Archive for 31 Mar ’12

We’re NOT all in this together

There has been a lot of discussion as to whether we are any better off following the Budget which delivered tax rises to pensioners and tax cuts to people earning over £150,000 a year. Labour thinks that we are much worse off. 

For example; following the Budget, a family with children earning just £20,000 loses £253 from this April – on top of VAT hit costing on average £450 per year.

Instead of cutting taxes for the richest 1%, Labour would have invested the money in keeping police officers on Hertfordshire’s streets, helped young people into work (with a levy on bank bonuses) and supported small businesses to grow and take on new workers by cutting their National Insurance contributions. Of course there needs to be tough decisions on tax, spending and pay.  

But the deficit will not be paid off by simply cutting taxes for the rich. We need a plan for jobs and growth to get the economy moving again, to get people off the dole and so earn our way back to prosperity. It is also wrong to remove Working Tax Credits from hard working families working less that 24 hours a week. It will lock families into poverty and mean that many households will be better off on welfare benefits than in work.  

With unemployment at a 17 year high and economic growth flat as a pancake; asking millions to pay more so that millionaires can pay less is the wrong priority. It is the people in East Hertfordshire and beyond who don’t get invited to private dinner parties with Dave at 10 Downing Street who will suffer.

What have the Tories got to hide on NHS reorganisation?

A quick quiz. Who said this in June last year?

“This incredible demand shows the power of transparency, and why we need more of it. Information is power. It lets people hold the powerful to account, giving them the tools they need to take on politicians and bureaucrats. It gives people new choices and chances, allowing them to make informed judgements about their future. And it lets our professionals judge themselves against one another ….”

Yep David Cameron.

Now he and the rest of the Tory Government say they will not publish the transition risk registers on the NHS changes because of confidentiality. This is despite a legal ruling ordering the Government to do so. How can the Lords properly debate the final stages of the Health and Social Care Bill without the full facts?

The Tories use the excuse that Labour did not publish risk registers when it was in Government. But that is a false comparison as Labour was investing in the NHS not cutting £20 Billion over 5 years (the biggest cut in history) or engaging in wholesale privatisation of the health service as the Tories are.

What are they hiding?