Some 600 fewer GP surgeries across England are open in the evening and at weekends compared to the time of the last election, new figures today show. At the...
Lancaster Labour Party
- Get 200,000 homes built a year, backed a Housing Investment Fund of over £5 billion for investment in new homes
- Build hundreds of thousands of new homes in Housing Growth Areas, new sites where local first time buyers will have priority over new homes
- Reform the private rented sector so those that are locked out aren’t ripped off with 3 year tenancies, a ceiling on excessive rent rises and a ban on letting agents fees.
Labour is today setting out our plans to revive the dream of home ownership for millions of families and put first time buyers first. Ed Miliband will announce plans...
Extreme Tory spending plans could see the loss of over 1,000 Sure Start centres. Over 1,000 Sure Start centres could go under in the next four years, thanks to the Tories’ extreme plans to cut spending in the next Parliament. This would be disastrous for thousands of families up and down the country.
Sure Start closures will hit working families already struggling under David Cameron’s government. His cuts have left many Sure Start centres closed or mothballed while childcare costs have gone up six times faster than wages and available childcare places have fallen by 40,000. Here in the North West there are 110 fewer Sure Start centres now than there were when this government were elected in 2010.
Before the last election, David Cameron said he would protect Sure Start but since then there are hundreds fewer centres. If they get in again they’ll do the same again. Their extreme plans mean over 1,000 of the remaining centres face the axe. Working families can’t afford five more years of this failing Tory plan. We need Labour’s better plan, which will revive Sure Start, provide more childcare places and extend free childcare for working parents of three and four-year-olds.
Extreme Tory spending plans could see the loss of over 1,000 Sure Start centres. Over 1,000 Sure Start centres could go under in the next four years, thanks to...
- In the last year the number of people on zero hour contracts has grown by nearly 20%.
- There are now 1.8m zero hour contracts in Britain, more than the populations of Cardiff, Glasgow and Leeds combined.
The Tories have refused to back Labour's plans to ban exploitative zero-hours contracts. David Cameron last week said that the reason there had been an explosion in zero-hours contracts was because people choose them - but then he admitted he couldn't live on one.
Labour is today setting out our plans to ban exploitative zero-hours contracts. We will act so that anyone working regular hours will be legally entitled to a regular contract...
PHOTO: Cat Smith campaigning with shadow minister Maria Eagle and city council candidate Cathy Jamieson in Freehold, Lancaster Under Labour the tax burden on small business will be lower than...
Labour's priority is to back British business to create the high skilled, high wage jobs our country needs, not to risk jobs and investment by sleepwalking towards EU exit as a Conservative government would do.
Under pressure from Nigel Farage the Tories have marginalised Britain in Europe and are increasingly a Party arguing for exit from the EU, putting jobs and investment at risk.
Labour's priority is different. We will put the national interest first and back British business to create the high skilled, high wage jobs our country needs.
That is how we raise living standards, pay down the deficit, and compete on a global stage.
We will back British business by:
- Cutting the deficit every year.
- Cut business rates for more than 1.5 million small business properties and maintain the most competitive Corporation Tax rate in the G7.
- A British Investment Bank so that businesses can get the finance they need to grow.
- New gold standard technical qualifications to fill skills gaps and working with businesses to create thousands of new apprenticeships.
- A new National Infrastructure Commission to drive a long term approach.
Labour's priority is to back British business to create the high skilled, high wage jobs our country needs, not to risk jobs and investment by sleepwalking towards EU exit as...
The independent King's Fund have found that the NHS has gone backwards under the Tories, with an A&E crisis, the cancer target missed and NHS trusts in deficit.
The Tories spent £3 billion on a reorganisation that the independent experts have said today "was damaging and distracting". Now it is clear that the NHS can't afford the Tories' plan for deeper care cuts in the next Parliament. It urgently needs new leadership and a change of course.
Labour has set out a better plan to rescue the NHS, rebuild it as a national health and care service and invest £2.5 billion extra a year - on top of Tory spending plans - to fund 20,000 more nurses and 8,000 more GPs.
The independent King's Fund have found that the NHS has gone backwards under the Tories, with an A&E crisis, the cancer target missed and NHS trusts in deficit. The Tories...
Today Labour announces a clear pledge to the British people. The next Labour government will not raise VAT.
