Yesterday I voted in Parliament in favour of a General Election on June 8. Government reasons for calling it are cynical at best, with them using it to ‘paper over the cracks’ in their own ranks, performing a staggering u-turn in the process.
So let’s use this opportunity to send a clear message that ‘enough is enough’ – we can see through the smoke and mirrors.
Decent, hard-working people have taken more than their fair share of austerity, unprecedented cuts to vital public services, the soaring cost of living and the contempt of a government looking after the wealthy.
It’s time. Time to re-boot and move forwards together. Time for decisive action, unity and confidence.
Labour’s new minimum wage of £10 per hour will make a real difference to workers who struggle to make ends meet. Free school meals for all primary school children, an investment in longer term health and wellbeing for our children. Measures to lock income for pensioners until 2025. Helping small businesses who are struggling to stay afloat or closing because of late payments. Alongside this, the development of investment and development banks to unlock £500 billion nationally and regionally. We will create an equitable marketplace for local companies bidding for valuable public contracts, ensuring that local economies can thrive and retain, maintain and create employment for local people. We will drive up standards in the private rented housing sector and invest in social housing.
Of course new measures need to be funded. We will review taxation for the wealthy minority of our country, including scrapping tax breaks for private school fees. For too long the tax burden has been disproportionately favourable to those already doing very well in life.
This is an uncharted era, exiting the European Union, re-grouping to establish a strong, secure and positive global profile. I will challenge threats to our human rights, our employment rights, our living standards and economy and will strive to secure the very best deal.
It is an honour to represent South Shields and, with your support, I will continue promoting and protecting our local hospital and NHS services. I will continue my work reaching to every corner of our town, to listen and to address your concerns at every level, on every topic, every day of each week.
The people of South Shields were given a fantastic motto by their first MP, Robert Ingham. The town’s original crest, designed by Shieldsman, Robinson Elliott, also bears words ‘Courage, Humanity, Commerce’. As we enter this pre-election period and beyond, I pledge to uphold those principles for you in the interests of our town and to be ‘Always Ready’ to fight passionately for a fairer, brighter future for every single member of our community.