November 12, 2013

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As we head into winter A&E departments are facing a crisis because we have a government that is taking our NHS backwards.

Compared to last year, A&E waits are up, trolley waits are up and bed-blocking is up.

The situation has become much worse on David Cameron’s watch. 

Almost 6,000 nurses have been axed, cuts to social care mean elderly people are forced to go to A&E, often with conditions that could have been treated sooner to avoid them having to go to hospital. 

Meanwhile the Prime Minister has wasted £3billion on a damaging back-office reorganisation despite promising there would be no more top-down re-organisations.

David Cameron has left the NHS on the brink of its most dangerous winter in years. It proves you can’t trust him with the NHS.

And at the same time as he has caused a crisis in the NHS, David Cameron is more interested in standing up for the big energy companies than for ordinary people.

The energy market is broken. This week figures showed that since 2011, the wholesale cost of energy has risen at an average rate of 1.6 per cent a year but the Big Six have increased prices by an average of 10.4 per cent a year. Companies are increasing their profits on the back of soaring energy bills and ordinary families and businesses are being ripped off. 

Yet in Parliament on Wednesday, the Conservatives and the Liberal Democrats voted against Labour’s price freeze -  which would save money for 27 million households and 2.4 million businesses. 

The Tories and Lib Dems criticised Labour’s plan for a price freeze but failed to offer any real alternative. David Cameron can’t deal with the problem of rising energy bills because he stands up for the energy companies, not for hard-working families.

Consumers need action now to tackle spiralling bills but David Cameron has no answers to the cost of living crisis. It’s clearer than ever that we need a One Nation Labour Government to put in place Ed Miliband’s energy price freeze and reset the market to deliver fairer prices in the future.

The Bedroom Tax is a cruel and unfair measure that hits over 400,000 disabled people. For the vast majority of those affected, there is nowhere smaller to move to, hitting vulnerable people through no fault of their own.  

Official figures show that 96% of people hit with the Bedroom Tax, or under occupancy penalty, have nowhere smaller to move to.  

Supposedly the Bedroom Tax is meant to help those people who are living in overcrowded homes and who need to move somewhere larger. But the problem is that the places where people live in overcrowded homes eg in London and not where the majority of people are living with spare rooms. 

All that is happening for most people is that they are having to pay the tax, often falling into debt or being evicted. And when people are evicted they have to be housed in emergency accommodation in the private sector, which costs more than the home they have left behind. 

The Bedroom Tax it seems is costing more than it saves and failing to solve the problem of overcrowding, all the time causing misery for thousands including 400,000 disabled people.

In Sefton alone, just 18 one and two bedroom properties were available to rent by One Vision Housing while 3,600 people wanted such a property. Meanwhile, hardly anyone wants the three-bed properties.

The Bedroom Tax has failed as many predicted. 

The next Labour Government will repeal the Bedroom Tax. But we don’t think it is fair to make people wait until 2015, so on Tuesday, we will bring the repeal to a vote in the House of Commons.

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