Here in Leeds NW, Labour are campaigning hard on the issue of Clean Air – and especially against the levels of pollution around the A660 corridor.

Leeds, and areas like those affected by the A660, fall foul of air quality standards, standards set – we’d remind you – by the EU.
Leeds Labour-controlled council has called for a 21st century Clean Air act to tackle this national scandal.

Their concerns are echoed by our members in the EU parliament. They have put forward proposals to control diesel pollution by stopping car-manufacturers gaming the system of testing, but also to ensure compensation for consumers affected by ‘Deiselgate’ and protection for workers affected by these efforts to tackle air pollution.

Most Tory, and all UKIP MEPs, voted against them.

As our Labour MEP Linda McAvan wrote in her most recent e-bulletin
“MEPs have supported Labour amendments calling for compensation and stronger rights for car buyers as well as protection and retraining for the ordinary VW workers whose jobs are at risk in the wake of the Dieselgate scandal. VW has compensated US customers up to $10 billion, but British and European consumers have received nothing so far, something we want remedying. But most Tories – and all of UKIP – voted against our amendments. So much for standing up for British people. The Tory approach should surprise no one: the government has consistently failed on air quality in recent years, with towns and cities in our region, including Leeds, York and Hull, joining the list for breaching safe air levels.”

Here is a full report on Labour MEPs actions.

“MEPs voted today [April 4 2017] for Labour amendments to the European Parliament’s report on Dieselgate that call for greater consumer rights for car buyers and protection for VW workers caught up in the emissions scandal – measures Tory and Ukip MEPs failed to fully support.

Most Conservative and all Ukip MEPs also voted against plans for more robust and independent surveillance of dirty vehicles on the road through an independent agency, free from industrial and national interests, to prevent emissions fraud in the future. The proposal fell by just 14 votes.

Labour’s amendments call for consumers to be “adequately and financially” compensated by the manufacturers involved, and for the European Commission to establish a common system of collective redress for all EU consumers. To date, VW has refused to pay out compensation to EU customers over the Dieselgate vehicle emissions scandal – despite having agreed a $10 billion settlement with drivers in the US.

The amendments tabled by Labour also call for any ordinary workers whose employment prospects are affected by the scandal to be given all necessary protection and training opportunities to ensure they can be re-employed.

Seb Dance MEP, Labour’s European Parliament spokesperson on the environment and Socialists and Democrats Group spokesperson on the Committee of Inquiry into Emission Measurement in the Automotive Sector, said:

‘VW deliberately misled British drivers on how much pollution their cars were spewing out. In the US they’ve paid out billions of dollars for their deception, yet consumers across Europe have not seen a single penny.

‘This is a basic matter of natural justice. When it comes to concrete action on compensation, why the Tories and Ukip feel the rights of British drivers should be secondary to those in the US is beyond me.

‘Those same MEPs, along with a number of Tories, also failed to stand up for the lives of their constituents by voting against independent monitoring of the emissions of cars on our roads that would have put an end to car makers gaming the system once and for all.

‘And while in Strasbourg the Tories and Ukip have failed to learn the lessons from Dieselgate, in London a Labour Mayor has today unveiled plans for the world’s first ultra-low emissions zone, highlighting once again that only Labour can be trusted to protect our environment.’

Locally, nationally – and in Europe – Labour is fighting the 21st-century battle for Clean Air.
Because YOU deserve it.
Contact us and join our campaign now.

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