February 24, 2015

Bill Esterson and Rachel Reeves

My friends and family in Maghull all tell me that Merseyside is a great place to live, to work and to raise a family. I agree. 

The question is how to make sure that our area is the best it can be. 
We have all been through some tough times. Living standards have fallen for the vast majority of people. On average people in work are £1,600 a year worse off than they were five years ago. And yet, there are signs of a recovery in the economy.

But what is needed now is to turn the early stages of recovery into a better standard of living for the majority because so far, only a few, mostly wealthy people have benefited. 
That is why I am pushing Labour’s plan to make sure that hard work is rewarded and that the next generation does better than the last. We need to make sure that our young people have the skills they need so business can grow and the economy can prosper. 
We need to make sure that as many employers as possible pay the living wage, including all public sector employers. And we need to end the exploitation of zero hours contracts.

A thriving economy needs to mean decent pay for the majority and that is what I will work towards. But there is much more that we can do. 
We can help businesses and ordinary people by freezing energy prices and fixing the broken energy market so that it works for consumers not just for the energy companies.

Meanwhile, the economy will also benefit from a big change in the level of house building. 
Many young people need homes that they can afford to buy or to rent, but these should be where they are needed not just where the developers want to build. 
The planning rules will need to change so that house building benefits local people not just developers.

Finally, we need to help working parents with the cost of childcare so that parents can afford to work if they want to.

We can make sure that living standards improve, that our area is the best it can be but we need to make sure that we have a system that helps as many people as possible thrive. 
For the last five years, the opposite has happened. 
But I am determined to make sure that people in Sefton Central do much better for the next five years.