Your chance to have your say on Labour policies
- Austerity is a political choice not an economic imperative!
- The UK’s debt is not unsustainably high! It was far higher throughout most of the 20th century!
- Managing the UK economy cannot be compared to balancing a household budget!
- Aiming for a long-term budget surplus is economic nonsense!
- The financial crisis was not caused by Labour’s spending on health and education but by uncontrolled speculation by banks across the world!
- The private sector is not inherently good and the public sector is not inherently bad! In fact, economically there is basically no difference between them.
- The market doesn’t always know best!
- Labour is NOT bad at managing the economy. Annual net borrowing (the deficit) ranged from -1.6% (ie reducing the national debt) to 3.4% during the years 1997-2008 when Labour was in power until the banking crisis. Annual borrowing was consistently higher in the Tory government years before 1997 and after 2010.
- The UK is not Greece! We continue to be able to borrow money cheaply and for long periods. Greece owes money to overseas interests; we mainly owe ourselves. We control our own currency; they are in the Euro zone.
- The imbalance between exports and imports could well be the real long-term issue, but the government doesn’t talk about that!
Austerity is a political choice not an economic imperative! The UK’s debt is not unsustainably high! It was far higher throughout most of the 20th century! Managing the UK economy...
We know Britain's economy isn't working for everyone. It's not delivering the affordable homes and the decent jobs that working people need.
Kris, Leanne and Marion shared their stories in our new Party Political Broadcast, just shown on TV. They've talked about their finances and like so many others, they're living a hand-to-mouth existence.
— hard working people are being failed by the Tories
Labour believes there is a better way. We believe in a fairer economy where prosperity is shared, where everyone gets a decent wage and where jobs are secure. One where families who want a quality home of their own are helped to get on. Labour is on the side of working people.
Labour stands for a fairer Britain.
We know Britain's economy isn't working for everyone. It's not delivering the affordable homes and the decent jobs that working people need. Kris, Leanne and Marion shared their stories in...
In the week of Equal Pay Day new figures reveal women in the North West earn £2.11 less per hour than men.
In the North West women are earning 17.6% less than men an hour new analysis reveals.
Equal Pay Day – the day women effectively start working for free because they are still paid less than men – falls on 4 November this year, 3 days earlier than in 2013 because of the rising pay gap.
Labour have pledged to take action to deliver equal pay by requiring companies with more than 250 workers will to publish their hourly pay gap in their annual report. For the first time employees will be able to see if discrimination exists and whether all the top jobs are still dominated by men.
Tim Roca, Labour Prospective Parliamentary Candidate for Macclesfield, said, “Equal pay is long overdue. Under David Cameron and Nick Clegg the pay gap is back on the rise after years of progress, as families are struggling with rising prices. A Labour Government will take action by asking employers to publish their pay gap data.”
Cllr Laura Jeuda, Labour Councillor for Macclesfield South, said, “In December 2012 I proposed that Cheshire East Council should pay a Living Wage to all its staff. It is now nearly 2 years since I brought this matter to the attention of the Council.”
In the week of Equal Pay Day new figures reveal women in the North West earn £2.11 less per hour than men. In the North West women are earning 17.6%...
- Higher taxes for working families
- Huge tax giveaways for the rich
- Even deeper cuts to the public services you rely on
- Charges to see your GP
- Scrapping your rights as a worker
- Ending the requirement for people on benefits to look for work
UKIP want to take billions out of the NHS, subsidising the better off to go private. Their health spokesperson favours introducing charging in the NHS for “non-emergency” cases and to...
- They promised to scrap tuition fees and then trebled them.
- They promised not to increase VAT, warned against a “Tory VAT bombshell”, but then voted through a VAT rise on hardworking families.
- They promised a fair tax system with the wealthiest paying more but have cut taxes for millionaires.
- They promised to be on the side of working people but hardworking people are £1,600 worse off since they joined the Tories in government.
- Nick Clegg backed the Tories’ wasteful and damaging £3 billion top-down reorganisation of the NHS, while cutting nurses and seeing waiting lists rise and operations rationed.
- Nick Clegg backed the Tories’ hated Bedroom Tax, even though two thirds of the people hit by it are disabled and 60,000 are carers.
- Nick Clegg backed Michael Gove and allowed schools to recruit unqualified teachers, putting school standards at risk.
Nick Clegg likes to try and distance himself from his record and his Tory coalition partners. But the truth is that he has backed the Tories all the way, and...
You can’t trust the Tories with the NHS. It’s getting harder to see a GP, nurses have been cut and waiting lists are going up.
- There is a crisis in A&E – in the last 12 months, almost a million people have waited more than four hours to be seen; more people are having to wait on trolleys before being admitted; and more people are being kept in ambulance queues outside A&E.
- After years of falling waiting lists with Labour, waiting lists for treatment are growing again – they’re at their highest level for five years.
- It’s harder to get see your family doctor. David Cameron scrapped Labour’s guarantee of a GP appointment within 48 hours – and now 60 per cent of patients say they can’t see their GP within two days.
