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“The NHS under the coalition government” reports @labourpress

Andy Burnham MP, Labour’s Shadow Health Secretary, responding to the King’s Fund’s report on NHS deterioration across the board under the Tory-led Government, said:

“Five years ago, David Cameron stood on a promise to protect the NHS. This report provides authoritative proof that he has broken that promise and the NHS as we know it can’t survive five more years of the Tories. They pushed through a damaging reorganisation without the consent of the public and the NHS has gone downhill ever since. Thursday 7th May is shaping up to be David Cameron’s day of reckoning on the NHS.

“In 2010, Cameron said he would cut the deficit, not the NHS. What this report reveals, is that he is on course to create a large deficit in the NHS. It is scandalous that he spent £3 billion on a reorganisation that has left the NHS worse off. Hospitals are now trapped in a financial vicious circle with bills for agency staff running out of control and staff failing to keep pace with demand.

“What is clear is that the fragile NHS we now have can’t take five more years like the five it has just had. It can’t afford the Tories’ plan for deeper care cuts in the next Parliament. It urgently needs new leadership and a change of course. Labour has set out a better plan to restore the NHS, rebuild it as a national health and care service and invest £2.5 billion extra a year – on top of Tory spending plans – to fund 20,000 more nurses and 8,000 more GPs.” 

“Response to last weeks budget” by @Amina_Lone

Labour’s parliamentary candidate for Morecambe and Lunesdale, Amina Lone, has welcomed proposals from the party that would see households in the constituency see their energy bills cut by as much as £100 annually. Under the plans announced today by Ed Miliband, the energy market regulator will be able to force energy suppliers to pass on reductions in wholesale electricity and gas prices to consumers, which they are currently failing to do. Consumer groups have estimated that overcharging by the big six energy firms is costing families and businesses £2.5bn every year.

 Labour would introduce legislation immediately after the election to require regulator Ofgem to review prices by the autumn, meaning that savings would be passed on to households by the winter. This savings would come on top of Labour’s previous commitment to freeze gas and electricity bills until 2017.

 Amina Lone said: “Too many families in Morecambe and Lunesdale aren’t feeling the benefits of economic recovery, with the quality of living still blighted by high bills and frozen wages – Labour’s proposals on energy bills would help to change that. It is unacceptable that the big six energy companies are failing to pass on the reductions in electricity and gas costs to local families, so Labour will take immediate action to change that. More than 39,000 Morecambe and Lunesdale households would see their energy bills fall by as much as £100 as soon as this winter, helping to tackle the cost of living crisis that is hitting so many families here hard.

Tories oversee the rich get richer while everyone else suffers slams @jon_trickett

It has been reported that Tory Lord Wolfson has recently received an £820,000 bonus from Next, at the same time as implying that the living wage is not realistic. Lord Wolfson also claimed that £6.70 is enough to live on.

Next have also been in the spotlight recently for recruiting overseas workers for the store in South Elmsall in a recruitment drive which saw jobs advertised in Poland weeks before they were advertised in the UK.

Lord Wolfson’s comments are a clear indication of Tory policy, the rich are getting richer while everyone else is left to suffer with low wages and insecure jobs.

Since the last election average wages have fallen by £1,600 a year with the number of people getting less than the Living Wage rising from 3.4 million to 5.3 million and I know from talking to my constituents that many people are struggling to cover the basic cost of living and low paid insecure jobs are a big part of their concerns.

Being paid the living wage of £7.65 per hour would make a huge difference to many local families.

Labour would make work pay for the many not the few starting with a minimum wage of at least £8 an hour by 2020. We would also ban employment agencies recruiting only from abroad and close loopholes which allow employment agencies to undercut wages of permanent staff and ban exploitative zero hour contracts.

Labour would also promote greater transparency of pay within the workplace by requiring companies with more than 250 workers to publish their pay scales, meaning many of my constituents who are concerned about unequal pay will be able to see if discrimination exists in their workplace.

Tackling inequality requires a rebalancing of our economy, from promoting a living wage and transforming vocational education to reforming executive pay and helping create good jobs with decent pay

Commenting on Lord Wolfson’s remarks, Tim Roache, the regional secretary of the Yorkshire & North Derbyshire GMB said:

“The example of the retailer ‘Next’ is everything that is wrong with 2015 Tory Britain.

