Category Archives: #cashforcameron

Satire: Let’s look into the crystal ball of osborne budget has decree


This really sums up what the establishment budget is all about checkout this and feel free to share widely:

I love my country but hate what this establishment do on almost anything but to hand our children and grand children’s education over into the hands of corporate big business and be accountable to no body is about as low as it gets. Yet another major change that got absolutely no mention in their manifesto.

A Tory future is a very dark place unless you’re a wealthy Tory everything folk have fought for is being thrown down the drain by the Conservatives.

This reminded me of a short documentary the other day I was invited to watch courtesy of some of my Syrian friends which the children sum it up what they had to struggle to reach to the UK under the so called invitation of this current establishment and how they and their parent struggle to get into a school.

It with sad heart to say if children are the future of tomorrow, what future does the children of Syria has today with the constant bombardment of bombing from both sides something has to give to have any hope of any peaceful solution to allow children to be safe and attend schools and feel safe to learn.

On saying this I’m wholeheartedly support the part withdrawal of Russian troops out of Syria and let there be a good working relationship can hold and democratic elections can take place with a diplomatic solution.

The hard reality is those who are already in the UK some will return to Syria and some will remain in the UK as some have restarted to rebuild their lives and have young families. I can’t see them living to return to a country that does not have the capacity to rebuild their homes from scratch it cost a fortune and whoever is elected as the democratic government has their work cut out for them.

It’s like me saying I long to return to our land(China) when we have a democratic and free elections knowing full well it’s just a pipe dream and acknowledging it’s our people that needs to have a will to do so.

Hence the heart is willing but the flesh is weak I kid you not. Oh let me take a look at my Crystal Ball I see the nasty party budget decreeing:

That they will introduce a Sugar Tax on soft drinks raising £520 million which will allegedly spent on primary school sport.

Now the establishment has over step the line by introducing legislation to turn all schools into academy.

This includes £500 million to ensure fair funding formula for schools in England.

Plans to enable all pupils to study maths until 18.

The Conservatives seem to fall into the trap that one size fits all and in actual fact this is not the case as what the Conservatives want us all to believe. Don’t be hoodwinked into believing this.

Libor funds to be spent on children hospital services specifically in Birmingham Manchester Sheffield and South Hampton

Somehow my personal view is we have not seen the end of Jeremy Hunt backing down on a 7 day NHS services and he still does not get it or refuse to comprehend that there is not enough doctors to run a 7 day NHS in England as the current posts are left vacant and are not being filled and gaps in rotas are being seen and I will continue to say solidarity to all junior doctors in their case against Jeremy Hunt.

It’s no surprise that fourteen leading doctors have formally written to George Osborne asking for further funding for Social Care. They have highlighted cuts in social care funding were putting real pressure on NHS, they also highlighted social care was vital to the success of the NHS. Whilst I concur with the leading doctors speaking out let’s not forget that it’s not just the NHS in this predicament it also applies to Local Government as they too are underfunded with social care. It’s hurting but it’s not working so my message to all is to lobby your local member of parliament to lobby the establishment to put more investment to Local Government Social Care.

The Money Advice Services which has provided financial advice to consumers since 2010 is to be abolished.

You’ve heard of stealth taxes? Now there’s stealth austerity.

The £1.6bn cuts to business rates for small a business which means £1.6bn less funding to local councils. And that means more cuts to services that vulnerable people rely on.

Stealth austerity brought to you by George Osborne in ‪Budget 2016. Few people seem to have picked up a flaw in the Chancellors sugar tax. He has announced this fanfare tax but giving the sugar donors two years to address the problem of over saturated sweet drinks. In the same breath he tells us that he will collect over half a £Billion pounds from this tax. How does he know that he will still be able to collect that tax if he is giving them 2 years to reduce it which means nothing adds up but then again nothing ever does with this Chancellor.

As if this not bad enough we see that Tory front bench left ‘ashen-faced’ in response to Corbyn’s attack on Osborne’s disability cuts  Cameron, May and Osborne were left ‘completely ashen-faced’ as Mr Corbyn raised the issue of cuts to benefits for disabled people that will see some claimants lose £30 per week.

Corbyn said: “Earlier this month the government pushed through a £30-per-week cut to disabled ESA claimants.

“Last week we learned that half a million people will lose up to £150 per week due to cuts in personal independence payments.

Simple question to the chancellor if he can finance the giveaways he has put in his budget to different sectors, why can’t he fund the need for dignity for disabled people in this country?”

More of this please, Jeremy week in, week out; in season, out of season until the truth is rammed home to everyone in the UK who has ears to hear, a mind to understand and a heart to care.

This is the sixth year of George Osborne’s tenure as Chancellor. This is the sixth year he has delivered the budget. And this is the sixth year that he has blamed the ‘last Labour government’.

But, today, we have learned that the Chancellor has failed on debt. In 2010 he vowed to eliminate the budget deficit.

Six years later, he has failed in 2010 George Osborne gave a cast iron promise to tackle debt. Six years later, he has missed his own targets. Forecast debt as a share of GDP has been revised up in 2016-17, in 2017-18, in 2018-19, in 2019-20 and in 2020-21. He has broken his promise, he has missed his targets and he has failed to tackle debt.

On the 16 March 2016 George Osborne did what he does best he blamed the ‘last Labour government’. But six years of failure on the economy are catching up with him and now he needs to take responsibility for his own actions.

“In fact, we heard his warning today of the potential for another ‘global economic crisis.’ It seems that he’s getting his excused in early. In 2008 there was a global economic crisis and he blamed it on the Labour government. I wonder if he will blame any looming global economic crisis on this government.”

So we have had the budget we know how cack-handed this government has become

We know that have not got a Martin Luther King, or a Malcolm X to help us or lead us out of darkness.

We have to look at what is inside ourselves, ask yourselves what I can do to help campaigns, help and support others. The power is in us each one of us can and does make a difference never ever forget that.

Turn the anger into action and rattle them some more today and until the give in to submission there is a way around it by naming and shaming every MP with vested interests in private health care companies, got their fingers in the profit pies, keep naming and shaming MPs who voted for ESA Cuts,

I think that we should show up all MPs up in regards their expenses, their massive house of commons bar bill. Or we can get creative, imaginative and let’s show this underhand government enough is enough is enough.

George Osborne should be judged by what he promised. In 2010, he said he would get rid of the deficit in five years. By 2015, there was a black hole of £18bn in the public finances, while the deficit was going up and had reached £90.2bn.

He promised a “march of the makers”. He promised that manufacturing would lead the recovery in our economy. But manufacturing is in recession and we have a growing trade deficit, meaning we are not exporting enough and are importing too much. The difficulties in manufacturing are a big part of the problem. Meanwhile, construction output fell in January of this year. He has failed to support key parts of our economy and both manufacturing and construction are struggling.

In 2011, he first announced the electrification of the railway from Leeds to Manchester. Last year it was paused, without having started. His talk of a Northern Powerhouse, has been just talk and a shortage of technical skills means that he cannot deliver his promises even if he wants to.

He promised to crack down on tax avoidance and tax evasion. Yet, he has done a deal with Google, which generated £130m while the Italian government is set to collect £1bn. Meanwhile, small businesses see tax increases and cuts to grants including the growth accelerator, which have been successful at supporting manufacturing and jobs in small and medium sized firms up and down the country.

The chancellor has given councils in the wealthiest parts of the country like Surrey, millions of pounds more, with not a penny extra for Merseyside. Sefton Council has had its budget cut by nearly half. In Liverpool, it’s even higher. Yet the extra cash went to councils who had had no cuts at all.

Meanwhile, the chancellor gave tax handouts to those being paid more than £150,000 a year while cutting the pay of 2 million of the poorest working families by £1,600 through cuts in Universal Credit.

George Osborne has failed on his own measures. And that failure is being paid for by the many working people in this country and by businesses.

We need our government to invest in skills, in transport, housing, broadband and energy. We should support responsible businesses of all sizes who want to create good well-paid jobs.
Government’s priority should be a successful economy, supported by high quality public services.

The Chancellor has refused to borrow to invest in the infrastructure of our country. This is one reason for his failure to deliver by his own measures. There is a compelling business case for investment at historically low interest rates, which will produce a return on investment for our economy. Businesses borrow money to invest.

Home owners borrow money to buy a house. Both do so having demonstrated the ability to repay money. Governments should do so too and this government is making a big mistake in refusing to take a business like approach to investing for the future.

The approach of the Chancellor shows he is out of touch and unable to deliver for young or old, those in work or in retirement, for businesses, public services or for the voluntary sector. We need a change of approach, which invests in our economy and in our future. Sadly, the government record so far is heading in the wrong direction.

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Welcome to the UK world of one nation conservatism


Checkout this Youtube:

 

Ministers have defended plans to tighten the rules on strike ballots after unions said they would make legal strikes “almost impossible”.

Britain has the most restrictive anti-union laws in Europe.

We cannot accept a situation in which our ability to fight back is prevented in this way. The labour movement must unambiguously call for the repeal of the anti-union laws and advocate a positive charter of rights for workers.

IMG_2575Yesterday(15  July 2015)  the government will publish its Trade Unions Bill – a grossly unfair package of measures that will tip the balance of power in the workplace.

The proposals will make getting a much-needed pay rise, stopping job losses or negotiating better conditions at work much more difficult. They’ll make it harder for unions to do their day-to-day job of dealing with problems in the workplace before they escalate into disputes. And they’ll stifle protests against cuts to public services, like closures of SureStart centres, libraries and care services.

It’s a strange choice for the party that wants to position itself as the workers’ champion. Not measures to tackle exploitation at work or boost productivity, but an unnecessary attack on workers’ rights and civil liberties.

It’s also a strange choice of priority with the economic recovery still fragile. Ask anyone running a business and it’s unlikely that messing about with trade union laws will be on their wish-list of things the government could do to help.

The details have been widely trailed, and colleagues will blog on this in more IMG_2609detail when the bill is published.

The thresholds for industrial action ballots have made the headlines, but even when ballots meet the government’s new rules, the bill will allow employers to break strikes by bringing in agency workers. It’s a recipe for chaos – agency workers will be put in a difficult position, and the delicate balance of industrial relations will be irrevocably tipped in favour of employers. Decent employers and agencies are likely to want to keep well away.

The proposals are also expected to restrict and police union members’ rights to peacefully picket. At a time when police resources are already badly stretched, it’s hard to think of a bigger waste of time and public money than looking to lock up peacefully protesting teachers, midwives and cleaners.

