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“10 appalling comments by Tory Politicians about Food Banks & people in Food Poverty” by @LabourEoin

There are now 1,080 Food Banks in the UK (full list here). 1 million people will access Food Banks in 2014. Despite this catastrophic level of poverty, Tory politicians remain totally oblivious to the suffering of the poor. Below are 10 comments uttered by Tory politicians that reveal just how out of touch they really are.
  1. Michael Gove MP claimed Food Bank users were “Not able to manage their finances” (evidence)
  2. A former Tory Minister claimed “the moment they [Food Bank users] have got a bit of spare cash they are off getting another ­tattoo” (evidence)
  3. David Cameron PM said Food Banks are “Part of what I call the Big Society” (evidence)
  4. One Tory MP claimed that Food Bank usage can “become a habit” (evidence)
  5. Another Tory MP said people use Food Banks because of an “inability to manage money and to budget, addiction to alcohol or substance misuse…” (evidence)
  6. Tory Minister, Lord Freud, suggested “food from a food bank is by definition a free good and there’s almost infinite demand” (evidence)
  7. A senior Tory Councillor said Food Banks enabled poor budgeters to “have more money to spend on alcohol, cigarettes” (evidence)
  8. A Tory MP jibed “how many folks can still find funds to pay for alcohol and cigarettes but not food” (evidence)
  9. West Oxfordshire Conservative Future chairman  “I have seen some ‘food bank users’ in the pubs of Witney… #priorities.” (evidence)
  10. Iain Duncan Smith MP accused the Trussell Trust of “Scaremongering” (evidence)

