Why We Need a Labour Government

GMB branch secertary for Wiltshire and Swindon, Andy Newman, says Vote Labour

The Conservative led coalition government has been a disaster for Britain. As David Blanchflower wrote in the Inependent

The economy Osborne inherited was growing nicely. Indeed, it grew 2.6 per cent in the third quarter of 2009 through to the third quarter of 2010; but since then, the total growth is 0.8 per cent – and that growth is entirely down to the 2012 Olympic Games. Four of the past five quarters have been negative. It is quite clear that trying to deal with the deficit hasn’t taken care of growth.

Faced with a global economic crisis, the Labour government with Gordon Brown as Prime Minister, and Alistair Darling as Chancellor, had introduced a number of specific and targetted measures that boosted the economy. The car scrappage scheme, the cut in VAT, quantative easing, all saved thousands of jobs. The intervention to save the banks safeguarded the livelihood and prosperity of millions of ordinary, hard-working people, by preventing an economic meltdown.

Not only has the coalition government of Conservatives and Liberal Democrats undermined the economy, their policies have made Britain a more divided and unequal society. The bedroom tax has penalised the poorest and most vulnerable, while tax cuts have been given to the super rich.

The tax cut for millionaires saw 13,000 people earning over £1 million get an average tax cut of £100,000, while families will be an average of £891 worse off this year because of changes introduced since 2010.

We should be very proud of what was acheived by the Labour government between 1997 and 2010. By 2010, there were 41000 more teachers and 120000 more teaching assistants, 80000 more nurses and 44000 more doctors, and 4.5 million families received tax credits of an average £65 per week.

There was meaningful devolution to Scotland and Wales, abolition of Clause 28, introduction of civil partnerships, sure start, paternity rights, improved maternity rights, right to Trade Union representation at work, a statutary route to union recgnition, the minimum wage, sure start, expansion of NHS, school building programme, vast increase of NHS and school staff, working time directive, working tax credit, family credit, etc. Not to mention an end to the war in Ireland, and the start of a meaningful peace process.

The Labour Party stands for a fairer and better Britain, a Britain that is on your side in hard times.

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