If ministers were serious about improving workplace democracy they would instead let workers vote online. In an era of online banking, safe and secure online balloting is a common sense option.

Instead, it is hard to avoid the conclusion that the government is determined to weaken trade unions so that they can attack rights, pay and conditions for all workers. Collective bargaining works because both sides have some power – that’s why the vast majority of negotiations result not in strikes but in a deal being reached. And collective bargaining benefits union members and non-members alike.

IMG_2612We will oppose these draconian proposals. Our country has a proud tradition of liberty and democracy – and trade unions are central to that. This year, as we mark the 800th anniversary of Magna Carta, that heritage is as important as ever. Our aim is clear: to stop this unfair, unnecessary legislation getting onto the statute books.

Now you have it the Conservative are showing their true colours by attacking our trade union right to assemble for strike action. This smells of Thatcherism returning from the dead in the form of mummy return after 30 years ago when she tried to smash the trade unions for good. Not forgetting that this establishment only received 24% of the vote and their cheek to state that trade unions should get 50% of the vote from trade unionists where is the democracy.

Many trade unions will recall what Thatcherism did to the coal miners, public services, manufacturing and industries across the England, Wales and Scotland. What thatcher did not count on was unity the trade unions was very strong and she used the SAS to infiltrate the picket lines and in some cases joining the police forces to intimidate strikers.

This new legislation is design toughen up the laws on strike action is to be introduced by this establishment is one of the worst we will witness for a decade by introducing a minimum turnouts in strike ballots, time limits on mandates for industrial action and changes to political levies.

It’s no wonder there is two hidden agenda on the plate which is to interfere with internal affairs of Labour Party funding process. The other is to smash the unions in such a way that trade union members will not allowed to withdraw their labor when employers talks break down and makes it easier to employ temp staff to do the job.

IMG_2611Tories are very happy for millionaires and bankers to donate to the coffers of the conservatives with open arms which tantalise to double standards. Some will recall the Institute of Employment Rights was established in 1989 by those concerned about the alarming erosion of trade union rights in Thatcher’s Britain.

Since then governments have come and gone but what remains stubbornly in place is a framework of law that fails to protect workers from exploitation and abuse at work.

Now we face another general election and we need to raise our voice and tell politicians what we expect from an incoming government. To that end the IER has brought together a high-profile platform of policy-makers, trade union leaders and lawyers to set out the basics of a progressive agenda on labour law. There is much common ground, with attention focusing on some of the worst problems experienced by workers in our deregulated, fragmented, profit-over-people, labour market workplaces.

Suggestions include strengthening individual rights. Improving access to justice. Removing the benefit conditions that force people into exploitative jobs in profitable companies.

And it’s not just individual rights.

IMG_2610Thatcher attacked trade unions because she knew the power of numbers and the strength of a collective voice.

Without that collective voice the balance of power swings massively in favour of the employer. The result? The growth in inequality, exploitation and bad employment practices that haunt Britain today.

We know that bad practice trickles down far faster than wealth. Last month Britain was criticised for failing to protect workers against unpaid overtime, unpaid holidays, inadequate rest periods, failure to secure a decent standard of living, failure to compensate workers exposed to occupational health risks and much more.

These are problems that should be dealt with by collective bargaining, setting standards at a national level across all sectors of the economy.

That’s why one of our key demands is for a Ministry of Labour at the heart of government, tasked with giving a voice to the UK’s 29 million workers, both in the corridors of power and in the boardrooms of Britain. The minimum demand of the trade union movement to any government elected in May 2015 should be the following essential reforms. These are the least steps necessary to begin to secure social justice, democracy in the workplace, the reduction of inequality and to increase real wages and so stimulate the economy.

 

  1. The right to a decent wage and to a decent income for those not in employment
  2. The effective regulation of zero-hours contracts
  3. The right of every worker to be protected by a collective agreement
  4. The re-establishment of sectoral collective bargaining and Wages Councils
  5. The re-establishment of a Ministry of Labour
  6. The right to strike in accordance with international law
  7. The removal of a qualifying period for unfair dismissal
  8. The restoration of redundancy consultation rights
  9. The right to legal protection for everyone who works, regardless of their legal status (‘employee’, ‘self-employed’, ‘agency worker’ etc)
  10. The right of all workers to access to justice, including the abolition of tribunal fees

Intriguingly Secretary General Francis O’Grady comments:

If David Cameron really wants workers to get a pay rise, then he’s got a funny way of going about it. Over the last five years we have seen a sustained attack on workers’ rights and protection at work, including trade unions.

Unions are the last line of defence for workers, so little wonder that that the Conservative Party’s belief in freedom doesn’t extend to us. Far from stamping out workplace abuses like zero-hours contracts and pregnancy discrimination, the government has made it easier for bosses to sack workers and act with impunity.

Employees now have to wait two years before getting protection from unfair dismissal. New charges as high as £1,200 make it impossible for many to take a case to an employment tribunal, even if they would get their boss bang to rights at a hearing.

And now the Conservative Party has promised even more punitive rules for strike ballots, in a naked bid to wipe out democratic dissent and weaken workers’ bargaining power.

This government is fond of telling us that any job is better than no job, no matter how insecure and low-paid, and has handed employers the kind of absolute power that Victorian mill owners once wielded. Workers deserve better.

For a start we need to scrap tribunal fees that price workers out of justice. And we need to get rid of the qualifying period for unfair dismissal — this should be a day-one right.

Second, we need tougher enforcement of workers’ rights. Since 2010 the budgets of enforcement agencies, including the Health and Safety Executive and Gangmasters Licensing Authority, have been slashed. And we must reverse the trend of casualisation that loads the dice in favour of bad bosses. This means paying agency workers the same rate as permanent staff, clamping down on exploitative zero-hours contracts and calling time on bogus self-employment.

Spare a thought for those self-employed City Link workers who found out on Christmas Eve that they were losing their jobs. Many had worked at the company for years but will hardly get a penny in compensation. Meanwhile, the private equity chiefs behind the collapsed parcel carrier expect to walk away with £20 million.

This is why we need stronger unions and collective bargaining in workplaces across Britain.

Only a strong union voice, up to and including the boardroom, will build a more equal and sustainable post-crash economy that benefits the 99 per cent who, after all, create the wealth in the first place.

Unite General secretary Len McCluskey:

This government will leave behind an economy working for a few at the top while offering no hope to millions. Not by mistake, but by design.

More than half of people in poverty in this country are in work. Getting a job no longer means earning a good living; instead zero-hours, under-employment and phantom self-employment mean hard-working people can’t even expect a fair day’s pay for a fair day’s work.

All this while the corporate elites and our best-known brands refuse to pay their fair share in tax.

People across our nations deserve better. Decent work with a living wage, a secure and affordable home, well-funded public services, an NHS taken out of the grip of private healthcare and a democratic system that gives people a voice in their workplace — not just a vote at election time.

Trade unions are a force for good in today’s society. Now more than ever we need a radical shift in employment legislation that has for decades given a free rein to bosses while workers have seen their rights diminished and trade unions shackled.

The ideologically skewed approach to employment relations of successive governments is at the heart of our broken economy, when in reality there are plenty of examples of where trade unions work positively with industry for mutual benefit — look no further than Unite and the car industry.

Inequality is widely regarded as the most pressing issue facing Western economies — Bank of England governor Mark Carney and US President Barack Obama are only the latest to point out the spiraling economic injustices that are a by-product of the neoliberal experiment.

The proportion of GDP going to pay workers’ wages has dropped dramatically from over 60 per cent 30 years ago to just over 50 per cent today.

And Thomas Piketty has shown that the yawning gap between rich and poor will only get worse without government intervention in the market. The economic crisis of today is not the budget deficit. The budget deficit is, like poverty wages and falling tax intake, a symptom of something far worse.

This government attacks working people and workplace justice; Labour’s answer to the economic crisis must be to empower working people and make work pay. This can only be done with stronger trade unions giving a voice to working people.

The late Tony Benn, a proud Unite member, said that “the crisis we inherit when we come to power must be the occasion for fundamental change — and not the excuse for postponing it.”

I can only echo that call.

 UNISON General Secretary Dave Prentis:

There is a great deal of common ground about a new settlement of union and worker rights to reverse the decline in living standards of the last 30 years.

Unison supports the Institute of Employment Rights collective bargaining manifesto and from a public service point of view there are three areas that stand out in 2015: zero-hours, care workers, and the public-sector leadership role.

We need some firm and worked out proposals on zero-hours contracts that heavily restrict their usage and prevent easy loopholes like one-hour contracts.

The best proposals we have seen so far are in the private member’s Bill by Ian Mearns MP.

This gives a right to regular hours at three months, employee employment status, payments for standby time and short-notice cancellations and restrictions on employers moving weekly hours up and down.

Of course we need action too on agency workers, tribunal fees and bogus self-employment, otherwise gains on zero-hours contracts will easily be negated.

Unison members working in social care are on the front line facing austerity and casualisation pressures, with 15-minute visiting slots, zero-hours, unpaid standby time and unpaid travel time to the fore.

Report after report shows the quality of care is affected for the elderly and disabled, yet even with a multitude of regulators there has been little impact on standards, with only 15 formal care sector complaints to the government Pay and Rights help­line last year.

What we need — apart from the obvious case for strong trade unions — is the various public-sector bodies responsible for care commissioning to set both employment and care quality standards (such as Unison’s Ethical Care Charter) as adopted by several councils already.

There is a wider public-sector role on pay and conditions, for in-house staff and contractors, and what we would like to see is a return of the “fair wages” clauses in procurement, which were abolished in 1983.

This would see not just a living wage but a range of standards for sick pay, holidays and pensions set by national agreements like the NJC in local government being carried through the procurement process to stop the current race to the bottom.

There would be massive benefits for millions of women workers too as it would be an easy way to transmit proper equality-proofed pay agreements to the wider economy and rebuild our country.

The Tories’ announcement of a new raft of anti-union laws if they win the election in May means that trade unionism is at stake in the period ahead.

The Tories want to atomise the labour movement, because they know we are the most powerful force opposing their plans for more austerity, more privatisation and more attacks on workers’ living standards.

That’s what is behind their plans to introduce stiff ballot thresholds, slash facility time and scrap check off.

Britain has the most restrictive anti-union laws in Europe.

