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Damning cross-party report exposes Osborne’s claim to have halved the EU budget surcharge to be totally untrue
Chris Leslie MP, Labour’s Shadow Chief Secretary to the Treasury, responding to the Treasury select committee’s report on the UK’s EU Budget contribution, said:
“This damning cross-party report exposes George Osborne’s claim to have halved the EU budget surcharge to be totally untrue. He must now apologise to taxpayers for making this completely false claim.
“Too many times this Chancellor has desperately tried to use smoke and mirrors to fool the British people. He has been caught out again and his credibility is further undermined. People will now treat the false claims he makes in the coming weeks with the contempt they deserve.”
Posted on February 27, 2015 8:21 am by Paul Gleeson
Ed Miliband has written to David Cameron and Nick Clegg regarding Labour’s Opposition Day Motion, which will bar MPs from holding paid directorships and consultancies.
Dear Prime Minister and Deputy Prime Minister,
Following the exchanges at PMQs today you will both be pleased to know Leyton and Wanstead MP John Cryer is moving a manuscript amendment to our Opposition Day Motion today to bar MPs from holding paid directorships or consultancies.
It will, as you requested, make clear this bar includes preventing serving MPs from being paid trade union officials.
We are advised that, if you would agree not to move the Government’s amendment, Mr Cryer’s amendment could be selected and voted upon this evening.
With your support we will tonight be able to take an important step forward to rebuild trust in politics by making sure MPs work for the people who elect them.
I look forward to responses from you both.
Rt Hon Ed Miliband MP
Posted on February 26, 2015 8:15 am by Paul Gleeson
Boston Labour Councillors are posing a big question. Should the law be changed so we can give council tax discounts to ‘community heroes’ who give their time voluntarily to improve life in our area doing things like picking litter, voluntary gardening projects, running voluntary groups, helping at food banks, volunteering in local communities and churches. We believe that those who tirelessly commit to running voluntary youth clubs or give their time to regularly help the older people should be among those who would benefit.
The Local Government Association (LGA), which represents councils in England and Wales, is calling on all national political parties to include a pledge in their 2015 General Election manifestos to fund the setting up of a new volunteering scheme to support voluntary work across the country. It comes alongside local government’s long-standing call for Government to fully fund council tax support to protect discounts for those on low incomes. The scheme would provide money for local authorities to introduce a “community contribution discount”, recognising the important contribution made by volunteers. Discounts would be set locally to take into account the needs of a particular area.
It would be targeted at those who demonstrate a sustained commitment to improving life in their local areas in a way which saves other council taxpayers’ money. For example, elderly members of society could have their quality of life significantly improved by volunteers providing regular company. This could help people live happily and independently in their own home long into their elder years, giving them a better alternative to costly residential care.
Boston Labour Councillors said: “Society too often undervalues the contribution made by those who give up their spare time to help a local charity, a local youth club or provide a meal and a friendly face to an elderly neighbour. The efforts of these community heroes do not just improve the lives of those they directly support. In these times of austerity, they have taken the strain off stretched services and lightened the load on local taxpayers. We need to do more to recognise and encourage people who give up their spare time for the good of their community. We could also consider free or discounted parking to volunteers who work for local charities by giving their time for free to that organisation and the community.
Posted on February 25, 2015 8:06 am by Paul Gleeson
The NHS faces its most perilous moment at the General Election which is now less than 100 days away. The choice will be between a Labour government determined to protect our NHS or a Conservative Government that has presided over a devastating Tory NHS crisis.
Paul Kenny, Labour Parliamentary Candidate for Boston & Skegness knows from speaking to local residents that people here in Boston and Skegness are worried about their local health service. The Tories have presided over an NHS crisis which has its roots in the Government’s cuts to adult social care, the abolition of NHS Direct, the closure of almost one in four walk-in centres and its disastrous decision to throw the NHS into the chaos of reorganisation.
Labour will build an NHS with the time to care through 20,000 more nurses and 8,000 more GPs. We’ll also guarantee GP appointments within 48 hours and cancer tests within one week.
All of this will be paid for through fairer taxes on properties worth over £2 million, on hedge funds, and on tobacco companies. None of our manifesto commitments, including on the NHS, require any extra borrowing.
The Time to Care fund will be used to train and hire thousands of NHS staff and deal with the Tory NHS crisis. But more work is needed if we are to transform our health service so it can meet the challenges of the 21st century.
Labour’s 10-year plan for the NHS, which was launched this week, will see services integrated from home to hospital to help end 15-minute adult social care slots. We’ll also back 5,000 new homecare workers to help those with the greatest needs, end the neglect of mental health and restore the right values to the NHS.
Our health service is in crisis under the Tories and the NHS as we know it cannot survive another five years of the current Prime Minister. This is especially true under his plans to shrink the size of the state to levels not seen since the 1930s, before there was a National Health Service.
