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“100 failings in Education & Training by this Tory Government” #CameronMustGo by @LabourEoin

Debt

1.      National Debt is up £430bn under Osborne and will grow to over £500bn this parliament (evidence & evidence)
2.      Consumer Debt is growing £500 billion this parliament (here)
3.      George Osborne grew National Debt more in 1 parliament than every Labour Chancellor all added together were ever able to manage in 1 century and in doing so emulated the Tories of 1979-1997 who managed to quadruple the National Debt (evidence)
4.      The UK’s Trade Deficit has worsened under George Osborne (evidence)
5.      The UK’s Current Account Deficit has hit a 24 year high (evidence)
6.      430,000 Businesses & Individuals have been declared bankrupt/insolvent under David Cameron says the Insolvency Agency (evidence)
7.      George Osborne is continuing with the PFI funding philosophy, albeit revised, first introduced by the previous Tory Chancellor in 1994 (evidence)
8.      UK is borrowing £200 billion+ more than George Osborne said we would (evidence) and more than Labour’s slower & shallower plan B planned to borrow (evidence)
9.      The cost of HS2 continues to spiral up from £33bn (mean) to over £40bn in little over a year (evidence & evidence)
10.  The National Audit Office says that George Osborne has failed to make the business case to justify the expenditure or benefit of HS2 (evidence)
11.  Despite Osborne’s rhetoric about cutting welfare spending, his failure to get growth has meant a £24billion increase in welfare spending (evidence & evidence)
12.  The UK Statistics Authority cautioned the government about claiming they had reduced National Debt when in fact it had climbed hundreds of billions (evidence)
13.  George Osborne said he would balance the books by 2015 but the OBR says this will not happen until 2018-19 (evidence)

Tax

14.  Corporation Tax rate cut by 29% since April 2010 from 28% to 20% (p.129 & p.9)
15.  Higher Earners (over £150,000) Tax Rate cut by 10% from 50p to 45p in April 2012 (evidence)
16.  VAT hiked to 20% on 22 June 2010, effective on 3 January 2011 (evidence)
17.  VAT revenue under George Osborne has climbed £25 billion a year from £78 billion VAT in Darling’s March 24 2010 Budget (evidence) to £103 billion VAT in Osborne’s most recent March 2013 budget (evidence)
18.  National Insurance Tax Receipts have grown by £10bn under George Osborne (p.11 & p.6 )
19.  VAT raised on Petrol hiked initially by 13% & then by a further 8% in revenue growth due to rising prices (evidence, evidence, evidence)

International Reputation

20.  On 19 April 2012, Fitch downgraded the UK’s AAA rating to AA+ for the first time since the 1970s (evidence)
21.  The UK has slipped from 6th in the world to 10th in the World Bank’s Ease of Doing Business ranking (evidence & evidence)

Wages

22.  Wages grew 3 times faster in May 2010 than they do today (evidence & evidence)
23.  ‘Real’ Wages (after prices) are actually down £1,600 under the Tories (evidenceevidence & evidence)
24.  The Minimum Wage, in real terms, has been cut every year of Tory rule (evidence)
25.  Wage growth is at record lows on current measurements, at 40 year lows on old measurements, and at 140 year lows in real terms (evidence & evidence)
26.  ONS show 6million+ workers earn below a Living Wage under George Osborne’s stewardship (evidence & evidence)
27.  Middle-Class Household Income fell £5,300 from 2008-2012 says the ONS (evidence)
28.  Breaches of the Minimum Wage have risen 3 years running to 270,000+ (evidence)