VAT is the tax that hits everyone – with the same rate paid by the pensioner as the millionaire. It is the tax that every Tory government in the last forty years has raised. But no Labour government has ever hiked up the main rate of VAT.
So we will not put up VAT. And we will not extend it to food, children’s clothes, books, newspapers and public transport fares.
We will make our tax commitments in full in our manifesto. But we are clear that while millionaires have been given a huge tax cut, working people are paying more in tax after the last five years of the Tories.
The Tories can't be trusted when it comes to VAT. Time and time again they have made pre-election promises not to increase VAT or extend its scope, only to break them as soon as they are back in power. They've done it before. They'll do it again.
Today Labour announces a clear pledge to the British people. The next Labour government will not raise VAT.VAT is the tax that hits everyone – with the same rate paid...
George Osborne spent an hour telling people they have never had it so good. But the truth is working people are £1,600 a year worse off after five years of the Tories.
Our National Health Service is in crisis, but the Budget said nothing about the NHS. And the Tories today confirmed plans for extreme spending cuts in the three years after the election - which will put our NHS at risk.
The OBR says these Budget plans will mean "a much sharper squeeze on real spending in 2016/17 and 2017/18 than anything seen over the past five years" and "a sharp acceleration in the pace of implied real cuts to day-to-day spending on public services".
So the election remains a choice between a Tory plan which is failing working families and Labour's better plan which will put working families first and save our NHS.
Labour's better plan will put working families first and save our NHS:
- Raising living standards by increasing the minimum wage to £8 an hour and 25 hours of free childcare for working parents of 3 and 4 year olds.
- Saving and transforming our NHS with a £2.5 billion a year Time to Care Fund which will pay for 20,000 more nurses, 8,000 more GPs and a guarantee of cancer tests in one week.
- Cutting business rates for 1.5 million small business properties and getting 200,000 new homes built a year.
- Balancing the books in a fair way by reversing the Tory tax cut for millionaires.
- A tax cut for 24 million working people through a lower 10p starting rate of tax.
- And guaranteeing an apprenticeship for every school leaver who gets the basic grades and cutting tuition fees to £6,000.
George Osborne spent an hour telling people they have never had it so good. But the truth is working people are £1,600 a year worse off after five years of...
I'm Cat Smith and these are my pledges to you, if you elect me as your MP:
- I will be a visible and accessible MP, with a full-time staffed office in the constituency, which our current Conservative MP has failed to deliver.
- I will vote to repeal the Tories' Health and Social Care Act which has privatised parts of our NHS, putting private profit before patient health.
- I will oppose unsafe and environmentally damaging fracking and ensure action to tackle catastrophic climate change is high on the government’s agenda.
- I will vote to cap gas and electricity bills until 2017 whilst a Labour government reforms the broken energy market.
- I will vote to scrap the unfair bedroom tax which hits some of the poorest in our community, in very many cases disabled people.
I'm Cat Smith and these are my pledges to you, if you elect me as your MP: I will be a visible and accessible MP, with a full-time staffed office...
Labour is today launching its better plan for rural Britain, we are setting out our policies to build a rural economy that works for working people and supports rural families and communities. The rural manifesto includes a pledge to put right the damage done by the Tories’ decision to abolish the Agricultural Wages Board, replacing it with a new taskforce to tackle low pay and protect conditions for agricultural workers.
Labour’s better plan for rural communities includes:
Tackling low-pay in agriculture by creating an industry-led taskforce on productivity and pay as well as boosting skills and apprenticeships.
Build more affordable homes by strengthening requirements on developers to build affordable housing in rural areas.
Bringing the off-grid energy sector under the remit of the regulator for the first time.
Standing up for farmers by creating a tough new supermarket watchdog by expanding the role and powers of the Groceries Code Adjudicator.
Cutting business rates for small businesses, which employ over two-thirds of the rural workforce.
Giving rural communities more power over their own bus services.
Ensuring that all parts of the country benefit from affordable, high-speed broadband by the end of the Parliament.
Devolving powers to our English county regions, giving communities the ability to shape the places they live.
By contrast, the Conservatives and Lib Dems have failed to get to grips with the challenges facing rural Britain:
Average wages are over £4500 lower a year than those in urban areas and the gap has grown by £1000 since 2010.
