I began this year along with many others full of hope and optimism that in 2015 we would have a Labour Government in May. With that Government we would have seen an increase in people’s living standards, a fairer country and our valued public services protected.
Instead the election of a small majority Conservative Government has seen David Cameron and his party betray promise after promise they made to the electorate pre-election.
In just eight months they have continued the freeze on child benefit, attempted to cut child tax and working tax credits, delayed their plans for tax free child care, scrapped plans to electrify the Trans-Pennine route that would have included Newcastle, scrapped the Green Deal that insulated homes, ditched NHS targets, delayed the care cap which would’ve capped the amount people have to pay towards their own care, lowered disability benefits, will be building fewer homes than they promised as well as completely and utterly failing to increase productivity, downgrading it for the next four years.
We are now ending the year hearing that because of the Conservative’s policies inequality in the UK, the gap between the richest and poorest is growing with a projected two million more children living in poverty in 15 years time, we have poor rates of social mobility, an NHS breaking at the seams, care services crumbling, public services pared back, some schools being turned into unaccountable academies, a refugee crisis bigger than the one following WWII, uncertainty about Britain’s place globally and in the EU, reduced funding for local government and public services, massive floods in areas where the Government failed to invest in proper flood defences, the closure of our last deep coal mine, closures of steel factories, and locked into a war with no end in sight.
It is now becoming very clear that the goals of this Conservative Government are to destroy the state and leave Britain isolated both in Europe and internationally.
In Parliament I and my Labour colleagues have been holding the Government to account on these issues.
So far, in just a few short months, we have managed to stop the tax credit cuts, stop cuts to our police services and stop the return of fox hunting.
I want to assure readers that I will continue to speak up for my constituents in Parliament, campaigning the issues that matter to the people of Shields and to hold the Government to account at every given opportunity. I would also like to take this opportunity to wish you all a Happy and Peaceful New Year and hope that 2016 brings positive changes to our country.