The truth is that only Labour can save the NHS. Our plan is a blueprint to raise standards of care and ensure our health service is sustainable in the 21st century, and is part of our wider plan to put hardworking families first, tackle the cost-of-living crisis, and earn our way to higher living standards for all.
He is also very concerned about recruitment and retention of staff and especially at the Pilgrim Hospital. He is also concerned that we need to recruit more GPs and health staff. We need a plan to attract doctors, nurses, GPs and health workers to Boston & Skegness. He doesn’t want to see our services downgraded as there aren’t enough staff to run them.
So Vote Labour on 7th May 2015
Promoted and published by Boston Labour Party on behalf of Paul Kenny, all at 17 Bradford Rd, Boston. PE21 8BJ
Posted on February 23, 2015 8:11 am by Paul Gleeson
Ed Miliband MP, Leader of the Labour Party, writing to David Cameron today said:
Dear Prime Minister,
Great businesses across Britain need certainty to plan ahead, knowing that the markets on which they depend will still be open to them in the years ahead and that the inward investment that drives growth will continue to flow.
But your government is causing a great deal of uncertainty.
More than two years have passed since you promised to set out in detail your plan to renegotiate Britain’s relationship with Europe.
But you have still not given any more than the broadest of hints what reforms you want, how you expect to achieve them, or what people would be voting on in a referendum for which for you have set an arbitrary deadline of 2017.
You will not even state whether you would still be advocating the UK remaining in Europe.
I am writing today to urge you to make good on your commitment to set out in detail a reform agenda for the EU and a strategy for building the alliances needed to deliver it.
You should not expect to get through the coming election without letting businesses and voters know the details of a plan which risks jobs, exports, and inward investment.
You should not go through this election campaign without saying which side you would be on in a referendum.
Labour has set out a set of ambitious and achievable reforms to make Europe work better for Britain.
We would not allow any more transfer of power from Britain to Brussels without the explicit consent of the British people in an in/out referendum.
But I am not going to tie a Labour government into an arbitrary timetable for an all-consuming debate about Britain exiting the EU, which would create huge instability for British businesses and be against our national interest.
I look forward to you setting out your reply.
Posted on February 20, 2015 8:47 am by Paul Gleeson
Andy Burnham MP, Labour’s Shadow Health Secretary, responding to new cancer performance data from NHS England showing the cancer treatment target missed for a full year, said:
“These figures show that you can’t trust David Cameron with the NHS.
“In the last year, thousands of cancer patients have waited too long for treatment to start and, in some cases, their chances of survival have been harmed.
“David Cameron cut the cancer budget by £800 million in real terms and, despite all the warnings, he persisted with an NHS reorganisation that disrupted cancer services. The deterioration in cancer care is a direct consequence of Government policies and the clearest proof the Tories can’t be trusted with the NHS.
“Ministers have left families facing anxious waits for cancer tests and treatment and their complacency is dangerous. We have repeatedly called on the Government to produce a plan to turn things around but we are still waiting.
“When it comes to cancer, speed is everything. Labour is committed to cancer tests and results within one week to help end this scandal.”
Posted on February 19, 2015 8:26 am by Paul Gleeson
Boston Labour Councillors have watched with interest the experimental running of Hinchingbrooke Hospital by Circle health. Sadly the people of Cambridgeshire and the former NHS staff are now in the position where this hospital has no vision for the future, and has received some poor performance audits from the Care Quality Commission (CQC).
We would urge that if any decisions are to be made about the running of the Pilgrim Hospital, this gives a clear message to the people of Boston and all of its NHS staff to reject any takeover bids by any private health providers who wish to run our hospitals.
The question we have to ask is – are any of the Conservative MPs, who have received up to £50,000 per year for their consultancy roles with Circle Health, going to return their consultancy fees to the NHS? Politicians shouldn’t have moonlight jobs to supplement their MP salaries. They should have one job – representing the people.
We want to see the Pilgrim Hospital remain in the safe hands of the NHS but we are keen that the local community get behind and support the hospital. We also urge Boston Borough Council and the county council to find ways to help recruit and retain staff in our NHS services. Without a positive message to come and live and work in Boston, we will not have enough staff to run an effective hospital. We need to see our local housing providers, our schools and our leisure providers working together to create the right provision of services to attract these valuable staff to our local communities.
Posted on February 18, 2015 8:41 am by Paul Gleeson
Yvette Cooper MP, Shadow Home Secretary, responding to the report from The Children’s Commissioner, ‘If it’s not better, it’s not the end’, said:
“This report from the Children’s Commissioner highlights worrying gaps in our child protection system. Although the vast majority of local authorities and police forces have strategies in place to deal with child sexual exploitation, in too many cases this is not filtering through to the frontline. This means in too many cases children are not being listened to, victims are not getting the protection they need and abusers are not being brought to justice.
“And, as this report sets out, it is shameful the Government has failed to respond to calls from children, parents, campaigners, child protection experts and the Labour Party to introduce age-appropriate compulsory sex and relationship education, which has zero tolerance to violence at its core and teaches young people about the importance of respect and sexual consent. The Tories may want to carry on ignoring this tidal wave of evidence, but Labour won’t. Age-appropriate compulsory sex and relationship education in all state-funded schools will be included in the Labour Manifesto.”