Growth

29.  UK GDP Growth was 0.2% faster when David Cameron became PM than it has been in any economic quarter since (evidence)
30.  A 20 December ONS release reaffirmed that George Osborne has presided over 5 quarters of economic decline in £ terms (Page 50)
31.  UK GDP Growth (per capita) was the 5th Worst in the EU for 2010-12 (evidence)
32.  Production Output, today, is 3% worse than 2010. Production Growth flatlined (0.0%) in the most recent month according to ONS. (evidence)
33.  Construction Output fell 4.0% in the most recent month, says the Office of National Statistics (evidence) UK Construction is 5.4 indexed points below what it was in June 2010 (evidence)
34.  Retail Sales Growth in May 2010 (YoY) was 4.4% (evidence) which is more than double the most recent retail growth (evidence).
35.  Manufacturing Output flatlined at 0.0% in the most recent month (MoM) and is 0.5%  lower than 2010 Q3 (evidence & evidence)
36.  House Completions reached 89 year lows in 2013 (evidence)
37.  The OBR has revised down its growth forecasts for 2015 & 2016
38.  Only 2% of Voters say that they have felt the benefits of any supposed economic recovery (evidence)

Prices

39.  Prices in the UK grow 2.3 times faster than wages (evidence)
40.  UK Inflation is now the joint highest in the EU (evidence)
41.  Gas Prices are up 30%+ under George Osborne (evidence & evidence)
42.  Petrol Prices are up 13% under George Osborne (evidence)
43.  Water Charges are up 18%+ under George Osborne (evidenceevidence, evidence)
44.  Stamp Prices are up 46-56% since May 2010 says the Royal Mail (evidence)
45.  Food Prices are up 19% under the Tories (evidence)
46.  Rail & Bus Fares are up 20% under George Osborne ( evidence & evidenceevidenceevidenceevidence)
47.  Rents have climbed 15% (£1,140 per year) under George Osborne (evidence)
48.  Utilities Bills set to rise by £221 per household as George Osborne’s infrastructure project costs are passed onto the customer (evidence)

Business

49.  Tories in their boasts of new enterprise created do not deduct the businesses that die. The actual number of Live Enterprises (net) is up just 25,000 from 2010 to 2012 in the latest Business Demography ONS Publication (evidence)
50.  David Cameron cut redundancy notice requirements for big business from 90 days to 45 days (evidence)
51.  UK has now the worst record in the EU for SME share of turnover (evidence)
52.  New lending to SMEs fell 23% in 3 years and the funding gap for SMEs is set to double as the British Investment Bank stumbled (evidence)

Jobs

53.  Unpaid Employment is up 26% since May 2010 (evidence
54.  Youth Unemployment is up 5% since May 2010 (evidence)
55.  Female Unemployment is up 5% since May 2010 (evidence)
56.  Long Term Female Unemployment up 80% since May 2010 (evidence)
57.  Temporary Workers seeking Full Time Work is up 8% since May 2010 (evidence)
58.  Part Timers seeking Full Time work is up 36% since May 2010 (evidence)
59.  Tory claims about employment/unemployment mask the truth. Unemployment is down just 0.08m since May 2010, and the number of private sector jobs really created by the Tories is at about 300,000k less than they claim (evidenceevidence & evidence)
60.  ONS shows 8.5m work less than 30 hours & an estimated 1 million have Zero Hours Contracts say CIPD (evidence & evidence)
61.  The Regional Growth Fund wasted £160 million protecting jobs at an average cost to the taxpayer of £106,000 per job (Page 8)
62.  Local Enterprise Partnerships were supposed to create 54,000 jobs but in truth they’ll be lucky to create 1/3 of that (evidence)
63.  The National Audit Office concluded that George Osborne botched the scrapping of Regional Development Agencies and this cause a reduction in regional investment (evidence)

Poverty

64.  The number of UK people at risk of poverty or social exclusion has grown by 1,689,000 since 31 December 2009 says European Statistics Agency (evidence)
65.  Now 707 Food Banks operating in UK according to my own research (evidence)
66.  The Tories turned down EU Cash for Food banks says the European Parliament (evidence)
67.  Child Poverty up 13% (after Labour had cut it by 50%) says ONS (evidence)
68.  800,000 more households are living in Fuel Poverty & this excludes the impact of recent price rises according to USwitch (evidence)
69.  500,000+ relying on Trussell Trust Foodbanks alone since April 2013 as government scrapped collection of Food Bank Statistics (evidence & evidence)
70.  75% of those worst hit by George Osborne’s latest budget are the poorest 30% of society (evidence)
71.  To pay for lost growth, George Osborne, belatedly, pinned welfare payment uprating to just 1%, less than half the rate at which prices grow (evidence)