Developers have been allowed to end the provision of affordable housing on sites of fewer than 10 houses despite the majority of housing in rural areas being provided on small, private developer-led sites.
Rural businesses and households have seen the same soaring energy bills as the rest of the country, but have an added burden as many have no grid access, forcing them to use more expensive alternatives.
Farmers are increasingly seeing their income squeezed by powerful retailers and over 1500 dairy farmers have gone out of businesses in the last five years.
Annual transport costs are around £1000 higher in rural areas and less than half of those living in smaller rural settlements have access to a regular bus service.
Too many rural communities and businesses have been left behind without adequate broadband coverage.
Labour is today launching its better plan for rural Britain, we are setting out our policies to build a rural economy that works for working people and supports rural families...
- Help with your first home: Labour will reduce stamp duty to zero for first time buyers of homes worth up to £300,000 – a saving of as much as £5,000 for people seeking to get on the property ladder.
- First Call: Labour will give first time buyers that have lived in an area for more than three years “first call” on up to half of homes built in their area.
- Local First: Labour will stop foreign buyers buying up properties before local buyers get a look in by ensuring they are advertised in local areas, increasing taxes paid by foreign buyers and council tax for empty homes.
- Labour’s plan will start construction on 1 million new homes by 2020 to deliver our promise of getting 200,000 homes built a year, with “use or lose it” powers ensuring developers build on land rather than hoarding it via the right to levy council tax on sites which remains undeveloped, as well as plans for a series of new garden cities and wider reform of the housing market.
- Labour’s plan will build more affordable homes year-on-year by strengthening affordable housing obligations on developers which have been watered down by the Tories, prioritising capital investment and allowing Labour’s £5 billion Future Homes Fund to invest in housing associations developing affordable homes.
- Labour will bring in secure three-year tenancies for those who want them and cap rents so they cannot rise by more than the rate of inflation during this period. We will also ban letting agent fees - saving the average household £625 over the next parliament – and introduce a national register of landlords so that a minority of rogue owners can be identified, with tax relief restricted for those who do not meet basic standards.
Ed Miliband is unveiling Labour’s plan to put first time buyers first by reducing stamp duty to zero and giving them priority access on new homes built. This...
David Cameron has presided over the greatest loss of British influence in a generation with a foreign policy characterised by inward-looking, small-minded isolationism which too often has put short-term party political interests ahead of the national interest.
Ed Miliband has today set out how the foreign policy of the next Labour government will mark a different approach, because we are stronger as a country when we look boldly, confidently outward to the world, not turning in on ourselves or acting on our own.
Our approach will be a genuine and hard-headed multilateralism with our values at its core. That’s how Britain can succeed.
We will apply these principles to foreign policy by:
- Restoring our commitment to international institutions including the UN, NATO, the Commonwealth and the EU. This will start with the European Union – leading once again in Europe and using that strength to reform Europe. And our commitment to NATO means that we reject the extreme spending cuts that the Conservative Party propose as they would be truly catastrophic for the future of our armed forces.
- Learning lessons from the past including the 2003 Iraq War in how we use military intervention to respond to international problems which threaten security at home and abroad. As we are witnessing in Libya, one of these lessons is that any strategy for intervention must include a comprehensive transition and post conflict strategy.
- Putting reducing inequality, tackling climate change and promoting human rights at the core of Labour’s foreign policy. Labour will proudly lead the world in maintaining our commitment to giving 0.7% of GNI towards international development and on climate change set ambitious emissions targets for all countries, reviewed every five years, based on a scientific assessment of the progress towards the 2C goal.
David Cameron has presided over the greatest loss of British influence in a generation with a foreign policy characterised by inward-looking, small-minded isolationism which too often has put short-term party...
Labour has pledged to:
- Toughen up the law on disability hate crime
- Reform the Work Capability Assessment and introduce a specialist Work Support programme to provide tailored support to help disabled people get back into work
- Abolish the Bedroom Tax, which has hit an estimated 45,385 disabled people in the North West
- Give teachers better training on working with children with disabilities or special educational needs
- Give mental health the same priority as physical health on the NHS, giving people the same rights to psychological therapies as they have to drugs and medical treatment
- Invite disabled people to sit on a governmental committee that develops disability policy
Labour has published ONS figures which show the key role disabled people will play in deciding the outcome of the 2015 General Election. In Lancaster and Fleetwood, there are more disabled people, 16,519, than the majority at the 2010 General Election, 333.