We cannot accept a situation in which our ability to fight back is prevented in this way. The labour movement must unambiguously call for the repeal of the anti-union laws and advocate a positive charter of rights for workers.

 

 

 

 

 

Has George Osborne Opened a can of worms for his bid for Conservative Leadership


dkdkIt was refreshing to see Labour calling George Osborne bluff and chasing headlines and ideological assault on working families after he announced the slashing of tax credits in Wednesday’s budget.

The cheek of the chancellor to boasted that his budget would provide a so called new contract for the people of Britain. In a nutshell what he is saying is welcome back to the Victorian times of Britain if you are poor then go to the poorhouse to learn a trade or beg and get arrested.

So the golden boy has seemed to forget that working families on low incomes trying their hardest to do the right thing would be hardest hit.

kkksnThe office for budget responsibility claim that tax increases would be twice as big as any tax cuts over the course of this Parliament adding that it was a budget chasing headlines to support the chancellor to number 10 Downing Street.

It is widely suggested that as many 500,000 families would lose tax credits under the Chancellor’s plan adding that the so-called budget will expose the skewed priorities and failed to build a more productive economy.

It’s comes as no surprise as Work and Pension Secretary Iain Duncan Smith was jumping for joy in parliament when his chum announced the welfare cuts and his response to the chancellor the budget was a groundbreaking measure he introduced was enshrining the idea that if you work hard you should be rewarded.  Well Iain Duncan Smith can laugh now but remember this IDS those who laughs last laughs the best.

 

Here is a YouTube of all the Labour leadership contenders

 

Is no further surprise that when the Chancellor of the exchequer  and IDS attacks people for no reason other than it’s an evil beast, you put it down. When you have a politician that attacks disabled people and the poor for no reason, you make them Secretary of State for Work and Pensions.

ndjfgklIain Duncan Smith (IDS) decides to close the Independent Living Fund (ILF). This fund helped disabled people pay for visits from professionals to carry out some of the more personal elements of their care. It also gave them the ability to employ staff who lived with them to support them. It helps disabled people to stay out of institutions and live relatively independent lives.

In its final weeks the £320 million ILF paid out an average of £300 a week to approximately 18,000 disabled people, but that’s too much to pay out. Much better to waste billions on some vanity project like a train line or new runway in London.Well, carers have seen similar things done with the “breaks for carers” scheme. That wasn’t ringfenced and there was a huge underspend which mysteriously vanished into someone’s pockets. As a carer I know that getting any assistance from councils can be a long process. Accessing one particular resource took me almost four years of constant fighting

Arranging for councils to take over the payments without ringfencing it?

kkdhfnThen we get IDS deciding to scrap the Child Poverty Act, the mentality behind this being that the numbers of children that are in poverty make the Conservatives look bad and there’s no chance of getting rid of child poverty so the best solution is to hide it. For me I have said that  Stephen Timms summed it up: “David Cameron’s government is trying to make child poverty go away by pretending that if you don’t measure it, it doesn’t exist.” IDS’s reply was … well who cares what IDS’s reply was because it will have been lies and smears and misinformation.

Still, he can’t cause more misery can he? Yup, he sure can! It seems the BBC Today programme has a scoop that ministers are reviving a secret coalition plan to cut sickness benefits. It has a leaked Whitehall paper describing the Employment and Support Allowance as a “passive” benefit which does not “incentivise” people to find a job, and proposes abolishing the work-related activity group (WRAG) category. If scrapped, weekly payments would drop nearly £30, bringing it in line with Jobseeker’s Allowance.

Yet again the Tories have managed to cure people with disabilities by cutting vital financial help. What a fantastic political party they are.

So the Conservative Party have got rid of child poverty and cured disabled people by cutting two vital benefits, round of applause for such splendid work. Now all we need is the report on how many people have died after being classed as fit for work, and we all know it will be a truthful piece of fiction, I mean accuracy that hides nothing, honest.hrmnud

When is Labour going to expose the actions of the Tory government? They can easily counter the Tories’ “Labour are the party of benefits” if they want to or have the inclination. It’s just that Labour seems content to sit on its hands and watch us suffer.

The film Brassed Off tried to show how the last Tory majority government treated our miners. The Mr Chuckles rant seems as relevant now as it was then: “So God was creating man. And his little assistant came up to him and he said: ‘Hey, we’ve got all these bodies left, but we’re right out of brains, we’re right out of hearts and we’re right out of vocal chords.’ And God said: ‘Fuck it! Sew ’em up anyway. Smack smiles on the faces and make them talk out of their backsides.’ And lo, God created the Tory Party.”

IMG_2534It’s very good to note that all four of the Labour leadership contenders have put themselves at odds with the party’s front bench after lambasting the government’s public-sector pay freeze yesterday.

Shadow ministers Andy Burnham, Yvette Cooper and Liz Kendall all launched separate attacks against the four-year imposition of the 1 per cent annual cap that Chancellor George Osborne unveiled in Wednesday’s Budget.

Jeremy Corbyn, who has already vehemently opposed any public pay freeze, told the Star yesterday: “Public-sector workers have been hammered over pay and pension cuts, with threats of future job losses.

I put the challenge to the Conservatives to live on the 1% that our public services workers have to put up with whilst  MPs get a 11% pay raise  why not donate it to our public service workers now?

So this is what will happen  for the next Leader of the Conservatives and Prime Minister George Osborne very soon if David Cameron does not watch is his own back.

 

 

 

Conservative Budget 2015


glglrWell done to Harriet Harman for her pointing out in reply to George Osborne’s Budget speech that the Chancellor constantly plays politics as part of his campaign to move next door.( Next leader of Conservatives).

It’s no surprise how arrogant Osborne takes pleasure in appropriating the opposition’s slogans, weaving “government for working people,” “fairness,” “one nation” and “Britain needs a pay rise” into his diatribe justifying the Tories’ ongoing transfer of wealth from poor to rich.

It’s no wonder that his cynicism reached its apotheosis when he pretended to have adopted the concept of a compulsory national living wage.

The Chancellor’s supposed living wage will be introduced next April at just £7.20 an hour only for over-25s a mere 50p above the level to which the minimum wage will be raised in October.

hahabhdbgfjThe Living Wage Foundation assesses the living wage currently at £7.85 an hour outside London and £9.15 in it. Osborne’s devious trick certainly falls into what Harman calls “his political traps, games and tactics,” but it also exposes the conservatism of the Labour opposition, given that its election pledge offered a minimum wage level of only £8 an hour by 2020.

When a viscerally right-wing Chancellor is capable of outflanking Labour from the left, something is seriously wrong.

Harman’s response to Osborne repeated the same austerity-lite approach laid down by former shadow chancellor Ed Balls and which landed both Labour and Balls in the mire on May 7.

Supporting a pay freeze for low-paid public-sector workers and a benefits cap won’t encourage people at the sharp end that Labour is on their side.

Supporting a pay freeze for low-paid public-sector workers and a benefits cap won’t encourage people at the sharp end that Labour is on their side.

I don’t normally concur with Green MP Caroline Lucas is justified in calling Osborne’s emergency Budget “cruel and counterproductive.”

However her reference to the government’s “already stained record on climate change” is strengthened by Osborne’s freeze on fuel duty and reduction of vehicle excise duty for older, more polluting cars.

fkfjmaejkfjhnsdujfgnawo This go beyond what is believable that the Chancellor can mouth the words “fair” and “government for working people” when he orders a 1 per cent maximum annual pay rise for public-sector workers and a freeze on working-age benefits for the life of this parliament.

Reducing the current £26,000 benefits cap to £23,000 in London and £20,000 outside will cause dire hardship and lead to many more evictions for families unable to afford their rent.

Such indifference to human suffering, delivered as ever with Osborne’s sardonic grin morphing into a sneer, is typical of a generation of rich Tories who understand class war and wage it with a vengeance.

They portray cuts in personal tax-free allowances and increases in the higher tax band in terms of their effect on people at the lower end, yet the real cash bonanza is for the most highly paid.

For all his “worker” claptrap, Osborne and his colleagues are in office to do a job for their own class.

That’s why, along with income tax changes, corporation tax will be further trimmed from 20 per cent to 19 per cent in 2017 and 18 per cent in 2020, why taxation on dividends is to be cut and why inheritance tax that affects only the top 5 per cent of estates will be relaxed.

The anger and despair that many people, in work or unemployed, will experience because of this vicious and despicable Budget must be turned into action.

It cannot be left to MPs, most of whom see this conflict as a political game.

On Wednesday 8th June 2015 I was down in London with some like-minded comrades watching the television when the Chancellor of the Exchequer announced the budget cuts. I started to reminisce just before the elections when I put a question to a Conservative prospective candidate where were the cuts coming from the alleged budget cuts in benefits she said that “We’re All In It Together” and they had to make difficult choices to implement and that the Conservatives were the only party to be the working people party and they are the party that will save this country.

Then she said that if you vote for Libdems, UKIP, Greens or Labour then your vote goes to the SNP and Labour Coalition. Intriguingly this was what they were they were hoping that is will put off people voting for Labour. This however gave me a sharp chill down my spinal cord as this woman wanted to get elected as a prospective candidate for the conservatives. When I applied more pressure to her to give me a flavor of what is conservatism is all about I can only conclude from her  is:

1) Conservative Budget was cut short as George Osborne’s living wage promise was exposed as a cruel “con trick.”

2) It’s no wonder that conservative backbenchers celebrated wildly in the Commons as the Chancellor claimed he was creating a compulsory “national living wage.”

3) In the final announcement of his one-hour six-minute speech, Mr Osborne said all workers over 25 would be paid at least £7.20 from next April. He said it proved the Tories were “the party of the working people of Britain.” But his claims unravelled within an hour when the Living Wage Foundation stated his announcement was “not a living wage.”

4) The rate is significantly less than the £7.85-an hour national living wage set by the foundation, which calculates the “minimum acceptable standard of living.” And even the £9 an hour promised by Mr Osborne by 2020 is less than the current London living wage of £9.15. Responding to the Budget, Living Wage director Rhys Moore queried: “Is this really a living wage?”

“This is effectively a higher national minimum wage and not a living wage.”

5) On London, he said: “These changes will not help the 586,000 people for whom even the 2020 rate announced today would not be enough to live on now.”  And he suggested that a real living wage would now need to be raised further because of cuts to child and working tax credit announced by Mr Osborne yesterday. The income threshold in tax credits was slashed from £6,420 to £3,850, while families will no longer receive support for any more than two children.

