IMF report out today is yet another blow to the Chancellor’s already crumbling economic credibility – it is no wonder many of his fellow colleagues in his own party are calling for him to be sacked.
“With nearly all other advanced economies recovering at a faster rate than the UK, alarm bells should be ringing at the Treasury. Philip Hammond’s plans to continue the austerity policies of his predecessor are failing.
“The IMF’s confirmed downward revision to the UK’s growth has also made clear that seven years of Tory economic failure has left our economy fundamentally weakened. On a day when other worrying data and reports have been published highlighting the failure of Tory austerity, this directionless Chancellor needs to follow Labour’s lead and urgently change course.
“The next Labour government will provide the proper investment our country needs, underpinned by our Fiscal Credibility Rule, to build a high wage, high skill economy for the many not the few.”
John McDonnell MP, Labour’s Shadow Chancellor, commenting on the IMF’s report out today, said: “The IMF report out today is yet another blow to the Chancellor’s already crumbling economic...
The first thing that struck me about the Budget was how little substance it
contained. This was the first Spring Budget of a new Chancellor, so I would
have expected new ideas, but the only headline grabbing change was the
increase in National Insurance for the self-employed.
The second thing that struck me was the disparity between the rhetoric and
the actual tax changes. The Chancellor said that he wanted to address the
discrepancy between the rates of tax paid by employees and workers operating
through limited companies. An employee earning (say) £30,000 a year will pay
tax at 20% plus employee’s National Insurance at 12% and the company will
pay employer’s NI at 13.8%. A worker operating through a limited company
earning £30,000 a year will pay corporation tax at 20% and dividend tax at
7.5%. The first £5,000 of dividends are tax free and the Chancellor
announced that this will be reduced to £2,000 tax free from April 2018; this
will cost the worker in my example operating through a limited company £225
a year in extra tax. The Chancellor also confirmed a cut in corporation tax
to 17% by 2020. This will give the worker in my example operating through a
limited company up to £900 a year in reduced corporation tax. So actually
the discrepancy between the rates of tax paid by employees and workers
operating through limited companies will INCREASE over the next few years.
The Chancellor also said that we shouldn’t be saddling our children with
ever increasing debt, but then announced that government borrowing will be
£100bn higher than predicted at Budget 2016. Government debt now stands at
£1.7trn (nearly double what it was in 2010). The Chancellor criticised
Labour’s plans to borrow £500bn to spend on capital infrastructure projects,
but seems happy to borrow to fund corporation tax cuts!
UK economic growth is forecast to be 2% in 2017 (roughly the same as it was
when Labour left office in May 2010). Growth is forecast to fall to 1.6% in
The Chancellor announced £100m to put GPs into A&E departments, but he
didn’t explain where the GPs would come from. If the plan is to move GPs out
of GP surgeries then this is going to make it even harder to get a GP
appointment! The underlying problem is a shortage of GPs and the diversion
of GPs away from the core job of seeing patients in GP surgeries.
I was surprised to hear the Chancellor say that ‘Choice is the key to
excellence in education’. I disagree! I think that good teachers and decent
funding is the key to excellence in education. The Chancellor announced an
extension to free transport for those at selective schools. This will jar
with many parents in Cheshire East who have just had their free school
transport withdrawn and are facing major funding cuts to their local school.
Finally the Chancellor said that those with the broadest shoulders should
bear the heaviest burden. A fine sentiment, but it is not matched by the
announcements in the Budget. The corporation tax rate will be cut to 17% by
2020. The Universal Credit taper rate will be reduced from 65% to 63%! Who
has the broadest shoulders? Is it a multi-national company or a low paid
worker who earns just enough to have some of their benefits withdrawn?
The first thing that struck me about the Budget was how little substance itcontained. This was the first Spring Budget of a new Chancellor, so I wouldhave expected new ideas,...
Lancashire County Elections
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Greater Manchester Mayoral
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Liverpool City Region Mayoral
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We are holding a fundraising dinner on the 18th February which is hosted by the comedian John Bishop - we have a handful of tickets left. If you want to have a good night out in Liverpool with good food, wine and company please buy your ticket here.