- Thousands of nurses and frontline staff have been lost from the NHS since David Cameron became Prime Minister. Experts say that A&Es don’t have safe staffing levels.
- Treatments like cataract and knee operations are being rationed.
- David Cameron wasted £3 billion and caused chaos with a damaging NHS reorganisation he promised wouldn’t happen, that has led to over 4,000 NHS staff being laid off and then rehired, many on six-figure salaries.
- His reforms put private profits before patient care, tying hospitals up in competition law.
- Cuts to elderly care are sending more older people to A&E and making it harder to get the care they need at home.
You can’t trust the Tories with the NHS. It’s getting harder to see a GP, nurses have been cut and waiting lists are going up. More patients are waiting...
Does David Cameron realise how he has attacked families?
Cllr Sam Corcoran writes:-
Last month David Cameron said, “We can’t go on having Government taking decisions like this which ignore the impact on the family.” It’s a strange comment for a Prime Minister to make. Is David Cameron recognising that his Government has implemented policies that harm families and criticising his own actions over the last 4 years?
In my opinion, families are the basic building blocks of our society. They are the places where we learn to love and to be loved. It is in families that we first learn about discipline and living in community. If families fail then society suffers. Over the last few years, huge financial pressures have been placed on families, with more children in poverty and more people relying on food banks. Under the bedroom tax/spare-room subsidy, families have been forced to move house. In some cases families have had to move to a smaller house in a different area with a higher rent! In this case the family is worse off, the state is paying higher rent subsidy and the children’s education is potentially disrupted because they have to change school. I agree with the principle that people living in houses that are bigger than they need should be encouraged to move into smaller homes, but the bedroom tax penalises people even where there is no suitable alternative accommodation available. Instead of cutting benefits on ideological grounds, we need to build more bungalows for the elderly and starter homes for young families. We need policies that are properly thought through. Last month the Conservatives were defeated in Parliament on a vote over the bedroom tax/spare-room subsidy. I hope that David Cameron will accept that his Government has implemented policies that harm families and has got it wrong on the bedroom tax/spare-room subsidy. We can’t go on having Government taking decisions like this which ignore the impact on the family.
Does David Cameron realise how he has attacked families? Cllr Sam Corcoran writes:- Last month David Cameron said, “We can’t go on having Government taking decisions like this which ignore...
GP access has gone backwards under this government
Labour in Government transformed GP access through a combination of investment and reform. By 2010, the vast majority (80%) of patients could get a GP appointment within 48 hours.
But David Cameron has made it harder to see your GP:
He scrapped Labour’s guarantee of a GP appointment in 48 hours; the Tory-led Government said this was “no longer a priority”.
He cut funding for Labour’s GP extended opening hours scheme, and as a result 854 fewer practices are open at evening and weekends.
Now, people are waiting longer and longer for appointments:
In a recent survey by the Patients Association, 60% of people said they waited longer than 48 hours to see a GP.
Over a quarter of the public say that last time they tried to book a GP appointment, they couldn’t get one in the same week.
Nearly three quarters of GPs say waiting times for appointments are going to get worse.
This is one of the reasons why we have a crisis in A&E, with the number waiting over 4 hours at its highest for a decade. The Government’s own review of emergency care highlighted lack of GP access as a key reason for the pressures on A&E.
Labour will introduce a new GP access guarantee – so there are clear service standards for patients.
Many GPs do already do this, but we want to see this as a clear standard right across the NHS, in every practice.
There will be a guarantee of a GP appointment within 48 hours. And on top of that, for those patients who need it, maybe because they are elderly or worried about their children or have an urgent problem, we want to see them get a same-day appointment with their surgery.
That means anyone who wants it getting a phone-call back on the day you call, speaking to a nurse or doctor, and if its urgent getting that same-day appointment. And if it isn’t urgent, you still have the right to a guaranteed appointment within 48 hours.
This will be a big help for people who need a quick opinion – like a parent whose child is ill – and in the process will help tackle pressures on A&E. And everyone will know that they have the underlying guarantee of a face-to-face GP appointment within 48 hours.
We will also give people the right to book an appointment more than 48 hours ahead with the GP of their choice. This is particularly important for people with complex needs who need continuity of care with the same doctor.
Funding the guarantee
Some surgeries already deliver access at this level but we want to make it standard across the service. That means putting these guarantees in place, but also additional resources put into primary care.
So we propose to invest £100m more in general practice to help ease current pressures and support the delivery of these new access standards. Some of this investment will be used as an incentive for surgeries to deliver the new access guarantee – which they won’t get unless they deliver on it.
This extra investment could help deliver at least three million extra appointments.
We will fund this by saving £100m from scrapping the competition rules that are creating huge waste and bureaucracy in the NHS under this government. We will repeal David Cameron’s new market framework, enabling us to cut spending on competition lawyers and other unnecessary activity. We will also clamp down on the consultancy spending by the new bodies created in David Cameron’s reorganisation.