6) A two-tier benefits cap was also introduced, with families in London limited to £23,000 and those outside just £20,000 down from £26,000. The public-sector pay squeeze was also extended for a further four years.

Labour said the Chancellor had tried to “pull the wool over people’s eyes” by rebranding the national minimum wage a living wage. 

7) And the party calculated that almost half the income gained by the poorest workers from the new national minimum wage would be taken away due to benefit cuts. Acting leader Harriet Harman accused Mr Osborne of “playing politics” in her response to the Budget. “Normally it’s government that governs while the opposition plays politics, but this government is playing politics with this Budget,” she told the Commons. “This Budget is less about economic strategy, more about political tactics designed by the Chancellor to help him move next door.”

The Chancellor had used the TUC’s campaign slogan in his speech, saying: “Britain deserves a pay rise and Britain is getting a pay rise.”

8) TUC general secretary Frances O’Grady welcomed the fact that he had “finally woken up to the fact that Britain needs a pay rise.”

But she added: “The Chancellor is giving with one hand and taking away with the other. Massive cuts in support for working people will hit families with children hardest.” 

“Unions were also quick to brand the Budget a “beautifully crafted con trick.”

glglglg9) As Mr Osborne slashed benefits, he compensated big business with another corporation tax cut. Despite Britain already having the lowest rate of corporation tax in the G20 group of economically advanced nations, the Tories will cut it to 18 per cent by 2020. 

10) Don’t be deceived by a minimum wage rise that doesn’t begin to compensate for drastic tax credit cuts or the £30 a week stripped from employment and support allowance. Tax cuts don’t help the 6 million too low-paid to pay tax. Housing benefit cuts will cleanse the poor from the south-east.

This was indeed an “emergency” budget for the poor, for children, for students. Osborne sneered in the Sun that he expected “depressingly predictable howls of protest”. Well, start howling now.

I must admit after the discussion with the Prospective Conservative Candidate i told her that my household a lifelong Labour supporters and will never vote for Conservatives let alone another party as it was obviously she was brave or did not read the sign that said that this household does not vote conservatives or another party.

 

 

 

 

Hedge Funder are in the back-pockets of conservatives


Welcome to the Conservatives if you have a substantial donation to give to the party.

I’m sure many will have noticed that in three months’ time we have a General Elections coming and each of the political parties are jockeying for positions to gain our votes. It’s no wonder why the timing of tax avoidance/Hedge Funds is very much in all the press, social media, and in the public interest since Ed Miliband put the questions to David Cameron during Prime Ministers Question Time(PMQs) and all David Cameron can do is to put the blame on Labour then have the bloody cheek to say that Labour are in the pockets of the trade unions and conveniently forgetting thathedgefunds the hedge funders are in the pocket of the conservatives who allows them to be granted peerage in return for their extra-large donations to the Conservative Party.

I must say I was glad when Margaret Hodge MP from the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) broke the news followed by Ed Miliband and BBC Panorama in the first instance whilst I’m happy that the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) plan to investigate the sandal which will require the former HSBC to provide evidence. On the one hand I’m saying yeah right a conservative peer to give evidence. On the second hand they must think we’ve got muggings written on our forehead, who are you kidding its beggars belief that a Conservative peer will just volunteer the information without any sweetheart deals in the pipeline and how long will this take secondly how much will it cost the public purse strings to carry out this whitewash investigations it’s like adopting a donkey for the sum of £2:00.

Over the past five years the personal wealth of these 1,000 people has almost doubled. In 2009 they possessed “only” £257bn. This poses an obvious question. Over these years the real incomes of wage-earners fell by 9 per cent. How, then, did these very rich people, few of whom work in any conventional sense, manage this amazing feat of wealth accumulation?

Tax-dodging may provide part of the explanation. The practices of the HSBC’s Swiss subsidiary represented only a small part of a very big iceberg. “Wealth management” is one of the main activities of all the big banks. Research conducted for the heedPCS union estimates that tax evasion cost Britain £80bn in 2014 and tax avoidance another £25bn.

On this front it’s one law for the rich and one law for the poor. So-called “benefit fraud” represents just 1 per cent of this total.  While the poorest 25 per cent pay almost 40 per cent of their income in tax, the richest 25 per cent pay only 35 per cent figures which will inevitably exclude undeclared wealth hidden away in Zurich or the Bahamas.

This is why the Labour Party is quite correct to call for Britain’s offshore territories and crown dependencies to establish public registers of the ultimate owners of all companies and accounts based in their jurisdiction. In the wake of the 2008 banking crash the previous IMG_2050Labour government established the Independent Review of Britain’s Offshore Financial Centres. Its purpose was to establish just how much money passed through these centres.

The Bank of International Settlements provided an estimate of the total cash flowing annually into tax havens across the world as $3.6 trillion (£2.4 trn). Of this total, British tax havens accounted for over two-thirds, considerably in excess of the value of Britain’s gross domestic product.

So it’s no surprise predictably Mr Miliband’s call for a register of ultimate ownership has brought cries of outrage. George Osborne dismissed Mr Miliband as “anti-business” and “unfit for office” even though Osborne was quite happy to serve for three years in government beside Lord Green, who presided over HSBC when it was fiddling tax.

IMG_2049Intriguingly HM Revenue in a nutshell has said it was forward a bundle in 2010 from France regarding possible evasion by HSBC clients. They alleged that they were prevented by an international agreement from sharing information about HSBC possible involvement in tax evasion.

My conclusion will be if those in concern paid their fair share of taxes the revenue could be used to fund our public services like   our leisure services, public highways, build more council housing, hospitals, council tax, police, children and adult, disabilities, learning, mental health services.

 

 

 

 

UKIP people’s army returning to vote Labour 2015


The highlight of 2014 for me and others was Question Time with Russell Brand, Nigel Farage and other guest speakers on the panel. Normally I would not give my time of day to listen to both Russell Brand and Nigel Farage but on this occasion  I had to concur with Russell Brand over his comments of what he thought of Nigel Faragae checkout this youtube and who can forget our very own veteran Dennis Skinner and dare I say Nigel Farage which is included in another youtube below:  

Whilst on my hobbit’s journey during the festive seasons I had time to reflect what made my year for 2014. I have to say it’s got to be none other than Russell Brand vs Nigel Farage with other guest speakers on the Question Time.

Normally I would not have the time of the day for Russell Brand but he really made my night watching the debate. Over the past few weeks some of my colleagues including myself have been following the progress of the UKIP and speaking to some close allies from different sections of the communities. We looked at their list of target seats compared it to the last General Elections between 2005-2010 and the recent By-elections in 2014 it’s not rocket science for many to understand that the two seats are strong holds of the Conservatives which the two members of Nigel_Farage vs Russell_Brandparliament who cross over to UKIP in fear that they may lost their seat in 2015 to UKIP and the cost of tax payers hard earned money to fund the elections. There was nothing stopping them resigning from the conservatives whip and they would be independent MPs until 7 May 2015 then stand as UKIP candidates. But instead they wanted to send out a statement to the coalition.

Interestingly I’ve read of recent events of a number of alleged investigations taking place of key members of UKIP who have been suspended from the party so it comes as no surprise as a party starts to get scrutinised by the public let’s take a look at some of their high profile events:

  • Roger Bird: Ukip general secretary suspended over sex harassment claim by high-profile candidate Natasha Bolter
  • Ukip suspends chairman of its Lambeth and North Croydon branch
  • UKIP suspends councillor who blamed flooding on gay marriage
  • Ukip candidate suspended after calling Muslims ‘devil’s kids’
  • UKIP suspends branch chair who said gay adoption is ‘child abuse’
  • UKIP suspends ‘repellent’ member
  • Ukip sensationally suspends its own group leader
  • UKIP suspends member for speaking to newspaper
  • UKIP suspends member over racist remarks Facebook page
  • UKIP election candidate suspended for Nazi salute images
  • UKIP Candidate Suspended for Saying All Babies With Downs Syndrome or Spina Bifida Should be Aborted
  • UKIP suspends East Sussex election candidate after holocaust row
  • Former BNP Extremists Infiltrate Ukip Membership
  • UKIP suspends MEP
  • UKIP’s new elected Redditch councillor suspended for…racism and homophobia
  • Ukip warns members not to join Facebook or Twitter
  • Ukip expels Thanet councillor Rozanne Duncan for “jaw dropping” comments made in TV programme, not yet broadcast
  • West Country cake shop owner threatened with violence on Facebook over response to Nigel Farage’s breastfeeding comments
  • Ukip is clearly taking the British debate about migration to a new level.
  • A former UKIP candidate has been jailed for two years after admitting attempting to engage in sexual activity with a 12 year old girl.
  • Nigel Farage says Ukip candidate in ‘Chinky’ race row is just a rough diamond.
  • UKIP supporter hangs huge Union Flag outside home in Hedge End with message to Santa
  • Ukip ‘Spy On Enemies’ Scottish Party Chairman Arthur Thackeray Says
  • Nigel Farage condemns schoolchildren for making ‘risible’ anti-Ukip app
  • Ukip green policy: Climate change is ‘open to question’ says energy spokesman Roger Helmer
  • Ethical and Colour-blind: Ukip’s Real Immigration Policy
  • Ukip hires City barrister to keep ‘bad stuff’ hidden, leaked documents reveal

buzzword poundshopWhen its leader Nigel Farage claimed he missed a speaking engagement in Wales because of “too many immigrants on Britain’s motorways,” he was clearly making connections that many of us have missed.

Perhaps, however, there is a need to widen the terms of political debate about “migration.” And it might be helpful if the major parties ceased to pretend there aren’t complicated issues to address.

So, if only in terms of European migration, there are over 2.2 million migrants that Britain needs a more honest conversation about especially since some of the more popular caricatures about them turn out to be true.

ukip-oxfordLarge numbers of these migrants do not even bother to learn the language, often living in tight clusters of “their own kind.”

Most think there should be no government restrictions on where they live and what they do.

Many are economically inactive. Others take jobs that might otherwise go to local people so it’s alleged yet there is strong evidence that most immigrants who enters UK contributes to our economy.

Whatever their status, most take more money out of Britain than they spend here.

So, it’s time for a more honest discussion. What Are We Going To Do About The Brits Abroad?

