Working for ordinary families

First published in Your MPs by

The current economic climate is challenging, to say the least, but it is certainly not as bad as the economic slumps under the Tories in the 1980s and 1990s.

Three million unemployed, failing businesses, hundreds of thousands of home repossessions and high interest rates were all hallmarks of that dark period.

What is more this Labour Government is prepared to act to help ordinary, hard-working people through these difficult times, unlike the Tories who abandoned the home owner and the unemployed saying at the time that repossessions were “market corrections” and “unemployment was a price worth paying.”

The international economic forces that have created the credit crunch and rising energy, food and fuel prices are putting real pressure on household budgets. But the Government is doing all it can to help.

Prime Minister Gordon Brown joined me in West Ealing this week to launch the Government’s £1billion package to help first-time buyers and families trying to stave off repossession.

The Prime Minister and I visited a constituent who had just bought a “shared ownership” flat. With house prices so high in London, even with the recent price falls, schemes such as this are getting a much-needed boost from the Government and should enable more people to get onto the property ladder or avoid repossession – and help revive the property market.

The Government also has plans for a further package of measures to help with soaring domestic heating bills. Again it is worth remembering that when the Tories were in power, they put 17.5 per cent VAT on fuel bills and the elderly and most vulnerable were the hardest hit. It took a Labour Government to cut VAT on fuel bills and introduce the Winter Fuel Payment – recently increased again – for the country’s pensioners.

I hope that package includes a windfall tax on the energy companies as it will allow the Government to maximise help for the most vulnerable as we head into winter. But whatever the final package, you can be assured that Labour will be doing everything to help ordinary families in these challenging economic times.

Comments (2)

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2:32pm Thu 18 Sep 08

LizH says...

Britain would be better-placed to get through an economic downturn if Gordon Brown hadn't wasted money during the good times.

Brown sold half of Britain's gold reserves for roughly half what they would be worth today. He invested extra billions into health and education without putting any measures in place to ensure that the money delivered real improvement: hence, there's been no improvement. The government budget spend on advertising has tripled under Labour. Brown now wants to spend an estimated £18billion on unnecessary ID cards.

In the meantime, Brown has left under-regulated financial markets to run wild, with the result that hedge funds are now short-selling on shares in order to sell and then re-buy shares in companies like HBOS at knock-down prices. 40,000 people could now lose their jobs in the resulting Lloyds TSB/HBOS merger.

Rising fuel prices aren’t something that Gordon Brown can abdicate responsibility for either: nearly 67p in every pound we spend on petrol (and also the transport cost of any product like food that is transported using petrol) goes straight into Brown’s pocket. Brown could reduce fuel prices instantly if he had any money left to do so. Working people are losing out under Brown, due to the removal of the 10p tax rate and increased competition for low-wage jobs from newly-arrived migrant workers.

The Labour government has done some good things in it’s time; introducing a minimum wage is the one that stands out for me, but that was over 10 years ago. What is Gordon Brown going to do now to ensure a decent standard of living for working people and their families? Taxing the multi-billion pound hedge funds and private equity firms properly would be a good first step. Limiting the maximum increase in fuel prices that any gas or electricity company can impose each year would help to limit our increases in fuel bills, as would removing VAT on home insulation products. A limit on economic migration to Britain until the economy is growing again would help those resident in the UK to retain their jobs. Putting unnecessary government spending on hold would also really help: this would include spending on government marketing (£391million), ID cards and the flawed £13bn NHS computer system.

When are Gordon Brown and the Labour Party really going to start helping?
Britain would be better-placed to get through an economic downturn if Gordon Brown hadn't wasted money during the good times. Brown sold half of Britain's gold reserves for roughly half what they would be worth today. He invested extra billions into health and education without putting any measures in place to ensure that the money delivered real improvement: hence, there's been no improvement. The government budget spend on advertising has tripled under Labour. Brown now wants to spend an estimated £18billion on unnecessary ID cards. In the meantime, Brown has left under-regulated financial markets to run wild, with the result that hedge funds are now short-selling on shares in order to sell and then re-buy shares in companies like HBOS at knock-down prices. 40,000 people could now lose their jobs in the resulting Lloyds TSB/HBOS merger. Rising fuel prices aren’t something that Gordon Brown can abdicate responsibility for either: nearly 67p in every pound we spend on petrol (and also the transport cost of any product like food that is transported using petrol) goes straight into Brown’s pocket. Brown could reduce fuel prices instantly if he had any money left to do so. Working people are losing out under Brown, due to the removal of the 10p tax rate and increased competition for low-wage jobs from newly-arrived migrant workers. The Labour government has done some good things in it’s time; introducing a minimum wage is the one that stands out for me, but that was over 10 years ago. What is Gordon Brown going to do now to ensure a decent standard of living for working people and their families? Taxing the multi-billion pound hedge funds and private equity firms properly would be a good first step. Limiting the maximum increase in fuel prices that any gas or electricity company can impose each year would help to limit our increases in fuel bills, as would removing VAT on home insulation products. A limit on economic migration to Britain until the economy is growing again would help those resident in the UK to retain their jobs. Putting unnecessary government spending on hold would also really help: this would include spending on government marketing (£391million), ID cards and the flawed £13bn NHS computer system. When are Gordon Brown and the Labour Party really going to start helping? LizH
  • Score: 0

10:23pm Wed 22 Oct 08

George Knox says...

On reading Andrew Marr's History of Britain, it is apparent that under all Labour Administrations, the contry went broke - sometimes seriusly so. So Mr Sharma snipes at the Tory party are cheap.
On reading Andrew Marr's History of Britain, it is apparent that under all Labour Administrations, the contry went broke - sometimes seriusly so. So Mr Sharma snipes at the Tory party are cheap. George Knox
  • Score: 0
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