Families in Leeds North West and across the country can see what David Cameron and George Osborne are incapable of seeing: that the Government has failed to turn things around for Britain’s hard-working families.
We’ve had three damaging years of a flat-lining economy and the slowest economic recovery in over a century.
As we go round the constituency, people in Leeds North West tell us they are struggling – that things are getting harder not easier for them as the prices of essentials such as food, clothes and heating are rising much faster than wages.
The government boasts that they’ve fixed the economy but their decisions choked off the recovery and we’re yet to make up the ground lost since 2010.
The talk of economic recovery rings hollow for families that are still struggling with the cost of living crisis.
Since David Cameron became Prime Minister wages in Yorkshire and the Humber are down by 8.1% – that’s the biggest percentage fall in any region – and prices have risen faster than wages for 37 of the 38 months he’s been in Downing Street. Yet in April he cut taxes for millionaires.
Take energy as an example.
There are currently 5890 households in Leeds North West in fuel poverty – that’s about one in six! And since the last general election the average household’s energy bill has increased by over £300 a year. At the same time, Britain’s big six energy companies have enjoyed a £3.3 billion uplift in profits – household bills go up when the wholesale price rises, but they don’t seem to go down when the wholesale price falls.
David Cameron has done nothing to bring down energy bills because he only stands up for the wealthiest and is out of touch with the challenges ordinary people face.
A Labour Government would ensure that all over-75s are automatically put on the cheapest deal and create a tough new regulator with the power to force firms to cut their prices when wholesale costs fall.
There is plenty more that the Government could do to help families that are struggling. Instead of cutting taxes for millionaires this year, they should be helping ordinary working people instead.
-introduce a lower 10p starting rate of tax, paid for by a mansion tax, to help the poorest who are in work.
– bring in a compulsory jobs guarantee, which will get any adult out of work for more than two years, or young person out of work for a year, into a job – one they would be required to take.
We need to take action to secure and strengthen the recovery.
That’s why the Labour Party has joined the International Monetary Fund and called on the Government to bring forward £10bn of infrastructure investment now
– which could be used to build 400,000 affordable homes, create more than half a million jobs and make our economy stronger for the long term.
With a record like theirs, this Tory/LibDem Coalition should go easy on the celebrations. Instead of breaking out the champagne at the first signs of a recovery they themselves delayed, they should be focused on a cost of living crisis which is hitting hard-working families everywhere – including here in Leeds North West.