It is a picture that can be truly worrying.

the-ukip-discoA million British “migrants” have decamped to Spain — some with barely two sentences of Spanish to rub together. France and the Republic of Ireland now play host to over a third of a million Brits, settled within their lands.

Germany is the only other country to top the 100,000 figure for British migrants, but one glance at the map sees us scattered far and wide across the European landscape.

In or out of the EU, if Ukip gets its way on a right to send migrants back to where they came from, Britain will need a serious plan about where to put its own “return to sender” migrants if other countries take the same view.

This may not solve Farage’s motorway congestion problems, though he would doubtless be comforted to believe he was in a better class of traffic jam. But the real problems run far wider.

Even if you could “notionally” swap 2.2m of “ours” for 2.2m of “theirs,” there is bound to be a jobs/skills mismatch. IMG_1928What jobs would Britain need to fill? What skills would be needed? Which parts of the country would our returned migrants need to be sent to?

Of course, many “returned migrants” would find themselves in competition with those currently passed by in Britain’s jobs market. But for what jobs?

Here is another example why we cant trust UKIP and Dennis Skinner sums it up in a nutshell for all checkout this:

Social media sites are now being used as platforms for the “migrants take our jobs” appeal to young and not so young voters.

For those facing zero-hours contracts in zero-prospects jobs, this can be a powerful, and accessible, explanation of an economy that fails them on a much bigger scale.

IMG_1956Banking has become Britain’s new welfare state. In Britain, making money has long replaced the idea of making things. An economy that no longer presumes to produce for itself also loses interest in providing the skill base that tomorrow’s sustainable economy will rely on. That is why Britain faces a chronic skills shortage.

In most of our major towns and cities there is an easy way of testing this out. Try to get an emergency plumber or electrician to come out over the weekend to rescue you from some domestic mishap or other.

Odds are that the only ones you find will turn out to come from eastern Europe which is a good thing if there is not enough trained plummers around to do the job.

IMG_18Colleges offering English language courses have waiting lists of migrants with construction industry skills, looking for a language base to underpin their trade.

The last economic crisis saw Britain rescuing the wrong sector of the economy.

Construction was thrown out of the window and the whole productive sector was told to stand outside the banks, hoping for loose change from the bonus payments being thrown at speculative traders.

If Britain had had the sense to stipulate that these bonuses should all come in the form of bonds that the banks had to buy from the Green Investment Bank, at least the GIB would have had money to put back into the real economy.

But we didn’t. So we end up with an economy seriously short of adequate skills and long-term job prospects.

But the “send ’em all back” movement isn’t really focused on a skills gap. Its focus is on visceral prejudice rather than economic reality.

Look at the jobs being done by migrants within the current British economy.

You soon discover that employment itself is brutally divided between the jobs we can’t do and the ones we won’t.

Travel on a night bus around London in the early hours of the morning. There are usually two groups of passengers.

In the first are those with luggage, heading off to an airport for an early flight abroad.

Here is a very simple message to all floating voters please read forward it on.

Here is a very simple message to all floating voters please read forward it on.

The second are those on pre dawn shifts, doing the cleaning and servicing work that keeps London’s “respectable” daytime economy going.

You can recognise this second group because they are either not British or not white.

Alternatively, venture to areas of Britain where food is produced, picked or processed.

You find a disproportionate number of migrant workers there too squeezed into overcrowded accommodation, working long hours, in poor conditions, for poorer pay.

Then turn to the care homes and see who it is that wipes the backsides, cleans up after and cares for an increasingly ageing British population.

And finally, take a look at the early morning shifts of those who clean our inner-city streets after the nighttime revellers have gone home.

None of this is the space Ukip ventures into. But once you’ve sent “them” all back, what exactly would Ukip’s marketing pitch be for the the jobs left behind?

It is hard to see young people rallying behind banners proclaiming: “This vomit is ours the clean-up should be too,” or “British

spuds, picked only by British lads.”

And in a society that struggles to get British men to clean their toilets at home, I can’t see a queue forming to clean other people’s.

Up the skills ladder, the prospects don’t get much better. “Toothache? Any Brit with a drill,” “Lights fused: Britons only need apply,” “A gas leak: own spanners and UK passport required.”

Oh sure. I can see Britons from all walks of life queuing for opportunities such as this.

The reality is that the migration debate has become a “bread and circuses” distraction.

In it, the dispossessed scrap among themselves while the wealthy look on.

All debates about “austerity credentials” of the different political parties duck this colossal flaw in contemporary British politics.

The real starting point is solidarity, not citizenship.

When I had my first job, I remember asking my parents why I had to pay a NI contribution out of my wages.

they told me to see it as a gift rather than a tax. After the war, their generation agreed to this as a way of making sure my grandad’s generation could have a pension.

My contributions would make sure that, when it came to my parents turn to retire, there would be enough in the pot for them too. It was an act of solidarity from one generation to another.

Underpinning this was another commitment from them to me. It was to the jobs, education, skills and apprenticeships our generation would need if we were to be contributors to this pot until our turn came to draw upon it.

Its is further alleged that the last 30 years of laissez-faire British politics which individualised presumptions about pensions and NI contributions broke this bond between generations.

This was when we were redefined (individually) as consumers rather than (collectively) as citizens.

A new citizens’ movement is needed to reclaim this collective entitlement.

One starting point would be restoring the right to insert “local labour agreements” in public service contracts.

Britain seems to remain ideologically opposed to this, pretending that it breaches EU public procurement rules. Yet the private sector has been doing so for years, inserting “24-hour” response times for the supply of component parts or service/repair obligations.

Other EU states do so by other means, but the effect is the same. You have to have a local base and a skill base if you want the local contract.

Farage might actually approve of sticking two fingers up at the transnational in favour of the national.

But he would balk at the idea that many of the skills we need to draw on may currently be found within migrant communities rather than his own. This leaves him stuck in the congestion of his own prejudices.

It is not where Britain’s big economic debate should be. Political parties should be warned racing to join an intellectual tailback with Ukip is just the road to nowhere.

The long delayed recovery has a long way to go, with GDP per head still 3 per cent below 2007 and pay 14 per cent down on pre recession levels.

It is hardly surprising that voters angry at this prolonged recession are protesting at the ballot box.

Our polling shows that many Ukip voters are white, male, over 40, working in the private sector and many used to vote Labour. Their key concerns are wages, job security and housing.

But Ukip policies would make things worse for them. Ukip would have NHS services run by private companies for profit. Roger Helmer MEP supported views that the NHS was a “60-year mistake.”

Nigel Farage claims to be the only politician “keeping the flame of Thatcherism alive.”

Ukip would give millionaires a bigger tax cut than the Tories. Its 2010 election manifesto committed to drastically reducing the size of the public sector and getting rid of two million jobs.

Ukip would get rid of workers’ legal rights on weekly working hours, overtime, redundancy, sick pay, pensions and employers’ national insurance obligations. Ukip would scrap the legal right to four weeks’ paid holiday.

Ukip would not give apprentices the minimum wage. It would scrap all health and safety legislation except in the most dangerous of workplaces. Ukip wants to limit which employment claims can be brought to tribunal.

Ukip MEPs voted against EU Parliament measures that would help workers facing mass redundancies and better health and safety and conditions for airport baggage handlers and offshore oil and gas workers.

Last year, Ukip MEPs in the EU Parliament refused to vote for equal pay for women. Ukip would scrap the right to maternity leave and would cut weekly maternity pay by more than half.

Farage has stated that women are “worth less” to their employers after coming back from maternity leave and that EU proposals for better and longer maternity leave constitute “excessive regulation” and are a “ruinous exercise.”

Farage failed to turn up to vote to strengthen the EU Posted Workers Directive to stop exploitation of migrant workers and did nothing to strengthen control measures to prevent the simultaneous undercutting of terms and conditions for domestic workers. His MEPs there abstained. He could have acted. He didn’t.

The 2013 Ukip Congress voted to proscribe Hope Not Hate, labelling Britain’s largest anti-racist organisation as “extremist.”

Ukip MEPs have refused to support EU action for greater financial transparency, banking reform and against tax evasion, avoidance and fraud.

Farage being a former City commodities trader himself, this probably shouldn’t surprise us.

Many Ukip MEPs are climate change deniers and have weakened EU environmental legislation, hindering Europe’s transition to an energy-efficient and low-carbon economy.

Ukip has tapped into concerns over more fundamental problems about Europe that we have to face up to. Whatever the European vision was on integration, harmony, economic advancement and political stability, what we currently have isn’t it.

The free movement of labour and the single market were to be balanced by the social charter where all the people of Europe would live in freedom and with those in the poorer economies, benefitting from the harmonisation of standards across all member states.

There were to be standards on workers’ protection, Tupe, excessive hours, health and safety, information and consultation and so many others that were meant to keep labour exploitation in check.

That dream has been chipped away at for years. Right-wing governments and employers have engineered massive change in the direction of the EU vision.

Judgements in the European Courts like Viking and Laval were the green light to massive assaults on organised labour across Europe, but especially in Britain.

From Lindsey oil refinery to food production, we have seen workers recruited in certain member states by agencies and exploited.

They were shipped in, literally, in order to undermine the terms and conditions of existing workers on those contracts. Both sets of workers have been let down by Westminster government, the EU Commission and the European Court.

On exploitation, we shouldn’t blame the exploited  we should damn those who exploit.

And yet the exact opposite has been occurring up and down the country over recent years. And that is part of the discontent that Ukip turns into xenophobic rhetoric to win votes.

Look past the simplistic tag and face the challenge of exploitation. Let’s reach out to those migrant workers, not attack them but organise and protect them.

Too many workers go to work fearful about exercising their basic rights.

A new Labour government working with the EU has to create a workplace without fear and equip the trade unions to enforce it.

The challenge for Labour in government is to deal with exploitation and harassment of workers who it has ignored for too long.

Collective rights are the key to unlock that challenge. Take away our shackles and we will show you what enforcement is all about.

IMG_1

We end 2014 much as we started it, but with an even more unequal society — a Britain that is more divided, a Britain where the haves are laughing at the have-nots, a Britain where it does no good to be poor, sick, young or working class.

In the final death throes of 2014, never has this division became more apparent than with recent newspaper headlines.

I’m sure many thought they had woken in a parallel universe when the Times named Nigel Farage as potentially “Briton of the Year.” Seriously. Briton of the Year.