Too many disabled people feel let down by the Tories, left behind by the recovery and left out of public life. The Tories’ have failed to support disabled people back into work, their Work Capability Assessment has caused stress and anxiety, and their Bedroom Tax has pushed disabled people into debt. Meanwhile disability hate-crime is on the increase.
Labour has a better plan for disabled people. We have listened to disabled people and this manifesto outlines our commitment to their full inclusion and participation in all aspects of our society. We will scrap the Bedroom Tax, making hundreds of thousands of disabled people better off. We will reform the Work Capability Assessment and give disabled people the right support to get back into work. And we will give disabled people a greater voice in public life, and a greater role in shaping the policies that affect them.
Labour has pledged to: Toughen up the law on disability hate crime Reform the Work Capability Assessment and introduce a specialist Work Support programme to provide tailored support to help...
- The Tories' extreme spending plans, doubling the pace of cuts next year, will put the NHS at risk.
- Despite their promises, they cannot say where a penny of extra spending will come from.
- Over 20 million people waiting a week or more for a GP appointment
- Over two million a year waiting over four hours in A&E
Today Labour is launching our NHS campaign week, warning that the NHS is on life support and that the Tories' double deceit means they will pull the plug on the...
Labour’s Manifesto starts from the idea that Britain only succeeds when working people succeed. It shows how, by securing the nation’s finances, we are able to improve the family finances of the working people of Britain.
Today’s Manifesto is different to manifestos that Labour has published in the past. Instead of a list of new spending commitments, the very first page of this Manifesto sets out our plan to secure the nation’s finances – with a Budget Responsibility Lock guaranteeing that every manifesto policy is paid for without a single penny of extra borrowing.
Where policies do cost money we have set out how they are paid for. For example:
- A £2.5 billion NHS Time to Care fund, from a mansion tax on properties over £2m, a levy on tobacco firms and closing a hedge fund tax avoidance loophole.
- 25 hours of childcare for working parents of 3 and 4 year olds, paid for by increasing the banking levy by £800 million.
- Cap class sizes for 5, 6, & 7 year olds, from ending the Free Schools programme.
- Cut business rates for small business properties, from not going ahead with another cut to Corporation Tax.
People want change, a better future, but they want to know we can make progress while securing the nation’s finances. This Manifesto answers that question with a plan for big reform, not big spending.
And that responsible approach contrasts with an increasingly desperate Conservative campaign that is making promises it has no idea how to pay for. There is nothing more dangerous for the NHS than saying you’ll protect it with no idea where the money is coming from. It is an approach that leads to broken promises, with working people paying the price in higher taxes and public services undermined.
So this Manifesto and this election campaign show that Labour is not only the party of change, but the party of responsibility too.
It is more ambitious because it starts from a clear commitment to balance the books but does not stop there. On the foundation of a plan to secure the nation’s finances it shows how we improve the family finances of the working people of Britain by:
- Rewarding hard work – by raising the minimum wage, banning exploitative zero hour contracts, freezing energy bills and backing small businesses
- Sharing prosperity – by guaranteeing apprenticeships, cutting tuition fees, getting homes built, and devolving powers to every part of Britain.
- Building a better Britain – ensuring the NHS has time to care, opening up our politics, and being a confident outward looking nation once again.
Labour's Manifesto - Securing the nation’s finances so we can improve the finances of working families
Labour’s Manifesto starts from the idea that Britain only succeeds when working people succeed. It shows how, by securing the nation’s finances, we are able to improve the family finances...
Labour is today setting out our plans to protect neighbourhood policing. We are identifying savings which will enable police forces to safeguard over 10,000 police officers over the next three years and legislating to introduce a new Local Policing Commitment, which makes sure police forces guarantee neighbourhood policing in every area. The announcement comes as Labour launches our Crime and Justice Manifesto today.
To safeguard over 10,000 police officers, Labour will make £800 million worth of efficiency savings including scrapping expensive police and crime commissioners; ending the police subsidy of gun licenses; and mandating joint procurement and sharing support services. The Tories have ruled out all of these savings and only have a plan to cut more police.
