Further to the Conservative's announcement today that there will be a General Election on 8th June 2017, Barry has released the following statement:
18th April 2017
The General Election
Earlier today the Prime Minister went back on her word and decided to call a general election for 8th June. Tomorrow I will vote to allow that election.
I welcome the opportunity to present a clear alternative vision for our country and the people of Brent.
The Conservatives have to explain:
Why people are earning 10% less in real terms today than they were in 2007?
Why there are 200,000 fewer homeowners than when Labour left office in 2010?
Why 1.8million people are waiting longer than 4 hours in Accident & Emergency when in 2010 that figure was only 350,000?
LABOUR’s promises are hugely popular because they speak to the real issues people are facing now.
- Free School Meals for all Primary School Children
- Guarantee the triple lock on State Pensions (The Tories refuse to do so)
- A crackdown on Big Business who make late payment to small suppliers
- To build 1 million new homes
- A £10 minimum wage helping 5.6million workers in low pay & zero hours contracts
- Compensation for women affected by the increase in the age for state pension
- Preserving and enhancing our environmental standards and protections.
- Forcing Big Companies to publish full tax returns and pay their fair share
- Increase Carer’s Allowance to recognise the labour of love that 6.5million people provide for their relatives and friends.
The Prime Minister says this election is about forcing Brexit through an unwilling House of Commons. That is not true. If she were confident of negotiating a good deal from Europe she would wait and go to the country in 2019. She is calling the election now because she fears she cannot negotiate all the things she has promised and that the deal will not be acceptable to the British people.
I and the Labour Party are clear. We will continue to argue that a hard Brexit will damage jobs and the economy. The Tories have put their anti-immigration policy before their economic policy and that is bad for jobs and growth. Of course immigration must be fair and controlled – but it must not be stopped. Doctors from overseas make up almost 1/4 of those working in our NHS, they work in our companies and our public services. We need a soft Brexit that will continue to value the contribution these people make to our economy.
Seven years ago the Conservatives promised to eliminate the deficit by 2015 – they failed. Two years ago they changed that promise and said they would eliminate it by 2020. In the recent budget they announced they had given up on that promise too. They have failed to rebuild our economy. They are forcing through damaging funding cuts to our schools and our social care system is in crisis.
Labour’s alternative is practical. It focuses on policies that are common sense and will make a real difference. Homes for young families, decent wages instead of living off in-work benefits, financial security for the elderly, investing in our infrastructure, cleaning up our polluted air.
I look forward to discussing this vision with you as I go round from door to door in the coming weeks.
I hope to have your support on June the 8th.