Farage  a leader of a racist, bigoted, homophobic, sexist party who feels breast-feeding mothers should sit in corners and has numerous parliamentary candidates who try to outdo each other for over-the-top, outlandish, diabolical comments.

Briton of the Year in my opinion is 91-year-old Harry Smith, the NHS fighter who stood up at Labour conference and told David Cameron: “Keep your mitts off my NHS” in a barnstorming speech no MP could match in its passion as he warned us all what it was like prior to the conception of the NHS when his own sister died of TB in 1926.

How can the Murdoch-owned Times to even contemplate Farage as Briton of the Year when we have Smith or indeed the inspirational Stephen Sutton who, while suffering from cancer himself, raised nearly £5 million for teenage cancer sufferers from his hospital bed, before dying earlier in May this year?

Or there was volunteer humanitarian aid worker Alan Henning who was held hostage and then beheaded by Isis terrorists in October.

These are the real true heroes and Britons we should be applauding, not the “pound shop Enoch Powell” that is Nigel Farage.

And showing up our divided society further, the Mail showed us pictures of the royal family Christmas, complete with photographs of all the ornate Christmas trees in the many royal palaces and articles on the cost of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge’s apartment refurb in Kensington.

Costs to the taxpayer are spiralling it seems, yet we are assured that the Cambridges are buying all their own carpets and curtains. A collective sigh of relief then.

While the royals enjoyed their Christmas, news of the utter tragedy of a couple from Sussex with two disabled children made the headlines briefly.

The parents had celebrated a Christmas Eve dinner with family and left the children with relatives overnight.

The couple were thought to be in deep financial trouble but kept it all to themselves.

A neighbour found them on Christmas morning in an apparent double suicide pact.

Without speculating too much, it is obvious that their money worries had reached a stage when they felt unable to cope or reach out for help.

Caring for two disabled children probably had taken an immense toll on them too.

People have no idea just how financially crippling it can be if you have a disabled child.

Even with both parents, one often has to give up work to become a full-time carer.

In this very sad case, caring for two disabled children was doubly tough.

Yet this poor couple felt there was no way out of their financial problems and nowhere to turn.

How many times have we seen the headlines in the past few years of people committing suicide who have been stripped of benefit entitlement through the government’s sanctions regime?

People so desperate that they feel the only way out is to take their own life to prevent further suffering.

The DWP has been urged to come clean on the numbers who have committed suicide where a death has been related to “DWP activity.”

Sixty cases have been looked into and this is only the tip of the iceberg. Sanctions for sick people claiming employment and support allowance have risen a staggering 470 per cent in 18 months, pushing the most vulnerable to the brink.

This is our divided society.

The press also treated us to a peek at Richard Branson’s Carribean island of Mustique, playground of the super-rich, with its secrets of guests eating caviar off a beautiful woman’s stomach and shooting golf balls at human targets dressed in sumo wrestling suits. The mind boggles.

These are lives so removed from the ordinary world, yet our newspapers think we are interested and want to know about the pursuits of the rich and famous.

On a slightly lesser scale, Farage dressed up in his customary tweed and went down to the Boxing Day Hunt. Not exactly the pursuit of the leader of the “people’s army,” eh, Nigel?

Meanwhile back in reality, my 15-year-old son co-ordinated his school’s appeal for donations to the local independent foodbank.

The latest stats on foodbank use are due to published shortly, and it’s predicted that the figures will be through the roof.

Over one million people have been to a foodbank in 2014 and that is just to Trussell Trust ones. There are no stats collected from independent foodbanks.

In Liverpool a 22-year-old councillor from Merseyside co-ordinated and ran Christmas dinner at St George’s Hall in the city on Christmas Day for elderly and lonely people and people who could not afford a Christmas lunch.

Thanks to Jake Morrison’s Herculean efforts, 500 people enjoyed each other’s company and a Christmas dinner that they otherwise would not have had.

This is what is going on in the real Britain we live in and not in Rupert Murdoch’s narrow vision of it.

While the gap between rich and poor gets ever wider under this Con-Dem government, it will be the duty of the Labour Party, should it get elected in May 2015, to reduce the gap.

It will be an immense task and certainly won’t happen overnight. David Cameron and his henchmen have done so much damage, it will take some time to challenge and reduce the wealth gap. But it has to be done.

In the meantime ordinary people like us will continue to prop up our foodbanks so people in our communities can eat.

But we want titles like Briton of the Year bestowed on those who truly deserve it people who have made a huge contribution to our lives, not stood at the bar pint in one hand and fag in the other, laughing at us.

We won’t get that from Murdoch and his right-wing media cronies. The Harry Smiths and Stephen Suttons of the world will be lauded by the people’s paper, your Morning Star. The only paper that fights to pull down the class and wealth divide and expose the real truth to its readers

labour coloursIts time that voters come to their senses and should not be hoodwinked by the likes of UKIP, LibDems, Conservatives, as most of the nation are saying David Cameron Must Go they are fed up with this Coalition Government and they are saying they are returning to Labour to get rid of UKIP, Conservatives, and Libdems on 7 May 2015

 

 

 

 

 


 

Who will be having a White Christmas this year


How many of will be dreaming of a White Christmas this year under this dreaded coalition have a listen to this YouTube then tell me?

My Christmas and New Year’s messages to both David Cameron, George Osborne, Nick Clegg and Nigel Farage is if you both care about poverty then take visit your nearest Foodbanks in your area as you will find a great examples of the massive disfunction at the heart of modern capitalism you need look no further than food production and distribution. Remember its the people power that votes you into office and the poeple power call calling on UKIP, LibDems and David Cameron All Must Go if you can deliver the goods.

#CameronMustGoNew research reveals that more than four million tons of food is being wasted by supermarkets and farmers every year — 40 per cent of the total. Meanwhile one million people now use food banks across Britain to ensure their families are able to eat one basic hot meal per day.

The government’s welfare reforms, including benefit sanctions and the hated Bedroom Tax, are a central factor in the explosion in the numbers of impoverished people turning to charity food banks.

A Sheffield University researcher Hannah Lambie-Mumford says the rise in demand for charity food is a clear signal “of the inadequacy of both social security provision and the processes by which it is delivered.”

Her report warns that as social security safety nets become weaker, there is a danger that charity food could become an integral part of welfare provision, or even a replacement for state-funded emergency welfare schemes.

Food price inflation in Britain is amongst the highest in Europe. The political Establishment are all singing from the same song sheet that austerity is here to stay and will be a permanent feature for a decade.

We used to talk about people falling through the welfare safety net. It seems that modern Britain is about to see that safety net itself removed.

Nigel-Farage-and-Nick-Clegg-The Lib Dems will duck a chance to end the Bedroom Tax – despite “opposing” it.

Nick Clegg’s party is refusing to back a Labour motion in the House of Commons that would axe the hated policy once and for all.

The Deputy PM announced in July his party would no longer support the tax after the Department for Work and Pensions found 300,000 victims are in rent arrears and only 4.5% have moved to smaller homes.

David Cameron will break his promise to reduce red tape for businesses by the end of this Parliament, according to an independent think tank.

A study by Reform reveals his ministers have cut away £1.2 billion worth of regulation since 2010, but added an extra £4.3 billion, and its authors say this increase of £3.1 billion is a conservative estimate.

The study also claims the government mistakenly counted as its biggest deregulatory success a decision by the Department for Work and Pensions to change the way that private pension providers account for inflation. Both the Conservative Party and the Liberal Democrats pledged to tackle regulation in their 2010 manifestos.

This comes as Tory ministers struggle to meet their pledge to cut net migration to the tens of thousands by next May, which experts have said is effectively “dead and buried”.

In 2011, the Prime Minister wrote an open letter to Cabinet ministers promising to lead the “first government in modern history to leave office having reduced the overall burden of regulation rather than increasing it”.

The report praises the Coalition’s efforts in trying to meet this challenge, but says it has ultimately been unsuccessful.

Its authors recommend the next Government sticks to a one-in, one-out rule whereby every extra £1 of new regulation must be offset by at least £1 of deregulation.

But a spokesman for the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS) rejected the claim in the report.

He said: “Across government we’ve led a relentless battle to ease the burden on business as part of our long term economic plan to help Britain succeed.

“Our efforts to cut domestic red-tape has been independently verified and received external scrutiny from the Regulatory Policy Committee. They have confirmed that by getting rid of pointless rules we’ve delivered a net saving to business of well over £1.5 billion a year.

“But we don’t want to stop there. We’re demanding every small business is exempt from new EU regulations and that every new law affecting business faces a tough competitiveness test.

“We are ramping up our pro-enterprise campaign in the EU to make sure that policy helps not hinders business -and we’re already seeing results.”

I’m under the strong impression that this coalition is failing the nation with their empty promises by helping the poorest out of poverty. I do recall a saying from relatives as a wee lad growing up they use to drill into me that a promise is a comfort to a fool. With this in mind this has been instilled into me until my adulthood which I have passed down to my children.

car1What I’m about to mention I make no apologies for causing a uproar with the establishment as they look after the few whilst the low, lower, disabled, and middle incomes has to pick up the crumbs of the table of the few just to make ends by turning to Foodbanks or loan sharks. The establishment may not like to read or hear those words but until the class war ends there will be continued poverty in communities as some people may have lost their incomes or had their benefits has been suspended due sanctions imposed by Department of Works and Pensions for a number of reasons as those who knows it, feels it. They are in an ideal position to speak out as they face it day in and out whilst this government is very much out of touch with people as they are more into their Westminister bubble than what they really care about their voters. That’s putting it mildly.

Food-banks-graph-20155Since the formation of this coalition we all have witnessed cuts in Public Services which is moving towards the Jaws of Doom, we will not recognize it in the next 10-25 on how Public Services was once was which also includes our welfare system. The sooner we recognize that Local Government will have changed drastically and most of the services we are all accustom to will have been contracted out to the private sector as this coalition wants to introduce the American system which in some case has not really benefited in America as the poor will not be able to afford to pay which is what the Conservatives, Libdems and UKIP wants to happen.

briownThis leads me to say that one of the best chancellor that we ever had was a person called Gordon Brown like him or loathe him history will judge him as a person who did more to tried to eradicate child poverty and dealing with the world banking crisis, introducing SureStart, National Minimum Wage, family friendly policies, Human Right Act, not joining the EU unless they met the five Criteria and the cheek of this coalition continues to play the blame game which has gone far beyond a scratch record. How many will have noticed that the coalition refuses to put the five economic tests were the criteria defined by the UK treasury under Gordon Brown that were to be used to assess the UK’s readiness to join the Economic and Monetary Union of the European Union (EMU), and so adopt the euro as its official currency. In principle, these tests were distinct from any political decision to join.

