There are thousands of people in my constituency of Denton and Reddish who are struggling to stay afloat and who feel the economic recovery has passed them by. They simply cannot afford another five years of Tory failure.
That’s why we in Labour have set out our plan to transform Britain by rewarding work, building more homes, raising the minimum wage, creating more apprenticeships and saving our NHS.
We’ll tackle the cost-of-living crisis by helping working families so, when the economy grows, the wages of everyday working people grow as well.
People in Tameside and Stockport tell me that there are not enough high quality apprenticeships available for school-leavers. So we will give all young people a shot in life by ensuring as many school-leavers go on to apprenticeships as go to university.
For many people in our area the dream of home ownership is just that: a dream. So to meet demand for new homes, Labour will double the number of first-time buyers getting on to the housing ladder each year.
One in five British workers do the right thing and work long hours but still find themselves struggling on low pay. So the next Labour government will raise the minimum wage to £8 by 2020, a move that will put an extra £3,000 a year in the pockets of Britain’s lowest paid workers.
And we’ll create a £2.5 billion Time to Care fund to pay for 36,000 new NHS staff to save and transform our health service so it’s fit to meet the challenges of the 21st century, something which – as a Shadow Health Minister – I am very proud.
The next Labour government will balance the books by the end of the next Parliament so the Time to Care Fund will not be paid for through more borrowing or by raising taxes on everyday working people. Instead, the money will be raised by asking those living in houses worth over £2m to pay more tax, a co-ordinated crackdown against tax avoidance, and asking the tobacco companies to contribute towards the costs they impose on the NHS.
These policies are the pillars supporting Labour’s national mission to build a new Britain that rewards everyday working people. If we work together, we have an opportunity to create the change our country so desperately needs. Let’s seize that opportunity.