GP access has gone backwards under this government Labour in Government transformed GP access through a combination of investment and reform. By 2010, the vast majority (80%) of patients could...
Hardworking Britain will be better off with Labour
Labour has a plan to tackle the scandal of empty homes, help Generation Rent and tackle the housing crisis.
1. Clamp-down on empty home loopholes like 'Buy to Leave'
Labour will change the law in relation to unoccupied, furnished property to prevent 'Buy to Leave' – when international investors store a few sticks of furniture in a property in order to claim it is a 'second home' to avoid paying extra council tax through the Empty Homes Premium.
2. Increase empty home penalties
Labour will give local councils powers to strengthen the Empty Homes Premium. Currently, local councils can charge 50% extra council tax after a home has been left empty for two years. We are consulting on plans to allow local councils to double the rate and halve the time they have to wait. This would enable them to charge 100% more after a home has been left empty for one year.
3. Ensure new homes are advertised in the UK first, not overseas
Labour will act to prevent properties built in the UK from being marketed first and exclusively outside of the UK. It is wrong that people living in the UK are denied the chance to buy a home because they are being sold exclusively to overseas buyers. We will ban the marketing of properties overseas first.
4. Help generation rent by introducing long-term tenancies with predictable rents
Labour would give renters and landlords greater security by introducing three year tenancy agreements, with stable rent rises and as well as banning letting fees for new tenants.
Hardworking Britain will be better off with Labour Labour has a plan to tackle the scandal of empty homes, help Generation Rent and tackle the housing crisis. 1....
Debate at CLP Meeting on 4th November 2013
The development of a new relationship between the Labour Party and individual members of its affiliate organisations.
- An overarching issue was that, regardless of the forms of membership the Party may adopt in the future, members feel disenfranchised and unable to affect party policy. Annual conference no longer decides policy. It has become a rally with more exhibitors and lobbyists than members attending; votes are ignored by the leadership. Policy forums and commissions appear little more than mechanisms to promulgate leadership decisions. A key requirement is therefore to introduce greater democracy within the Party’s policy making processes.
- Some members wanted more MPs to be ‘ordinary’ people; more to be ‘real’ trade union members; and more working class representatives.
- Decline of trade union membership in private sector noted. How do we involve workers in the private sector in the Labour Party? Does close relationship with trade unions bias Labour Party policies in favour of the public sector? Do a few large unions have too much influence?
- Many trade union members do not vote Labour and many trade unions do not affiliate to the Labour Party. By continuing a close relationship with the affiliated trade unions do we jeopardise our relationship with a large part of the electorate?
- It was emphasised that trade unions need the right to collect a political levy from their members in order to undertake political campaigns whether or not they then chose to affiliate to the Labour Party. Will this continue to be on an opt-out basis?
- Generally in favour of reinvigorating the Labour Party as a mass membership party by tapping the support of trade union members. We need to know who our local trade union members are. We need them to play a part in the local party. However it may be difficult to persuade them to pay party membership fees on top of their union dues.
- It was suggested that CLPs and trade unions could hold joint members meetings. It was pointed out that this had been unsuccessfully tried some years ago.
- Would trade union members pay the same scale of membership fees as current individual party members?
- Need to remove ‘double voting’ whereby a member of an affiliated body has an additional vote in some Labour Party elections over and above their vote as Labour Party members.
- The current rules regarding trade union representation and voting rights has the merit of being transparent. Removing any collective rights for trade unions within the Labour Party structure could open the party up to allegations of influence through financial contribution.
Standardising constituency development plans
- The meeting was unclear what a constituency development plan actually was!
- Some trade unions affiliate with our CLP but they do not attend meetings. View expressed that mechanisms for them to get involved locally already exist but these are not taken up by the trade unions.
- How do we deal with the risk of trade union members ‘swamping’ Labour Party meetings?
- Do trade unions at CEC coordinate with Labour councilors?
- It was suggested that we contact the affiliated unions in our area and invite them to a (special) meeting to discuss our relationship with them and how we might work more closely together.
- Should trade unions be represented at the LGF?
Using primaries to engage a wider public in Labour’s selections of candidates
- There was some support for the idea of primaries, based on a register of local ‘supporters’ who would pay a nominal fee to finance primary elections. Would incentivise people to declare themselves as supporters and to possibly become full members subsequently.
- Full members should be involved in drawing up shortlist of candidates.
- On-line voting was desirable whenever affordable. It was used in NEC elections and in the Euro candidate selection ballot.
- Suggested that pilots should be held in a number of volunteer constituencies. If successful should then be used in all.
Implications of reform: Making the NEC and party conference fit for purpose
- Reduced need for electoral college if collective trade union membership replaced by individual membership on OMOV basis. Issue of MPs’ position in the electoral college was raised but not resolved.
- See overarching issue of democratising policy decisions
Debate at CLP Meeting on 4th November 2013 The development of a new relationship between the Labour Party and individual members of its affiliate organisations. An overarching issue was that,...