Banks

72.  2,714 UK Bankers raked in 1million (euro)+ in 2012 a rise of 11% on 2011 (evidence & evidence)
73.  Bankers’ Bonuses are up £600 million on the year (to April 2013) says the ONS (evidence)
74.  Lending to UK businesses continues to fall (evidence)
75.  Interest Rates on lending to SMEs have increased since May 2010 (page 8)
76.  Growth in unsecured loans is at a 62 month high (evidence)

Miss sold

77.  George Osborne sold Northern Rock for a £480 million loss (evidence)
78.  George Osborne sold Lloyds Share for a £230 million loss (evidence)
79.  George Osborne sold Royal Mail for at least 50% less than it was worth (evidence & evidence)
80.  4G was auctioned off for £1.2bn less than George Osborne forecast (evidence)

Tax Evasion

81.  Tax Gap (Tax Evasion/Avoidance etc)  up 13% since April 2010 (evidence)
82.  Tax Collectors Staffing Budget cut by 16% since April 2010 (evidence)
83.  There are only 4 Tax Collectors chasing the 124 most wanted Tax Fraudsters in the UK (evidence)
84.  Osborne claimed his Swiss deal would recoup billions but real income fell way short (evidence & evidence )
85.  George Osborne cut funding to the HMRC by 25% giving them an almost impossible task to clampdown on tax evasion (evidence)

Cuts

86.  George Osborne delivered the biggest real terms cut to NHS Spending since the 1970s (Page 52)
87.  George Osborne delivered the biggest real terms cut to the Education Budget since the 1950s (Page 1)
88.  George Osborne delivered real terms cuts to Scotland’s budget of 9.2% (evidence)
89.  Due to 5 quarters of negative growth, George Osborne  announced £25bn more cuts for 2016 & 2017 (evidence)
90.  George Osborne’s cuts have led to the closure of 471 schools, 180 libraries, 56 Walk In centres, 63 Ambulance Stations (evidence)
91.  George Osborne’s cuts have led to the loss of 60,000 NHS workers, 7,000 firefighters & 34,000 police personnel (evidence)

Housing Bubble

92.  UK House Prices (HPI) hit a record high in late 2013 (evidence)
93.  UK Private Rents (LSL) hit a record high in late 2013 (evidence)
94.  UK House building (Completions) hit a record low (evidence)
95.  Mortgages for 5% deposit were resurrected in Help To Buy (evidence)

Privatisation

96.  £12.5bn NHS sanctioned by George Osborne (evidence)
97.  £2bn Education Services  sanctioned by George Osborne  (evidence)
98.  £3bn Royal Mail sanctioned by George Osborne (evidence)
99.  £2bn Auditing Services sanctioned by George Osborne (evidence)

100. £500m Probations Services sanctioned by George Osborne (page 23

#CameronMustGo because they’re more than 960 Food Banks in the UK by @LabourEoin

Through my research I have uncovered more than 960 Emergency Food providers (Food Banks/Soup Kitchens) operating in the UK. You can view the list of Food Banks at this link (here) and if that you have problems viewing that link please try this one instead (here). It is, however, highly likely that there are more Food Banks that I was not able to identify through my research, and as I discover more I will add them to the database.
 