Posted on February 17, 2015 8:44 am by Paul Gleeson
Paul Kenny, Labour PPC for Boston & Skegness fully supports Richard Burden MP, Labour Shadow Roads Minister on his attack of the conservative Government who are failing to listen to the public who know that the major problem with Britain’s roads is the pothole epidemic. A third of local roads are in urgent need of attention and since the Tory-led government came in over 2000 more miles of local road require maintenance work. Potholes blight journeys for motorists, cyclists, motorcyclists, businesses and all road users and public dissatisfaction with Britain’s roads is at a record high.
But Tory Ministers cut 1.2 billion from roads maintenance budgets in 2010 and they care more about a top-down re-organisation of the Highways Agency, who manage 2% of strategic roads, than fixing the 98% of local roads that people rely on every day.
The Tories have committed to spend £15 billion on strategic roads and claim to be investing record amounts in pothole repair funds too. But Tory Ministers are misleading the public – under Tory plans spending on local road maintenance will decline in real terms, from £920 million a year in 2010 to £865 million a year by 2020. Labour has committed to prioritising funding for roads maintenance and “fixing it first”.
If you wish to report any potholes or road repairs in our area – you can install the new ‘Street Repairs’ app on your computer or phone and tell your local council where the local problems are and ask them to fix them.
I am fully aware that in Boston & Skegness we have lots of potholes and road repairs needing to be done.
So Vote Labour on 7th May 2015
Promoted and published by Boston Labour Party on behalf of Paul Kenny, all at 17 Bradford Rd, Boston. PE21 8BJ
Posted on February 16, 2015 10:13 am by Paul Gleeson
Labour publishes banking reform plans with new rules on bonus clawback and funding for a British Investment Bank
Labour is today publishing its plans to reform the banking sector so that it better supports growing businesses, economic growth and rising living standards.
Ed Balls MP, Labour’s Shadow Chancellor, and Cathy Jamieson, Labour’s Shadow Financial Secretary to the Treasury, will publish Labour’s banking reform paper following a visit to a business in Bedford.
The banking reform paper is part of Labour’s economic plan and sets out a series of measures the next Labour government will take, including:
· Extending clawback of bank bonuses that have already been paid in cases of inappropriate behaviour to at least 10 years and enacting legislation, passed by the last Labour government, to require banks to publish the number of employees earning more than £1 million.
· Creating a proper British Investment Bank to provide vital funding for small and medium-sized businesses. All funds raised from the planned increase in the licence fees for the mobile phone spectrum – estimated to be up to £1 billion in the next Parliament, subject to Ofcom consultation – will be allocated to the British Investment Bank.
· Introducing a one-off tax on bankers’ bonuses to help pay for Labour’s Compulsory Jobs Guarantee – a paid starter job for all young people out of work for 12 months or more, which people will have to take up or lose their benefits.
· Addressing the lack of competition in the sector. We welcome the Competition and Markets Authority inquiry which we called for and want to see at least two new challenger banks and a market share test to ensure the market stays competitive for the long term.
· Extending the levy on the profits of payday lenders to raise funding for alternative credit providers.
Ed Balls MP, Labour’s Shadow Chancellor, said:
“Too often in recent years our banks have fallen far short of the standards expected of them. After so many scandals we need major reforms and long-term cultural change to restore trust and ensure our banks start working for consumers and businesses again.
“Banks are essential to our economy, but we need them to work better for the businesses and working people who rely on them.
“We need much more action than this government has been prepared to take. So Labour’s banking reform paper sets out how we will change rules on bonuses, increase competition and get more lending to small and medium-sized businesses.
“We will extend to at least ten years the period bank bonuses can be clawed back in cases of misconduct. As we have seen in recent days, wrong doing can take years to uncover. The current proposals to claw back bonuses are too weak and do not cover a long enough period of time. We will ensure people involved in misbehaviour and misconduct would have to give back their bonuses for at least a decade after they have been paid out.
“And we will establish a proper British Investment Bank to help growing businesses get the funding they need to expand and create jobs. Because it’s only when working people and businesses succeed that Britain succeeds too.”
Cathy Jamieson MP, Labour’s Shadow Financial Secretary to the Treasury, said:
“Bank lending to businesses has fallen year after year under this government. This just isn’t good enough. Without access to finance, SMEs cannot grow and create the high quality, well paid jobs we need to increase living standards. That’s why our plans will deliver more competition in our banking sector and a proper British Investment Bank too.
“We will also change the rules around bonuses and our tax on bankers’ bonuses will help fund a jobs programme for young people in every part of our country.
“We need our banks to better serve the economy and our reforms will ensure that they do.”
Comment on the Tories’ response to Labour’s education spending announcement
Posted on February 13, 2015 7:03 am by Paul Gleeson