National Policy Forum
Over the next couple of months, we are holding NPF events in Lancashire, Merseyside, Cheshire and Greater Manchester. These events are an opportunity for you to discuss issues with you NPF reps and feed into the policy making process. If you can't make it to an event you can contact your reps Facebook.com/npfteamnw
See details of the event near you here.
International Women's Day
What better way to celebrate International Women's Day on 11th March than to spend the day with fellow Labour party women over afternoon tea. We will be joined by guest speaker Diane Abbott MP. Get your ticket here.
And finally, we are right in the middle of two really important by-elections to the North and South of the region. If you are able to help out at either it would be a huge help. Polling day is 23rd February so the next two weeks are vital.
Stoke on Trent westmidlandslabour.org.uk/events
Lancashire County ElectionsThe elections in Lancashire are fast approaching and we are working hard on doorsteps across the county. If you want to help out please email firstname.lastname@example.org to find out about...
John Healey MP, Labour’s Shadow Secretary of State for Housing,commenting on new child homelessness figures from Shelter, said:
“Tory Ministers should hang their heads in shame over these shocking figures showing over 120,000 children are facing homelessness this Christmas. These are the children that can’t go home and after six years Conservative Ministers can’t dodge their responsibility for this scandal.
“Six years of failure on housing has led directly to today’s rapidly rising homelessness. Since 2010, Ministers have ended funding for genuinely affordable social rented housing, cut housing benefit for families on low incomes, done nothing about rising costs and insecurity for private renters, and slashed funding for homelessness services by almost a half.
“Homelessness is not inevitable and the last Labour Government cut homelessness before it rose again after 2010.
“Ministers should back Labour’s plans to build thousands more affordable homes to rent and buy, and re-think further planned cuts to housing benefit which will make the problem of growing homelessness worse.”
John Healey MP, Labour’s Shadow Secretary of State for Housing,commenting on new child homelessness figures from Shelter, said: “Tory Ministers should hang their heads in shame over these shocking figures...
Jeremy Corbyn, Leader of the Labour Party commenting on the High Court ruling on triggering Article 50 said: “This ruling underlines the need for the Government to bring its negotiating terms to parliament without delay. Labour respects the decision of the British people to leave the European Union. But there must be transparency and accountability to parliament on the terms of Brexit.
“Labour will be pressing the case for a Brexit that works for Britain, putting jobs, living standards and the economy first.”
Jeremy Corbyn's comment on the High Court ruling on triggering Article 50 Jeremy Corbyn, Leader of the Labour Party commenting on the High Court ruling on triggering Article 50 said: “This...
Angela Rayner MP, Labour’s Shadow Education Secretary, commenting on the Education Policy Institute’s report into teacher workload and development, said
“Teachers are our most precious resource and this report is a damning indictment on the Tory Government’s failure to acknowledge this.
“While the Tories waste time on bringing back failed old education policies, they are ignoring the most important factor in delivering an excellent education for all – great teachers.
“Labour would ensure all teachers have access to excellent professional development and training in order to provide an excellent education for all, not just the lucky few.”
Report is damning indictment on Tory Government's failure to acknowledge teachers as a precious resource - Angela Rayner Angela Rayner MP, Labour’s Shadow Education Secretary, commenting on the Education Policy...
Barry Gardiner MP, Labour’s Shadow Energy and Climate Change Secretary, responding to the Tory Government’s decision to override Lancashire county council’s rejection on fracking, said:
“The Government’s decision bulldozes local democracy and risks locking Britain into an old-fashioned dirty energy infrastructure when we should be seizing the opportunities for new long-term jobs and investment in a clean energy future.
“Cuadrilla’s own figures on jobs show they would be very temporary, and their claims that fracking will lower British energy bills have been discredited.
“Tory ministers pay lip service to tackling climate change but are bending over backwards to force through new fossil fuel infrastructure, with divisive bribes, tax breaks and ministerial powers that override the wishes of local communities.
“The next Labour government will ban fracking and focus on unlocking the jobs and growth that a new clean low-carbon energy infrastructure can provide for our industry, workforce and communities.”
Barry Gardiner MP, Labour’s Shadow Energy and Climate Change Secretary, responding to the Tory Government’s decision to override Lancashire county council’s rejection on fracking, said: “The Government’s decision bulldozes local democracy...