September 10, 2013


In an important debate on Britain’s cost of living crisis this week, Labour MPs attacked David Cameron and his Conservative government for being out of touch, and for failing to turn things around for Britain's hard working families.

David Cameron says the economy is fixed but for ordinary people things are getting harder, not easier, with prices rising faster than wages.

Wages are down an average of £1,500 a year since David Cameron became Prime Minister. 

Meanwhile, prices have risen faster in the UK than in any other major economy and under the Tories we have had the slowest recovery for 100 years, with almost one million young people now out of work.

David Cameron is out of touch with the difficulties faced by ordinary families who feel he only stands up for the wealthiest. The Conservatives are making hard working families pay more than their share to bring down the deficit, while cutting taxes for an elite few at the top. The wealthiest few are treated very differently from the hard working many and this shows whose side Cameron is on.

The recent upturn in growth in the economy is welcome. After three years of stagnation, any growth is good news.  But the trouble is that many of the jobs created in the last few years have been part time, low paid or on zero-hours contracts. In other words the recovery is based on a complete lack of job security for many people which is just not sustainable.

But Britain needs a strong recovery and a plan for a more balanced economy which boosts the living standards of the many not just the few at the top.

In parliament, I voted against David Cameron’s lobbying bill – or, as many people are calling it, the 'gagging bill'. The problem with the bill is that it could stop charities and campaigners speaking out on issues that matter to all of us.

David Cameron promised to fix our broken politics, but this Bill makes things worse not better. It says all you need to know about who the Government stands up for.

Only David Cameron could introduce a lobbying Bill that wouldn’t stop arch-lobbyist Lynton Crosby, who also happens to be one Cameron's closest advisers, setting the Government's tobacco policy, but could stop an organisation like Cancer Research UK or the British Medical Association from campaigning about it. So while tobacco companies have an adviser as right hand man to the Prime Minister, cancer charities will be prevented from campaigning for plain packaging for cigarettes or from highlighting the dangers of smoking. The Conservatives' new legislation will defend the interests of the few who benefit from the tobacco industry while undermining the many who support the work of charities committed to finding a cure for cancer.

As the days shorten I’m getting more and more letters from constituents worried about soaring energy bills as warnings come of more price rises this winter. 

David Cameron is out of touch on this and needs to act now to help struggling families.

His failure to reform Britain's broken energy market is leaving hard pressed bill payers massively out of pocket.

Since 2010, the average household’s energy bill has increased by over £300 a year.

At the same time, Britain's big six energy companies have had a £3.3 billion uplift in profits.

In a debate on energy bills and company profits, Labour promised to break up the dominance of the energy giants to protect the public from being ripped off, including putting all over-75s on the cheapest tariff and creating a tough new energy watchdog with the power to force energy companies to pass on savings to consumers.

People have had enough of vested interests like energy companies calling the tune at the expense of the rest of us.



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