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...
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 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...
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.
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,...
The Tory-led government has failed to protect older people and prevent them from being ripped off. Pensioners’ living standards have been hit hard by the Tories’ refusal to act against rip-off energy bills and pension charges, while social care funding has been slashed.
Typical energy bills have risen by £300 a year since David Cameron became Prime Minister and nearly one in ten older households now face fuel poverty. Delayed action to cut pension fees has left savers worse off while cuts to elderly care, making it harder for older people to get the care they need at home, have resulted in more people going to A&E.
Older people are tired of being let down by the Tories. That’s why I’m backing Labour’s better plan for pensioners and older people.
Labour will protect the ‘triple lock’ that ensures pensioners’ incomes keep pace with the cost of living. And while we have taken the tough decision to restrict Winter Fuel Allowance from the richest five per cent of pensioners to help pay down the deficit, we will guarantee that there will be no further changes to the Winter Fuel Allowance or to universal free TV licenses or bus passes for pensioners.
We will help pensioners struggling with energy bills by freezing gas and electricity prices until 2017. We’ll also offer free efficiency improvements to at least 200,000 households at risk of fuel poverty.
And we will improve social care to keep people safe and healthy at home, driving out the culture of 15 minute care slots by bringing in 5,000 new homecare workers. Labour will invest in our NHS with more doctors and nurses so they have time to care for you and your family.
Older people can’t afford five more years under the Tories. Labour has a better plan to protect older people’s living standards and the NHS that they and their families rely on.
The Tory-led government has failed to protect older people and prevent them from being ripped off. Pensioners’ living standards have been hit hard by the Tories’ refusal to act against...
I’m proud that Ed Miliband has this week committed the next Labour government to offering posthumous pardons to gay men convicted under historic anti-homosexuality laws.
Anyone who has seen the Oscar-nominated film The Imitation Game will know about the incredible selflessness, dedication and patriotism displayed by the central character Alan Turing, played by Benedict Cumberbatch.
It was thanks to Turing and his work at Bletchley Park that Britain was able to crack the German enigma machine which helped to win the war.
What viewers will also know is that Turing was shamed, prosecuted and horrifically punished for being homosexual. Homosexuality was illegal until it was decriminalised in England in 1967 and Turing was convicted for “gross indecency” in 1952, after which he was chemically castrated. Two years later he committed suicide.
The last Labour government recognised this deep injustice and Gordon Brown apologised to Turing’s family in 2009. Now Ed Miliband has announced that the next Labour government will go further and offer posthumous pardons to other gay men convicted under historic anti-homosexuality laws.
The legislation, known as Turing’s Law, would allow the men’s family and friends to apply to the Home Office to have their convictions for participating in consensual same-sex relationships quashed.
This is an important change for the men’s family and friends as it allows them to pursue the justice that eluded their loved ones when they were alive. And it’s part of our collective effort to come to terms with this aspect of our national history.
But this change isn’t just about the past; it’s also about the future and recognising that the fight for true equality goes on. That’s why we must speak out against homophobic and transphobic bullying. And we must continue to speak out for those across the world without a voice who are facing persecution and prejudice because of their gender or sexuality.
Labour is determined to lead the fight for equality and honouring those who were persecuted for their sexuality is one step on that path.
I’m proud that Ed Miliband has this week committed the next Labour government to offering posthumous pardons to gay men convicted under historic anti-homosexuality laws. Anyone who has seen the...
“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.”
“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...