Lancaster Labour Party

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Cat Smith, candidate for Lancaster and Fleetwood has backed Labour’s plans to recruit 20,000 more nurses by 2020, including 3,200 in the North West.

Under this government, nurse numbers have failed to keep pace with demand while more than half of nurses say their ward is dangerously understaffed.

Unlike the Tories, Labour will protect the NHS and ensure we have a health service ready to meet future challenges.

That’s why the next Labour government will provide these much-needed extra nurses. They will help ensure safe staffing in hospitals and provide personalised care outside hospitals – helping us to transform services so the NHS can meet the care needs of the 21st century.

These extra nurses will be funded through the Time to Care Fund – raised from a mansion tax on properties over £2m, cracking down on tax avoidance and a new levy on tobacco firms

Cat Smith said: “Our health service is in crisis under the Tories. The NHS as we know it cannot survive another five years of David Cameron.

“If we want a world-class NHS then we need enough nurses with the time to care for patients. That’s why I’m proud that the next Labour government will bring in the Time to Care fund which will see the North West benefit from 3,200 more nurses.

“The truth is that only Labour can save the NHS from the Tories. Our plan is a blueprint to raise standards of care and ensure our health service is sustainable in the 21st century.”

Andy Burnham, Shadow Health Secretary, said: “David Cameron has brought the NHS to the brink. There are too few staff on our wards, the bill for agency nurses is out of control and hospitals are forced to travel overseas to recruit nurses because of Cameron’s cuts to nurse training places.

“This cannot carry on. Labour will recruit more nurses in every region of England including 3,200 in the North West. We want this new generation of nurses to be home-grown and will offer young people a new ladder into the NHS.

“This will help build an NHS with time to care, that starts in people’s homes, ends the scandal of 15-minute visits and helps keep people out of hospital.”

Cat backs Labour’s plans for 20,000 extra nurses

Cat Smith, candidate for Lancaster and Fleetwood has backed Labour’s plans to recruit 20,000 more nurses by 2020, including 3,200 in the North West. Under this government, nurse numbers have...

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Most people have lost out under this government — but women have lost out the most. It will never be that way with Ed Miliband as Prime Minister.

If we win, here are just some of the things a Labour government will do to support women:

  • We will force large companies to be transparent about their pay gap. It's a scandal that women are still paid less than men in 2015.
  • We will guarantee 25 hours of free childcare for all three to four year olds, helping mums stay in work if they want to.
  • We're also committed to introducing a Violence Against Women and Girls Bill. Amongst other things, it will ban the police using "community resolutions" for domestic and sexual violence, as far too often these result in just a slap on the wrist for the perpetrator.
  • More than half our candidates in winnable seats are women and, if we're elected, our Cabinet will include the post of Women and Equalities Minister.

International Women's Day

Most people have lost out under this government — but women have lost out the most. It will never be that way with Ed Miliband as Prime Minister.If we win,...

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“I hope that today’s report from Dr Bill Kirkup into maternity services at Morecambe Bay NHS Foundation Trust can not only help bring some closure to the families who lost loved ones, but also ensure that mistakes like this are not made again.

“The profound failings, both in terms of the substandard care provided and the role of regulators, are shocking and inexcusable. I hope to see the recommendations laid out by Dr Kirkup taken up by government, regardless of its colour.

“Having myself been one of the first babies born in the maternity unit at Furness General Hospital and having just welcomed my baby nephew born there last week, our local hospitals are rightly regarded as being at the heart of our communities. Implementing Dr Kirkup's proposals will be essential to restoring confidence in their ability to provide safe care for mothers and babies in the years to come.”

Cat Smith's statement on Kirkup Report

“I hope that today’s report from Dr Bill Kirkup into maternity services at Morecambe Bay NHS Foundation Trust can not only help bring some closure to the families who lost...