The area of the UK with the most Food Banks is the South East of England which has 136, including 26 in Oxfordshire & Buckinghamshire. The areas with the lowest number of Food Banks were Wales & Northern Ireland as well as the North East and Yorkshire/Humber.
If one added the South East/West, London and the East of England together, they would see that 390 Food Banks come from the South of England.  By adding Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland together, we can say that 187 of the 960 Food Banks are from the Celtic regions of the UK. Perhaps most surprisingly, Yorkshire, Humber and the North East of England account for just over 100 of the UK’s near 1,000 Food Banks. This might lead one to tentatively conclude that UK poverty is widespread, and not just confined to the parts of the UK we would normally associate with higher levels of poverty.
Share of the Food Bank Sector, By Provider
Trussell Trust provides 395 Food Banks, and it seeds a further 15 making it the number 1 provider of Food Banks in the UK. Small independent providers make up about a third of UK Food Banks providing about 300 Food Banks. Church Groups and other smaller organisations such as Fare Share & Food Cycle make up the remaining quarter of Emergency Food Providers.
The results above will surprise most. We are led to believe by UK media that Trussell Trust provides the vast majority of UK Food Banks. Indeed when reporting data on the number of people using Food Banks, non-Trussell Trust providers are omitted altogether. This can be problematic for the survival of smaller Food Banks because Councils and Police Crime Commissioners have been awarding grants to the larger Food Bank Providers and overlooking smaller Food Bank networks. In future, a pooled fund that awards cash to Food Bank providers based on their respective share of provision might be a fairer way to allocate resources.

The graph above shows the number of people using Trussell Trust Food Banks, only. Of the hundreds of reports and speeches I have read on Food Bank Statistics, I have yet to see a single reference to the numbers using non-Trussell Trust providers. I say this because it is highly likely that we are under-stating the figures given that a distinct majority of Food Banks are non-Trussell Trust.
500,000 people used Trussell Trust Food Banks in the 9 months to December 2013 (here). The head of Trussell Trust says that the number of people using their Food Banks in 2014 could top 1 million. Given that we now know of the existence of 550 non-Trussell Trust food banks we should re-examine our understanding of how many are reliant on Foo Banks in the UK. If, and it is a very big if, the food bank usage statistics were extrapolated across all 960 Food Banks for the 9 months from April-December 2013, we might speculate that 1.17 million used Food Banks in those 9 months. One would hope that this is an over-statement, as it is possible persons approach multiple food banks for aid when they lose entitlement at one Food Bank, as is often the case when three vouchers expire.

Conclusions

1.      Food Bank data previously under-stated the number of UK Food Banks by as much as 550.
2.      Trussell Trust, whilst the largest provider, actually has just a 43% share of Food Bank provision in the UK.
3.      Wealthier parts of the UK, in particular the South East, rely on Food Banks much more than we were previously aware.
4.      Food bank usage statistics are dramatically understated. It is highly likely that upwards of 1 million UK citizens are drawing upon Food Bank assistance.

The right wing Tory dogma being put ahead of the best interests of the service slams @grahamemorris

Durham Train Station

As rumours grow that the Government is about to name the winner of the franchise to run the East Coast Mainline, possibly as early as tomorrow (Wednesday 25 November) morning Grahame Morris, MP for Easington in County Durham has made the following comments.

“This public-run rail franchise has generated over a billion pounds for the Treasury. If this is what a publicly run train operating franchise can deliver, at a time when every penny counts, we should be looking at ways to bring privately run railways back into public ownership not the other way round. If all the UKs private rail operators returned money back to the public purse like this we would have billions of pounds to invest in our rail network and to reduce tickets prices.”

“This is right wing Tory dogma being put ahead of the best interests of the service, consideration for passengers and the public finances. The public-run East Coast Mainline franchise has consistently been the best performing franchise when it comes to passenger and staff satisfaction, fares and profitability. The passengers want it to remain in public control, the staff want it to remain in public control and UK taxpayers want it to remain in public control.But the heirs of Margaret Thatcher running the Tory party don’t care about any of these things. To them public is bad and private is good, regardless of the price paid by passengers and tax payers” 

“Countries in Europe and around the world have the good sense to see the need for publicly owned and managed national rail networks. Yet this government seems blinded by political ideology to the detriment of UK passengers and taxpayers.David Cameron is happy to let foreign state owned national rail networks acquire our railways and run them as private companies. He is against the UK state having any involvement in our own railways. This means British rail users and taxpayers are subsidising German and French commuters and we have higher rail fares and worse trains. This is sheer madness”

