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October 06 2010 - Bill Esterson's Westminster Diary
My team and I have been knocking on doors across Sefton Central recently and have been asked to help with many different issues. Issues ranging from local concerns and problems to international human rights.
All of the utmost importance to the people who come to me for help. And it is my duty to ensure that each person is heard and their concerns are addressed.
Local issues have included grass verges which have been damaged, cuts to planned new play areas by the Conservative-Lib Dem government, road repairs and anti-social behaviour.
My office is working on these and many other issues, together with parish councillors, Labour Councillors, Tony Carr and Steve McGinnity and the Labour Action Teams across Sefton Central.
It is also my job as your MP to ensure that everything that this Conservative-Liberal Democrat government does is fully scrutinised. I am there to represent the people of Sefton Central and to make sure that your interests are served.
That is why I cannot sit back and allow the Tories and Lib Dems to run riot with ill-thought out policies which will hit people right here in this constituency hard.
This includes George Osborne's ludicrous plans to change the child benefit system.
It's a plan with so many holes in I am left thinking he came up with it while on the train to Birmingham.
But again, what will happen with yet another poorly considered Conservative-Liberal Democrat announcement, we will see hard-working families on middle and low incomes hit the hardest.
The 'radical reform' of the child benefit system will see a family with one earner on £44,000 losing child benefit (£20.30 a week for the first child, £13.40 for second and subsequent children) when next door a household with £86,000 - two parents earning £43,000 each - would keep it.
The reason for the planned changes we are told is that it's easier for HMRC to administer.
Is that fair?
If you doubt this then just take a look at the incredibly cruel council housing policy. The policy which David Cameron himself announced sees people being given just five year contracts for housing.
After that time the property is taken from them. How can a family plan ahead if they don't know where they are going to be in five years' time?
All this at a time when people face job losses due to the Tory-Lib Dem government's cuts which will create massive unemployment in the public
and private sector and when people could well need access to social housing.
The Conservatives and the Liberal Democrats are not concerned about the ordinary working people of Sefton Central.
Well I am and so is Ed Miliband, Labour's excellent new leader - and we will fight on your behalf all the way.
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