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Cat Smith, Labour’s candidate for Parliament in Lancaster and Fleetwood has today pledged to support local pubs and breweries. As a member of CAMRA, the Campaign for Real Ale, and a fan of real ales she has signed up to three pledges highlighted in the Manifesto for Pubs and Real Ale. This which sets out a package of reforms CAMRA are seeking from the next Government. These pledges are to:

  • Support well-run community pubs
  • Promote Britain's breweries
  • Represent pub goers and beer drinkers.

Cat Smith said:
“I am proud to be speaking up for pubs and real ale. Well-run community pubs play a crucial role in local life and make a huge contribution to the local economy – with each injecting around £80,000 to the local area every year. If elected, I will continue to show my support in Parliament.”

Tim Page, CAMRA’s Chief Executive welcomed Cat’s support, saying:
“We are delighted that Cat Smith has pledged their support for pubs, breweries and consumers. As, on average, 31 pubs close each week it is absolutely vital that our elected representatives recognise and champion the value of these important community assets, and work to protect them.

“CAMRA is urging the next Government to act to ensure that pubs are better protected in the planning system, that large pub companies treat their licensees fairly and that beer duty is set at a level which supports UK brewing.”

Cat Smith pledges support for local pubs and brewers

Cat Smith, Labour’s candidate for Parliament in Lancaster and Fleetwood has today pledged to support local pubs and breweries. As a member of CAMRA, the Campaign for Real Ale, and...

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Labour Parliamentary candidate Cat Smith has pledged her support to Fair Pay Fortnight and voiced her anger at the Government for presiding over a cost of living crisis in Lancaster and Fleetwood.

Fair Pay Fortnight runs from16 February to 1 March 2015 and aims to draw attention to low pay in the United Kingdom. Figures released by the Trade Union Congress this week show that nearly one in four jobs (24.9%) in the Lancaster and Fleetwood Parliamentary constituency pay less than the living wage. For part-time jobs the figure rises to more than one in three (36.8%).

The living wage is the hourly amount it is calculated an individual needs to earn to cover the basic costs of living. It currently stands at £7.85 an hour, £1.35 higher than the current minimum wage for those over 21 of £6.50.

Separate figures show that average annual full-time pay in the North West has fallen by £2,461 in real terms since 2010.

Speaking on the subject Cat Smith said “The extent of the cost of living crisis faced by working people in Lancaster and Fleetwood is deeply worrying. Wages have fallen dramatically in 2010 while the number of zero-hours contracts and other forms of insecure employment have increased. It is little wonder that the Trussell Trust have identified low-pay as one of the primary reasons for food-bank referrals.”

“By pursuing policies such as successive real terms cuts to the minimum wage and introducing fees for employment tribunals the responsibility for this unacceptable state of affairs lies squarely with this Government. We desperately need a change. Lancaster and Fleetwood needs a pay-rise. Labour is committed to increasing the minimum wage to £8 an hour, supporting living wage employers and ending exploitative zero hours contracts. In May we have the opportunity elect a Government that will deliver achievements that we can celebrate during Fair Pay Fortnight next year.”

Cat Backs Fair Pay Fortnight

Labour Parliamentary candidate Cat Smith has pledged her support to Fair Pay Fortnight and voiced her anger at the Government for presiding over a cost of living crisis in Lancaster...

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Cat Smith has pledged to fight the unfair Bedroom Tax affecting hundreds of families in Lancaster and Fleetwood.
She said:

“The Bedroom Tax will cost people £3,700 in Lancaster and Fleetwood if the Tories win again. At the moment, 443 people are paying, but at least many more will be caught if the Tories win again. Labour has pledged to abolish the Bedroom Tax and only a Labour government will do this.

Helen Goodman MP, Shadow Minister for Welfare Reform, said:

“The government has imposed the Bedroom Tax on families who are already hard pressed to make ends meet. There aren’t enough smaller properties for people to move so even the government’s own studies show that people are having to cut back on household essentials to pay it. Only a Labour government will abolish the Bedroom Tax.”