Alongside the commitment to protect over 10,000 police officers from the cuts, Labour’s Crime and Justice Manifesto sets out plans to:
- Put victims at the heart of the criminal justice system – by introducing the country’s first ever Victims’ Law.
- Prevent crime before it occurs
- Tackle child sexual exploitation and violence against women and girls
- Build a justice system fit for the 21st Century
- Tackle extremism and the threat of terrorism
Because of the Conservatives’ decisions, neighbourhood policing – the foundation of good British policing – is at risk of disappearing, whilst increasing numbers of serious criminals are being let off the hook.
Labour has a better plan. We will make different choices, finding savings to safeguard 10,000 officers in the next three years. We will ensure victims are at the heart of the criminal justice system with the country’s first ever Victims’ Law. And we will ensure the police have the powers they need to keep us safe, including proper controls for dangerous terror suspects.
Labour is today setting out our plans to protect neighbourhood policing. We are identifying savings which will enable police forces to safeguard over 10,000 police officers over the next three...
Labour is today setting out our plans to guarantee face-to-face, 21st century careers advice for all young people, covering traditional academic routes into university and vocational options and apprenticeships. The announcement comes as Labour launches our education manifesto today.
For Britain to succeed in the 21st century, we need an education system that delivers high standards and opportunities for all children and young people. But to successfully plot a route through education and into a tough labour market young people don’t just need good qualifications - they also need the skills, information and guidance to make the right choices.
So Labour will give young people:
- Face-to-face, 21st century advice and guidance through new careers advisers for secondary schools and colleges, in contrast to this Government’s offer of a telephone line and a website.
- Integrated advice on universities, jobs and vocational education. Labour will ensure young people get advice on all the options open to them, including academic and vocational qualifications and apprenticeships, through careers advisers trained to give guidance on all routes.
- Independent advice, in the best interests of young people not schools. Young people will be guided on the best choices for them, and schools will be held to account for the advice they offer.
- Work experience and employer engagement: Good careers advice should include interaction with the world of work. So we will reverse the Government’s decision to scrap compulsory work experience for 14-16 year olds.
The Tories have let down young people, undermining careers advice and side-lining vocational education and skills.
Labour is today setting out our plans to guarantee face-to-face, 21st century careers advice for all young people, covering traditional academic routes into university and vocational options and apprenticeships. The...
Labour is today setting out our plans to abolish the non-dom rules so that everyone who makes the UK their home pays UK tax. Britain will only succeed when working people succeed. That means everyone playing by the same rules. But the non-dom tax rules allow those at the top to pay less tax through a special set of loopholes not available to most people. That's not fair - it means working people have to pay more.
The non-dom rules are unfair.
- The vast majority of working people have to pay tax on all of their income and gains, wherever it comes from. Wealthy non-doms can live in the UK for many years, but avoid paying UK tax on income made abroad.
The non-dom rules are ridiculous.
- The rules are not only used by foreigners, but by people who by any normal standards are British, so that they can pay less tax.
- People born here, brought up here and living here can claim non-dom status if their father was born abroad.
- People born and brought up here, who live abroad for a while and then move back to the UK, can claim non-dom status if they say they plan to move abroad again in future, and do simple things like buy an overseas burial plot or subscribe to foreign newspapers.
The non-dom rules are abused.
- The rules are supposed to allow non-doms not to pay tax on income from abroad. But they are also being used to avoid tax on UK income and property.
- Non-doms can use offshore trusts to buy expensive UK homes and avoid inheritance tax.
Labour will abolish non-dom tax status. Labour will abolish the non-dom rules and replace them with a system where everyone who makes the UK their home pays full UK tax, and only those who are genuinely temporarily resident in the UK - like students, or people who spend a short time here on business - can be taxed on just their UK income.
By closing down these loopholes Labour will raise hundreds of millions of pounds in additional tax revenue, which will be used for reducing the deficit. And we will send a clear message that everyone, however wealthy they are, should play by the same rules.
Labour is today setting out our plans to abolish the non-dom rules so that everyone who makes the UK their home pays UK tax. Britain will only succeed when working...
Some 600 fewer GP surgeries across England are open in the evening and at weekends compared to the time of the last election, new figures today show. At the...