The five tests were as follows:

Are business cycles and economic structures compatible so that we and others could live comfortably with euro interest rates on a permanent basis?

If problems emerge is there sufficient flexibility to deal with them?

Would joining EMU create better conditions for firms making long-term decisions to invest in Britain?

What impact would entry into EMU have on the competitive position of the UK’s financial services industry, particularly the City‘s wholesale markets?

In summary, will joining EMU promote higher growth, stability and a lasting increase in jobs?

In addition to these self-imposed criteria, the UK would also have to meet the European Union‘s economic convergence criteria (“Maastricht criteria”) before being allowed to adopt the euro. One criterion is two years’ membership of ERM II, of which the UK is currently not a member. Under the Maastricht Treaty, the UK is not obliged to adopt the euro.

As the Brown government was voted out of office in the 2010 United Kingdom general election, the tests are no longer government policy.

The five tests were designed in 1997 by former British Labour Party Chancellor Gordon Brown and his then special adviser Ed Balls, allegedly in the back of a taxi while Brown was in the United States. Despite this uncertain pedigree, the International Monetary Fund deemed them to be “broadly consistent with the economic considerations that are relevant for assessing entry into a monetary union.”

The UK Treasury is responsible for assessing the tests. It first did so in October 1997, when it was decided that the UK economy was neither sufficiently converged with that of the rest of the EU, nor sufficiently flexible, to justify a recommendation of membership at that time. The government pledged to reassess the tests early in the next Parliament (which began in June 2001), and published a revised assessment of the five tests in June 2003. This assessment ran to around 250 pages and was backed up by eighteen supporting studies, on subjects such as housing, labour market flexibility, and the euro area’s monetary and fiscal frameworks.

The conclusions were broadly similar; the Treasury argued that:

  1. There had been significant progress on convergence since 1997, but there remained some significant structural differences, such as in the housing market.
  2. While UK flexibility had improved, they could not be confident that it is sufficient.
  3. Euro membership would increase investment, but only if convergenceand flexibility were sufficient.
  4. The City of London, Britain’s financial centre, would benefit from Eurozone membership.
  5. Growth, stability and employment would increase as a result of euro membership, but only if convergence and flexibility were sufficient.

On the basis of this assessment, the government ruled out UK membership of the euro for the duration of the 2001 Parliament. Since Labour was re-elected in 2005, the debate on theEuropean Constitution and subsequent Treaty of Lisbon upstaged that on the euro. Gordon Brown, in his first press conference as British Prime Minister (2007), ruled out membership for the foreseeable future, saying that the decision not to join had been right for Britain and for Europe. However, in late 2008, Jose Manuel Barroso (the European Commission President) stated differently; that UK leaders were seriously considering the switch amidst the financial crisis. Brown later denied this.

One of the underlying issues that stand in the way of monetary union is the structural difference between the UK housing market and those of many continental European countries. Although home ownership in Britain is near the European average, variable rate mortgages are more common, making the retail price index in Britain more influenced by interest rate changes. Nor am I’m begrudging the few or the many people who started from rags to riches which is a great story in itself but the reality is how many had the opportunity to do so.

ed-milibanWhen I listen to Ed Milibands recent speech in Gateshead on the deflect it gave me a sense of purpose and helps to ensure that we have to do our part to ensure that we have a Labour Government in place in 2015.

I enclosed two  copies of Ed Miliband’s speech for all to read:

Ed Miliband MP, Leader of the Labour Party, in a speech on the deficit, said:

My speech today is about the deficit.

Its place in our priorities.

How a Labour government would deal with it.

And how we would do so consistent with our values.

Eight days ago in the Autumn Statement, it became clear what the Tory plan for the country is.

They promised to clear the deficit in this Parliament and they have failed.

Now they say they want to run a big surplus by the end of the next Parliament.

And their plan is to return spending on public services to a share last seen in the 1930s: a time before there was a National Health Service and when young people left school at 14.

There is only one 35 per cent strategy in British politics today: the Tory plan for cutting back the state to that share of national income.

They have been exposed by the Autumn Statement for who they really are.

Not compassionate Conservatives at all.

But extreme, ideological and committed to a dramatic shrinking of the state, whatever the consequences.

They are doing it not because they have to do it but because they want to do it.

That is not our programme.

That will never be our programme.

And I do not believe it is the programme the British people want.

But the British people do want to know our approach.

And today I want to set it out.

We start from believing that this country needs a long-term plan to make the country work for working people again, not just for a privileged few at the top.

Now, some people have argued the deficit simply doesn’t matter to that mission and should not be our concern.

That’s wrong.

It matters.

Because unless there is a strategy for dealing with the deficit, it will be harmful to our economic stability.

And it is working people who will end up paying the price in the economic instability that is created.

Dealing with our debts is also necessary for funding our public services.

Higher debt interests payment squeeze out money for those services and for investment in the long-term potential of our country.

So there is no path to growth and prosperity for working people which does not tackle the deficit.

But what we need is a balanced approach, which deals with our debts, but does so sensibly.

Today, I want to lay out the principles of our alternative.

Not a shadow Budget, but a sense of how we will approach these issues in government.

This is the central contrast between our approach and the Conservatives’:

We will deal with our debts but we will never return to the 1930s.

We won’t take risks with our public finances but we won’t take risks either with our public services, our National Health Service.

Our tough and balanced approach will balance the books through an economy based on high wages and high skills, common sense spending reductions and fair choices on tax.

Their unbalanced approach of 1930s public spending and unfunded tax cuts will put at risk our National Health Service, undermine our economic future and threaten working families.

Today I want to lay out the five principles which underpin my approach, principles which learn from the experience of the last five years and indeed our time in government.

Our first principle is that we will set a credible and sensible goal for dealing with our debts.

This starts with getting the national debt falling as a proportion of national income as soon as possible within the next Parliament.

This is essential if we are to prevent debt interest payments mounting up.

And we will also have a surplus on the current budget so that revenues more than cover day to day spending, again as soon as possible in the next Parliament.

This draws the right distinction between current and capital spending.

Productive investment in our infrastructure should be seen differently from day to day spending because it often has a greater economic return.

Indeed, the history of our country has been a failure to invest in our infrastructure and our economic foundations, which are so important for competitiveness, growth and tax revenues.

Our rule is right for two reasons.

Because it targets the right aim and it does not set an arbitrary date.

There is a lesson from this Parliament about the huge uncertainty there is around deficit reduction.

The easy thing is for politicians to claim great certainty when there is not.

The right thing to do is to set a clear objective with a realistic destination – balancing the books and the debt falling as soon as possible in the next Parliament – and this is what we have done.

Nothing does more to undermine credibility than setting an objective and failing to meet it.

So this is our destination for fiscal policy in the next Parliament.

The Tory destination is different.
By setting an objective of an overall surplus, they are driving their scale of spending reductions.

The second principle is that a successful deficit reduction strategy depends upon reform of our economy.

That is the biggest lesson of the failures of this government.

For some time, I have heard people claim that our economic argument around the cost of living crisis has been missing the main economic challenge, of tackling the deficit.

But the facts are now in: it turns out that tackling the cost of living crisis is in fact essential for tackling the deficit.

This has become crystal clear since 2010.

For the first three years of the Parliament, we saw little or no growth in the economy.

And as a result the government spectacularly failed in their deficit reduction strategy.

Now, finally, growth has resumed, but what became clear in the Autumn Statement is that the character of growth is such that they are still failing.

Two thirds of people moving into work are paid less than the living wage.

That is bad for families.

But it has also totally undermined the government’s deficit plan.

Last week, the Office of Budget Responsibility confirmed that income tax and national insurance receipts are £43 billion a year lower than forecast in 2010.

Sixty percent of the drop in tax receipts in the last year is because of weaker wage growth.

And it is set to get worse as wage growth has been revised down until 2017.

And we see the failure in social security too.

This is the government of the bedroom tax and the strivers’ tax.

But yet they are failing to meet their promises on social security spending.

Not because they are generous.

But because of their failing economic strategy.

Welfare spending is higher than expected because of economic and social failure.
Exactly the same pattern as we saw under the Tories in the 1980s.

This time, higher tax credit bills and higher housing benefit bills subsidising a low wage economy.

They attack the sick and disabled, the low paid and the poor and still raise the bills of sickness, low pay and poverty.

That is why it must be a principle of deficit reduction that we have a different economic strategy building a higher wage, higher skill economy, not the low wage, low skill economy we have.

Putting our young people back to work will improve tax revenues and cut the social security bill.

Raising the minimum wage will do the same.

So will dealing with the scandal of zero-hours contracts and ensuring people have more regular hours.

And reforming the banks, transforming vocational education, a revolution in apprenticeships, helping nurture the businesses of tomorrow: all are part of building the economy we need to both deliver for working people and pay down the deficit.

This is the modern agenda for both successful businesses and social justice.

And there is a lesson for Labour here.

The last Labour government increased spending year on year, using the proceeds of economic growth to make our country fairer.

That option will not be available to us.

And nor would it deal with the root causes of an economy that does not work for working people.

Higher spending is not the answer to the long-term economic crisis that we have identified.

Unless we fundamentally reshape our economy, we will only ever be able to compensate people for unfairness and inequality.

That is why our agenda for creating social justice is about big reform not big spending.

And because the Tories do not have this plan they cannot meet their deficit reduction objectives.

Our third principle is that Britain needs common sense spending reductions, not slash and burn.

And we have already set out ways in which we can save money.

An end to the winter fuel allowance for the wealthiest pensioners.

Capping child benefit rises at 1 per cent a year in 2016/17 as part of meeting a welfare cap.

Abolishing police commissioner elections and merging police procurement services to save money.

Selling off unwanted government assets.

And our zero-based review of every pound spent by government will be coming forward with reports for savings across Whitehall and the public sector between now and the election.

Of course, the reality is that much of the detailed work about spending reductions can only take place when we have the full resources of government at our disposal.

But I want to be clear about what the backdrop will be for a Labour government.

We have said previously we will raise extra resources for our NHS and protect our commitments to international development.

And our manifesto will also spell out a very limited number of other areas which will have spending protected.

Outside those areas and departments, we’ve already said that for the first year of the next government most departmental budgets will fall.