Here we have a business that announced record profits last year, then awards its mega rich boss an £820,000 bonus whilst saying that £6.70 an hour is enough to live on!

When will employers fairly reward the people who help achieve those profits, the workers, and pay them a wage that they can use to put a roof over their heads and feed and clothe the kids”.

“Tameside & Stockport delayed discharges reach all time high” by @GwynneMP

Today, statistics were released showing there has been a dramatic increase in the number of delayed discharges from hospitals in a further sign that the NHS is going backwards under the Tories.

In the past month, delayed discharges meant that 608 bed days were wasted in Tameside, as many elderly people were left stuck in hospital. There were 279 lost days in Stockport.

Tameside saw a 4,967% increase from August 2010.

Over the past year there have been more than a million delayed days, costing almost £287 million – enough to pay for 6,875 nurses or a year of home visits for more than 41,000 older and disabled people. Last month almost 3,600 patients were delayed in being discharged from hospitals, costing the NHS more than £28.5 million.Nationally, the number of delayed days per month has almost doubled under this Government – from 55,332 in August 2010 to 103,776 in January 2015. In the past month alone, the number of delayed days has increased by 14 per cent

Many elderly people are finding themselves stuck in hospital as they wait for the support they need to move back home, or for a place in a residential or nursing home – accounting for 40 per cent of all delays

Andrew Gwynne MP said:

“This Government’s plan for the NHS is failing. These terrible figures show the scale of the care crisis that is affecting the most vulnerable people in Tameside and Stockport.”

“Increasing numbers of elderly people in our community are ending up in hospital, rather than receiving the proper support they need in their own home.

“Labour will join up health and social care to help more elderly people in Tameside and Stockport stay healthy and living independently in their own homes.”

Liz Kendall MP, Labour’s Shadow Care and Older People’s Minister, said:

“Under the Tories thousands of frail, elderly people are reaching crisis point, ending up in A&E and getting stuck in hospital. This could be avoided if they had the right care and support in the community or at home. Instead, this Government has slashed social care, which is bad for elderly people and their families, and costs the taxpayer far more.

“Delayed discharges cost £287 million in the last year alone – money which could have paid for a year of home visits for more than 41,000 elderly people, or 6,875 nurses.

“Labour has a better plan. We will join up health and social care to help people stay living healthily in their own home and get the best value for taxpayers’ money.

“Tories announce extreme and dangerous spending cuts” by @grahamemorris

The Chancellor’s final budget was less than twenty hours old before Liberal Democrat Treasury Ministers’ tried to disown it by presenting an alternative ‘yellow’ budget, before abusing parliamentary privilege to deliver it as a Ministerial statement.

However, no matter how many Budgets the Government presents none of them can hide from the fact that the Coalition has failed their own economic test to balance the books within a single parliament and the Tories and Lib Dems will go into the next election having borrowed £200 billion more than planned.

The Chancellor’s broken promise means that instead of delivering a Budget announcing the end of austerity, he is now planning cuts to public services which are deeper than any in the last parliament. In the next three years the Tories have promised to cut public services at almost twice the level of the last three years.

The NHS was one of the key areas that was notably absent from the Chancellor’s Budget. He proposed nothing to end the A&E crisis, address the issues of GP access, tackle understaffed wards, or reverse cuts in elderly care which has meant more people presenting at A&E. Worse still, the extreme levels of spending cuts proposed by the Chancellor have never been achieved in other countries without cutting health spending.

The Government have already broken their promises on the NHS in this parliament, and we cannot risk the future of the NHS to a Chancellor wanting to return public spending to their lowest level since 1938.

The NHS cannot afford five more years of Cameron and Osborne taking us down a path of extreme austerity at a time when we need to integrate health and social care, to provide a single joined up service from home to hospital.

We need a Labour Government with a plan to invest and improve our NHS. Through our time to care fund we will recruit 20,000 more nurses, 8,000 more GPs, 5,000 new home care workers and 3,000 more midwives, funded through mansion tax on properties worth over £2 million, cracking down on tax avoidance and a levy on tobacco companies.

The next election will determine the long term future of our National Health Service and there is a very clear choice. The Conservative’s promising extreme cuts, who broke their promise and implemented a top down reorganisation which opened up the NHS to full scale privatisation, or a Labour alternative promising to protect and invest in our NHS.