Cat Smith fights the Bedroom Tax

Cat Smith has pledged to fight the unfair Bedroom Tax affecting hundreds of families in Lancaster and Fleetwood.She said: “The Bedroom Tax will cost people £3,700 in Lancaster and Fleetwood...

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We are now just four months away from the most significant general election in a generation.

On May 7 people in Lancaster and Fleetwood and across the country will have the opportunity to make a choice, and it could be one of the most important choices they make.

It will be a choice between a positive Labour vison that puts working people first, deals with the deficit and protects our NHS or a Tory plan where only a few at the top succeed and public services are threatened.

Fundamentally, it comes down to who we want our country to work for – everyday working people and their families or a privileged few at the top.

The Tory experiment has failed and their record - on living standards, prospects for our children, protecting our public services and dealing with our nation’s debts - is one to run from, not run on.

Those backing the Tories have deep pockets and more than enough to pay for the expensive billboard posters that will be seen across the country, but I’m confident that our values will mean more to people than overpriced adverts.

I’ve spent the last years speaking to people in Lancaster and Fleetwood about what they want for our area and for our country because their decision could make a real difference to our community and the people living here. Now, over the next four months I’m going to renew my efforts as I hope to speak to as many local people as possible about Labour’s plans.

These plans include balancing the books as soon as possible, rewarding hard work through an £8 minimum wage and an end to exploitive zero-hours contracts, providing more opportunities for young people, controlling immigration and protecting our NHS through a guaranteed GP appointment within 48 hours and a £2.5 billion Time to Care fund for thousands more health staff.

I’m passionate about these issues and making sure that local people know what Labour’s priorities are and what we stand for. But this is going to be a tough fight which is why I’m asking you to help.

If you’re interested in kicking out the Tories and making sure there is a Labour government in May 2015 then please contact the campaign team via ben_singleton@labour.org.uk or on 07872 417 252 and join me in fighting for victory on the streets and doorsteps of our area by speaking to local people about Labour’s offer of hope for the future.

Labour’s plan is not simply about creating a fairer society; it is about creating a more prosperous one too. In May everyone faces a choice between the Labour and conservative visons for the future – but only Labour will use the talents of all to ensure we can succeed together.

The general election campaign has begun and it is a battle to decide who our country works for

We are now just four months away from the most significant general election in a generation. On May 7 people in Lancaster and Fleetwood and across the country will have...

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Since 2010, the Government has allowed the train companies to hit passengers in Lancaster and Fleetwood with massive fare rises of over 20 per cent since 2010. The new fare rises came into effect on 2nd January 2015.

Now some season tickets in the North West have risen by 30% per cent since 2010, costing thousands of pounds more for commuters.

Locally, a season ticket from Lancaster to Manchester has gone up by 23%, from £2,648 to £3,264. And, a season ticket from Blackpool North to Manchester for people living in Fleetwood has gone up by 24%, from £2,592 to £3,204.

Cat Smith, the Labour candidate for Lancaster and Fleetwood will campaign for a better deal for passengers and taxpayers. This can be done by reforming the railways, simplifying the ticketing system and enforcing a strict cap on fares on every route. Labour will give passengers a voice in how the railways are run and stop passengers getting fleeced at ticket machines by making it a legal right for passengers to be sold the cheapest available ticket for their journey.

Commenting, Cat Smith said:

“David Cameron is presiding over a rip-off railway in Britain. He has failed to stand up for working people in Lancaster and Fleetwood struggling with the cost‐of‐living crisis and has allowed the train companies to hit passengers with massive fare rises of over 20 per cent since 2010.

“Some season tickets for passengers living in Lancaster and Fleetwood have now risen by over 23 per cent under this Government, forcing people to pay thousands of pounds more to commute to work on increasingly overcrowded trains.

