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 not a zero-hours contract. The new legal right will kick in after 12 weeks - earlier than previously expected because of evidence that the problem has grown.
- 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.
Ed Miliband is also making a personal commitment that legislation to ban exploitative zero-hours contracts will be in Labour's first Queen's Speech, putting an end to a symbol of the insecure economy that means the recovery hasn't reached the homes of working families across Britain.
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 under the Tories. Our first Budget will cut business rates for 1.5 million small business properties and then freeze them the following year.
This is part of Labour’s Better Plan for Small Businesses, which includes action to tackle late payment, reducing unnecessary regulation and establishing a British Investment Bank to boost lending to small firms.
Labour will lower the tax burden on small businesses with a cut in business rates – worth an average of £400 – rather than going ahead with another cut in corporation tax for large firms.
This will benefit 17 small business properties for every one business helped by the Tory plan for a further cut in corporation tax. And we will look to go even further as we prioritise small businesses for future tax cuts.
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...
I’ve been out on the doorsteps of Fleetwood week in, week out, over the past couple of years, speaking with thousands of residents about what our community needs. There is much that needs to be done, but these are some of my biggest priorities, based on what you’ve been telling me.
Investment, decent jobs and growth
Our town is crying out for jobs. I will work relentlessly to attract businesses and investment – not just seeing through the Fish Park, but working to bring in other industries and develop our home-grown talent.
Labour will increase the Minimum Wage to £8 an hour and incentivise employers to pay the Living Wage. We will ban the use of exploitative zero hours contracts.
Infrastructure for our future
We need road and rail links that open up our town for business. I support reopening the railway and the tidal barrage proposal which would bring jobs, a potential transport link and create green energy. I oppose unsafe fracking and gas storage – developments which put jobs in other areas – from tourism to farming – at risk.
We need homes that local people can afford, whether renting or buying. A Labour government will immediately scrap the cruel Bedroom Tax which hits hundreds of Fleetwood’s poorest, including many disabled people.
Protecting our NHS
A Labour government will invest an extra £2.5 billion in the NHS for 20,000 more nurses and 8,000 more family doctors. We will guarantee a GP appointment within 48 hours and cancer test results within two weeks.
Not letting Fleetwood get forgotten
As with the removal of free tram travel, it often seems that the needs of Fleetwood get ignored. Whether it’s Wyre’s Tories looking after Poulton, or regional schemes which only look to Blackpool, Fleetwood needs someone standing up and demanding a fair deal. As a first step, I will campaign for the reintroduction of free tram travel for all Fleetwood people eligible for the NoW card.
I’ve been out on the doorsteps of Fleetwood week in, week out, over the past couple of years, speaking with thousands of residents about what our community needs. There is...
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.
Find out more on my website at catsmith.co.uk
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 has a better plan to help families, by dealing with the Tories’ cost-of-living crisis, providing more doctors and nurses, and delivering 50,000 new childcare places.
Cat Smith, Labour's candidate for Lancaster and Fleetwood, said that since 2010 working people were £1,600 a year worse off and families were struggling to meet the challenge of managing work and childcare.
“Under the Tories, the cost of childcare has risen by 36 per cent – more than six times faster than wages,”
Cat Smith said,
“Since 2010, 720 Sure Start children’s centres have also been lost, and there are more than 40,000 fewer childcare places across the country.
“Labour has a better plan for a better future.
“We will help families with childcare by creating 50,000 new childcare places, expanding free childcare to 25 hours a week for working parents with 3 and 4-year-olds, and guaranteeing wraparound childcare from 8am to 6pm through every primary school.
“And we’ll double paid paternity leave from two weeks to four weeks, and increase paternity pay by more than £100 a week to at least £260 a week.”
“We’ll also take pressure off families facing the cost of living crisis by increasing the minimum wage to £8 an hour and freezing energy bills until 2017.
“Labour will also invest in an NHS with the time to care, with 20,000 more nurses and 8,000 more doctors so everyone can get the care they need, when they need it, and guarantee a GP appointment within 48 hours, or on the same day for those who need it.
“Only Labour will build a better, fairer Britain.”
Labour has a better plan to help families, by dealing with the Tories’ cost-of-living crisis, providing more doctors and nurses, and delivering 50,000 new childcare places.Cat Smith, Labour's candidate for...
Labour wants the next generation to be the first smoke-free. I welcome this week’s vote in favour of standardised packaging of tobacco. It is a fantastic victory for children’s health and experts say it will make children less likely to take up smoking, and so will ultimately save lives.
This measure is endorsed by health experts and has the overwhelming support of the public and Parliament. It’s a shame that it has taken years of delays, prevarication and squabbling amongst Tory MPs for us to reach this point.
David Cameron has been reluctant to stand up to big tobacco firms and their lobbyists, and has failed to show leadership on this issue. In the time that has passed since Parliament voted overwhelmingly in favour of this over a year ago, experts say over 200,000 children would have taken up smoking.
One child taking up smoking is one too many.
Labour wants the next generation to be the first that is smoke-free. The Government must now press ahead without delay to ensure that glitzy packaging for cigarettes becomes a thing of the past.
Labour wants the next generation to be the first smoke-free. I welcome this week’s vote in favour of standardised packaging of tobacco. It is a fantastic victory for children’s health...