But it won’t just be for the first year.

Outside protected areas, for other departments, there will be cuts in spending.

And we should plan on it being for every year until the current budget is in balance.

And yesterday, as our zero-based review continues, Ed Balls wrote to our shadow cabinet colleagues spelling this out.

But this cannot be simply about chipping away at departmental budgets.

We must take the opportunity to do what no government has properly done: reshape public services so that they deliver better for people, doing more for social justice with less.

Here we should take inspiration from what Labour local government has been able to do and give them the chance to do more.

We will devolve unprecedented levels of spending from Whitehall to local people over a whole range of areas, including transport, skills and back to work programmes.

Local government leaders rightly want control over these budgets.

They know those budgets will be smaller than what is spent at the moment.

But they know they will make better decisions because they are local decisions that suit local needs.

And just as we need to spend money better by giving power to local people, so too by breaking down the old bureaucracies.

For example, our agenda for whole person care, integrating physical health, mental health and social care, is the way to afford world-class 21st century health care when we face such difficult times.

Helping people stay out of hospital and get the care they need at home.

And there must be a new emphasis on prevention: from tackling childhood obesity and better public health to GP access.

This is a clear message from Labour that we are planning for a world of falling budgets but we will change the way government works so that we can better deliver on our values.

And, as I said, reforms like this are what Labour in local government has done over these past years.

Labour councils all-round the country have shown even in very tough times that they can still improve services.

And today the report of our zero-based review into local government is showing how we can make further savings of £500 million.

These changes are necessary to balance the books.

The Tory 35 per cent strategy is not.

Their strategy would mean overall cuts of an unprecedented scale.

The equivalent of more than the whole budget for schools.

Or three times more than the entire budget for social care.

Or nearly half of the budget for our NHS.

I want the British people to know what this really means: it is a recipe for the disintegration of our public services.

And, also, for a permanent cost of living crisis because we won’t be investing in the skills, infrastructure and education we need for good quality jobs.

We already know from this Parliament what that means: a low wage, low skill economy, falling tax revenues and higher social security bills.

So we know what the result will be: the Tories might be able to deliver the cuts they have promised, but they won’t be able to cut the deficit as they promised.

Our fourth principle is that we should ensure that those with the broadest shoulders bear the greatest burden so that we can meet our mission of a country that works for working people.

This government famously claimed that we were all in it together.

The reality has been completely the opposite.

This year, they have asked families with children to contribute five times more to deficit reduction than the banks.

And now for the future, theirs is the only deficit reduction plan in history which seems to involve asking the wealthy to pay nothing more.

Indeed they have refused to deny that they would cut the 45p top rate of tax for the highest earners still further.

We will make different choices.

So we will levy a Mansion Tax on the most expensive homes over £2 million and clamp down on tax avoidance to help fund the NHS.

We will have a tax on bankers’ bonuses to help fund a programme to put young people back to work.

We will close boardroom tax loopholes to abolish the bedroom tax.

We will not go ahead with a further cut in Corporation tax so we can instead cut business rates for small firms.

And we will reverse the millionaires’ tax cut and ensure that those with incomes over £150,000 pay the 50p tax rate to contribute to deficit reduction.

And we will also need to do a lot more to tackle one of the biggest scandals in our country: tax avoidance by some multinational firms.

This is what I mean by fairer, different choices so we can build a fairer, more equal country.

Some of the wealthiest in our society, who often have the loudest voices, will vociferously complain about some of these measures, including the Mansion Tax.

But it is right and fair for the country.

In these hard times, we are determined to do everything we can to protect everyday taxpayers from bearing an increased burden and to do all we can to protect public services.

And those who have done best, under this government and indeed under the last, must pay their fair share.

We want successful entrepreneurs and those who do well to be rewarded.

But we must pull together as a society not drift apart and we cannot do that if deficit reduction is simply on the backs of everyday people.

Our fifth principle is that this party will only make new commitments that are credible, costed and funded, not unfunded promises.

I understand why some people want us to make manifesto proposals funded by additional borrowing.

But while there is a deficit to be cleared it would be wrong to do that.

This is an essential test of credibility.

I said earlier there was huge uncertainty about the deficit because of economic circumstances and on the basis of recent experience.

That makes it all the more important that parties do not spray around unfunded commitments they cannot keep.

It is why we will only make commitments in our manifesto that are properly funded.

Not commitments that depend on extra borrowing.

That’s why we’ve explained how we will pay for every policy that we’ve put forward: costed, credible and funded.

And what a contrast with our opponents: the Conservative Party has pledged to make tax cuts when they have absolutely no idea how they will fund them.

Tax cuts that will cost over £7 billion a year at the end of the Parliament.

And even more, £16 billion a year, if they happen earlier in the Parliament.

The Tories cannot say how they would fund their tax cuts skewed to help the wealthiest.

This is not responsible and not right.

And the British people should be in no doubt what the Tory promise means: they will pay the price for tax cuts one way or another.

They will pay the price in higher VAT or even bigger cuts to public services.

And it says it all about the Tories’ priorities and ours.

Their priority is unfunded tax cuts.

My priority is to save our National Health Service.

So these are the principles of deficit reduction a Labour government will follow:

Balancing the current budget and debt falling, not destroying productive investment.

An economic strategy to bring the deficit down, not drive it up.
Sensible reductions in spending, not slash and burn of our public services.

The wealthiest bearing the biggest burden, not everyday people.

And fully funded commitments, without additional borrowing, not unfunded tax cuts that put our NHS at risk.

So I can announce our first pledge of the general election campaign:

We will build a strong economic foundation and balance the books.

We will cut the deficit every year while securing the future of the NHS.

And none of our manifesto commitments will require additional borrowing.

These are my clear commitments to the British people.

This is now a fight for the soul of our country.

It is a fight about who we want to be.

And how we want to live together.

The Tory vision is clear: a country that works only for the wealthy few, with public spending back to 1930s levels and unfunded tax cuts put before the NHS.

My vision is different: a country and an economy that works for everyday people, a balanced plan to clear the deficit and secure the future of our NHS.

That is the choice I will now go out and fight for.

That is the choice the country faces.

Ends

It is great to be here in Great Yarmouth.

And it is great to be here with Lara Norris, our brilliant parliamentary candidate.

She calls herself a “Mum on a mission”.

And Lara, I am proud to support you.

Now we have people here today from different backgrounds, different parties, including people who aren’t Labour.

That’s because we’re trying to do politics in a different way and this is mainly your chance to ask me questions.

But I want to say a few words at the start about how I want to change the country.

Above all, how we make Britain a country that works for everyday people again, and not just a privileged few, the richest in our country.

And today, I want to talk about how our approach to immigration fits into this.

I know how big an issue this is in Great Yarmouth.

So on this issue, let me say something about me, something about Labour and something about the changes I will bring. 

I am the son of immigrants, parents who came here as refugees fleeing from the Nazis.

I am incredibly grateful and proud that Britain enabled my parents to build a home here and have a family.

They worked hard and made their contribution to this country.

And I am proud of the contribution that immigrants of all origins, races and faiths have made to Britain over the years. 

But for that contribution to benefit all our citizens and not just some, immigration has got to be properly managed and there have to be the right rules in place. 

That’s why I have been determined to change Labour’s approach to immigration since we lost the General Election in 2010. 

When people worry about the real impact immigration has, this Labour Party will always respond to those concerns, not dismiss them.

It isn’t prejudiced to worry about immigration, it is understandable.

So let me say how we will act to address peoples’ concerns.

People want there to be control of immigration. 

And I agree. 

That means strengthening our borders, with proper entry and exit checks.

And we will introduce those checks.

It means longer controls when new countries enter the European Union: we got it wrong in the past and we’ve learnt from it.

And my point today is also that control doesn’t stop at the borders.

It is also about fair rules when people get here. 

Fair rules means people integrating into communities and learning English. 

It’s what my parents did.

Fair rules means that entitlement to benefits needs to be earned. 

You should contribute before you claim.

So when people come here they won’t be able to claim benefits for at least two years. 

But it isn’t just the benefits system that needs to be fair. 

I think for too long, we’ve ignored what’s been happening at work: to people’s jobs and wages.

We know that so many workplaces are so far from being fair today. 

And that is especially true in some workplaces with a large number of workers who have come from overseas.

There are truly shocking stories of people in Britain today having their wages stolen and having to live in the most appalling conditions: exploited because they come here from abroad.

When people can be exploited for low wages or endangered at work, it drags the whole system down, undercutting the pay and conditions of local workers.

We must end the epidemic of exploitation.

We must stop people’s living standards being undermined by scandalous undercutting.

And we have a plan to do it. 

We will increase the fines for firms who avoid the National Minimum Wage. 

We will stop agency contracts being used to undercut permanent staff. 

We will ban recruitment agencies from hiring only from abroad.

And today, I am announcing that the next Labour government will go further still: 

We are serving notice on employers who bring workers here under duress or on false terms and pay them significantly lower wages, with worse terms and conditions. 

We will make it a criminal offence to undercut pay or conditions by exploiting migrant workers.

Only Labour has a plan to deal with all this.

Today we are announcing our pledge on immigration for what a Labour government will do:

We will control immigration with fair rules.

People who come here won’t be able to claim benefits for at least two years.

And we will make it illegal for employers to undercut wages by exploiting workers.

This is what I promise to do.

What I won’t do is make false promises to you.

David Cameron promised that immigration would be cut to the “tens of thousands”.

People may have heard on the news recently that he’s broken that promise.

Net migration is now in fact higher than it was in 2010.

We won’t make false promises and we won’t offer you false solutions either.

Like leaving the European Union.

I just don’t think that’s the right thing to do.

Great Yarmouth has always relied on trade. 

I’ve got to tell you, I believe leaving the EU would be a disaster for jobs, business and families here.

Instead of false promises or false solutions, we will seek to offer clear, credible and concrete solutions which help build a country that works for you.

And what we are doing on immigration is part of a plan for working people.

Dealing with our debts, but never slashing and burning public services.

A sensible approach on immigration, not false promises or false solutions.

Putting the NHS first, not privatising it.

Doing right by the next generation, not destroying the promise of a better future for our young people.

And tackling the cost-of-living crisis, with a higher minimum wage, freezing energy bills and creating good jobs.

I am fighting at this election for a Britain that works for you and your family.

I believe that we can make it happen. 

And I look forward to doing it together.