“Out‐of‐touch Ministers talk about 'fair fares for comfortable commuting', but this is a world away from the reality for millions of hard‐up commuters living in Lancaster and Fleetwood.”

Season tickets for people living in Lancaster and Fleetwood up by as much as 24% per cent since 2010

Since 2010, the Government has allowed the train companies to hit passengers in Lancaster and Fleetwood with massive fare rises of over 20 per cent since 2010. The new fare...

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David Cameron and George Osborne have failed every test and broken every promise they’ve made on the economy.

They promised we’d be all in this together but then they gave millionaires a huge tax cut. They promised people would be better off but most people in Lancaster and Fleetwood are not feeling the recovery and working people are now £1,600 a year worse off under the Tories.

And this cost-of-living crisis is why the Chancellor had to admit that his key promise – to balance the nation’s books by next year – now lies in tatters.

Because wages aren’t rising and too many are stuck in low-paid jobs, the tax revenues we need to get the deficit down aren’t coming in.

Unlike Labour, the Tories don’t understand the fundamental link between the living standards of everyday working people in Lancaster and Fleetwood, and Britain’s ability to deal with the deficit. George Osborne has now borrowed a staggering £219 billion more than he planned and the economy is set to slow down next year after forecasts for wages have been revised down again.

Yet the Chancellor still tries to claim that the economy is fixed and his plan is working. How out of touch can you get? What we needed yesterday was the better and fairer plan Labour has set out.

Labour’s plan will raise the minimum wage, expand free childcare for working parents, scrap the bedroom tax and cut business rates for small firms. We will balance the books in a fairer way, starting by reversing the Tories’ £3 billion a year tax cut for the top one per cent of earners.

Changing stamp duty to help people on middle and low incomes is welcome, but we also need to get more homes built and we need a Mansion tax to help save and transform our NHS. With an extra £2.5 billion a year on top of Tory spending plans we can get the extra 20,000 nurses and 8,000 GPs we need to help transform our NHS and save it from the Tories.

The Tories promised to eliminate the deficit by 2015 but with less money coming in because of their wrong economic decisions, they’ve broken their promise, failed their own economic test and its hardworking people who are paying the price. It’s time for an economic recovery for the many, not just a few.

The Tories’ economic record is one of repeated broken promises

David Cameron and George Osborne have failed every test and broken every promise they’ve made on the economy. They promised we’d be all in this together but then they gave...

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In the week of Equal Pay Day new figures reveal women in the North West earn £2.11 less per hour than men.

In the North West women are earning £2.11 less than men an hour new analysis reveals.

Equal Pay Day – the day women effectively start working for free because they are still paid less than men falls on 4 November this year, 3 days earlier than in 2013 because of the rising pay gap.

Labour have pledged to take action to deliver equal pay by requiring companies with more than 250 workers will to publish their hourly pay gap in their annual report. For the first time employees will be able to see if discrimination exists and whether all the top jobs are still dominated by men.

Cat Smith, Labour's candidate for Lancaster and Fleetwood said: “Equal pay is long overdue. Under David Cameron and Nick Clegg the pay gap is back on the rise after years of progress, as families are struggling with rising prices. A Labour Government will take action by asking employers to publish their pay gap be.”

Equal Pay Now

In the week of Equal Pay Day new figures reveal women in the North West earn £2.11 less per hour than men. In the North West women are earning £2.11...

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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 will ban exploitative zero-hours contracts

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...

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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.

Labour will prioritise tax cuts for small firms

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...

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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.

A Better Plan for Business

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.

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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.

Housing fairness

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.

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Cat's plan for Fleetwood

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...

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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 NHS has gone backwards under the Tories

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...

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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.

Labour will not raise VAT. The Tories will.

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...

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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.

Cat's response to today's budget

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...

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Cat SmithI'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

Cat Smith's pledges to Lancaster and Fleetwood

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...

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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 delivers for families

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...

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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.

The next generation smoke-free

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...

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