“10 NHS Graphs highlighting why” #CameronMustGo by @LabourEoin

1. 32% of NHS Walk In Centres have been Shut/Downgraded under the Tories (evidence).
2. Tories broke their promise to increase NHS Spending (evidence) and it will fall in real terms twice this parliament.
3. There were 1 million breaches of the 4 Hour A&E Target last year, an increase of 29%. Breaches of the A&E Target are now growing 72 times faster than A&E attendances (evidence).
4. Patient Satisfaction in our NHS fell from record highs in 2010 to record lows in 2011 & now stands at 61% (evidence).
5. Despite Jeremy Hunt CLAIMING 1 million extra were being seen at A&Es, attendances at A&Es have only climbed by 53,177 (evidence).
6. Breaches of the 28 day guarantee for cancelled operations have soared under Jeremy Hunt, up by more than 50% (evidence).
7. There are 6,468 less Nursing, Midwifery & Health Visiting staff employed by the NHS (evidence).
8. NHS Hospital Trusts warning of a financial deficit this year have climbed more than sixfold in just 1 year (evidence).
9. The number of cancelled operations has climbed to over 180,000 under the Tories and is growing 4% faster under Jeremy Hunt (evidence).
10. There are 7,968 fewer overnight hospital beds today than May 2010 (evidence).

“I Don’t Care If He Can Eat A Bacon Sandwich Beautifully – It’s Policy That Matters” by @KarlTurnerMP

Claims that there is a leadership crisis within the Labour Party are absolute nonsense. In the past 4 years the Labour Party has stood united behind a leader that has come up with bold and brave policies that will lead Britain to a fair and more prosperous future. The idea that there is unrest in the Parliamentary Labour Party about Ed Miliband’s leadership is simply not true, it is Tory Spin from the likes of Grant Shapps/Michael Green/Sebastian Fox or whatever the Conservative Party Chairman likes to go by. The reality is that there are just one or two anonymous MPs, an insignificant number.

The cowardice of the “anonymous two” has shone through as they do not have the bottle to bring their concerns to the leader, instead choosing to brief against the party, using the right-wing press as their mouthpiece.

It is also ironic that as the Tories are in a tailspin over Europe, facing defections right, further right and centre and having lost two by-elections, the media is focusing on Ed Miliband and perceived problems that have no basis. The right wing press has talked up problems in Labour to detract from the real story of Tory crisis.

As we have seen from the Rochester and Strood by-election, UKIP have the Tories running scared. David Cameron cannot control his backbenchers and this has resulted in Tory rebellion, defections and two by-election losses. He is a weak Prime Minister, weak on Europe, weak on his party and weak on protecting the vast majority of people. He wouldn’t even allow Parliament a vote last week on the European Arrest Warrant for fear of being shown up by his own MPs. Instead, Ed Miliband had to provide that opportunity in Labour’s opposition day debate this past week.

Ed Miliband is offering a real alternative to the voters of Britain. Whilst David Cameron and Nick Clegg are privatising the NHS, introducing the Bedroom Tax and giving a tax cut to millionaires worth over £100,000, Ed Miliband is standing up to vested interests by a commitment to freeze household energy bills, strengthening the minimum wage and bringing an end to exploitative zero-hours contracts.

As we pass the six month mark to the General Election Labour, led by Ed Miliband, is committed to a recovery that works for the many and not the few. We want the next generation to do better than the last and we will tackle the Tory cost of living crisis head on. We will protect the NHS from further privatisation and devolve powers to Local Authorities so that people have more of a say in how their money is spent.

I believe that we can make a real difference in local people’s lives. With Ed Miliband as Prime Minister we’ll create an £8 minimum wage, ban exploitive zero hours contracts, freeze energy bills until 2017, cut business rates, create extra apprenticeships and build thousands more new homes every year to 2020.

Everybody in the Labour Party, from Ed Miliband down, is focused on tackling the cost of living crisis, building an economy which works for working people, reforming Europe but not walking away, getting tough and fair controls on immigration and saving our national health service.

Hull deserves a Prime Minister that will stand up for its interests, Ed Miliband is the leader that will do this. On Election Day in May I urge voters in Hull to give their vote to the only Party that can provide real change.