100 Labour Party Policies that Ed Miliband will implement if it was elected to government by @LabourEoin

  1. Labour will introduce a Mansion Tax on properties worth more than £2 million (evidence)
  2. Labour has said it will repeat Alastair Darling’s Banker Bonus Tax that raised more than £3bn in 2009-10 (evidence, evidence & evidence)
  3. Labour will scrap the £150 million tax cut for Hedge Funds announced by George Osborne in March 2013 (evidence)
  4. Labour will also increase the Bank Levy by £800m a year (evidence)
  5. Labour will scrap the Profit Tax Cut (Corporation Tax) that George Osborne has already announced for 2015-6 (evidence)
  6. Labour will introduce an £800m cut in Business Tax worth £450 to 1.5 million smaller businesses in 2015 & will freeze Business Tax in 2016 (evidence & evidence)
  7. Labour will introduce an Income Tax cut for 25 million workers by halving the lowest rate of Income Tax to just 10% (evidence)
  8. Labour would bring back the 50p rate for High Earners (evidence)
  9. Those earning £150,000+ a year currently get 45% Tax Relief on their Pensions. Labour would cut this to about 30% (evidence)
  10. Labour supports a Financial Transaction Tax but only if it can be agreed multi-laterally and include the USA (evidence & evidence)
  11. No more borrowing to pay for day to day spending & this will be enshrined in tough new fiscal rules (evidence)
  12. New Fiscal Rules will require the budget to be balanced, and for National Debt, not just the deficit, to be reduced through the elimination of the structural deficit (evidence)
  13. Labour will use £1billion extra revenue from the Mobile Phone license fee to re-capitalise a British Investment Bank to encourage regional lending (evidence)
  14. Labour will establish an Independent Infrastructure Commission to enable forward planning on investment projects (evidence)
  15. Labour will establish a British Investment Bank (evidence, evidenceevidence & evidence)
  16. Labour will scrap George Osborne’s “Shares for Rights” scheme that has opened up a tax loophole of £1billion (evidence)
  17. Labour will close tax loopholes in the Construction Industry that currently cost taxpayers £500million a year (evidence)
  18. Labour will extend Disclosure of Tax Avoidance Schemes to include global transactions (evidence & evidence)
  19. Labour will launch a Convention on Tax Havens at the G8 to open up tax havens (evidence)
  20. Labour supports a form of Country by Country reporting, provided it is agreed internationally (evidence)
  21. Labour will repeal the Tory NHS Act of 2012 that accelerated NHS privatisation & subjected the NHS to EU Competition Laws (evidence)
  22. Labour will introduce a law making Private Health, and other firms subject to the Freedom of Information Act (evidence)
  23. Labour would give more powers to Local Councils through Health & Well Being Boards to oversee procurement of NHS services at a local level, this would increase giving elected councillors a say on NHS Commissioning (evidence & evidence)
  24. Labour will create a unified National Health & Social Care Service effectively integrating health & social care putting patient dignity at the centre of everything it does (evidence & evidence)
  25. Each care patient will be guaranteed a 1 named contact that coordinates all their at-home care needs and accompanies a patient onto a ward if needed (evidence)
  26. Labour would only allow firms paying a Living Wage to bid for government contracts, a policy which would bring a Living Wage to 4 million workers (evidence)
  27. Labour will offer tax breaks to firms who pay the Living Wage (evidence)
  28. Labour will introduce a £50,000 fine to firms who pay below the National Minimum Wage (evidence)
  29. The Minimum Wage has suffered a real terms cut of 5% under the Tories but Labour will make up the difference to its value is restored (evidence)
  30. Labour will introduce a Compulsory Jobs Guarantee, giving long term unemployed persons a 6 month paid job with view to extending it (evidence)
  31. Labour will outlaw the use of Zero Hours Contracts where they are found to be exploitative (evidence & evidence)
  32. Labour will launch a full public inquiry into blacklisting (evidence)
  33.  As a minimum, Labour will cut Tuition Fees to £6,000 which by 2015 will amount to at least a 33% cut in tuition fees (evidence & evidence) but it is important to note that Labour has not yet given up on the idea of a Graduate Tax (evidence)
  34. Labour will halt Michael Gove’s Free School Expansion Programme. Not a single new Free School will be announced under a Labour government (evidence )
  35. Labour will abolish the Tory ban on Local Education Authorities opening State Schools once more (evidence)
  36. Labour support the establishment of Parent-Led Academies where there is a shortage of school places (evidence)
  37. Labour will require all teachers to pass an MOT style accreditation every 7-9 years passing them ‘Fit to Teach’ (evidence)
  38. Labour will give 25 Hours of Free Childcare to parents with children aged 3 & 4 (evidence)
  39. Labour will guarantee wraparound care from 8am-6am is available for every child in England (evidence)
  40. Labour will require the HS2 project to create 33,000 apprentices for young people at no extra cost to the taxpayer (evidence)
  41. Labour will abolish basic level I and level II apprenticeships and abolish short term apprenticeships so that all apprenticeships are guaranteed for at least 2 years at level 3 (evidence)
  42. Labour will introduce a new Technical Baccalaureate, a Gold Standard vocational qualification for those wishing to go into skilled employment instead of university (evidence)
  43. Labour will establish a new type of Technical School for Vocational Qualifications (evidence)
  44. Labour will Freeze Gas & Electricity Prices until 2017 (evidence)
  45. Labour will cut wholesale energy prices by forcing companies to pool their power, making it available to any retailer (evidence & evidence)
  46. Labour will break up the big 6 Energy Companies and separate the power stations from the retailers (evidence & evidence)
  47. Labour will axe Ofgem & replace it with a tougher regulatory body with more powers to prevent Energy Price Rises (evidence)
  48. Labour will legislate to ensure Energy Firms place the elderly automatically on the cheapest tariff (evidence)
  49. Labour will compel Water Companies to place the poorest households on a Social Tariff that makes it easier for them to pay their Water Bills (evidence)
  50. Labour will build 200,000 homes, with a special focus on Social Rentals, a year by 2020 (evidence)
  51. Labour will invite local authorities to come forward with proposals to build new towns and garden cities and will give them the financial backing they need to make it a reality (evidence)
  52. Labour would force councils to guarantee small-medium house builders access to public lino der to boost the number of custom built housing projects (evidence)
  53. Labour will expend on the Right To Grow Principle, giving towns better measures to stop land hoarders from banking land and blocking town expansion under a new “Use it or Lose it” policy (evidence & evidence, evidence)
  54. Labour will regulate Letting Agents claiming down on rogue practices than charge up front administration fees than are not transparently advertised (evidence)
  55. Labour will set up a new regulator to make sure that rogue landlords obey a code of practice or face referral to the OFT (evidence)
  56. Labour will provide Financial Guarantees to give house builders wishing to build new towns access to cheap finance (evidence , evidence & evidence)
  57. Labour would cap rail fares by preventing Rail Fares rising more than 1% above inflation (evidence & evidence)
  58. Labour will abolish “Super Peak” Rail Fares meaning that your train ticket is valid on every train (evidence)
  59. Labour will guarantee that train tickets booked way in advance can be used on the next train if possible (evidence)
  60. A legal right to be allowed to buy the cheapest ticket regardless of how or where you buy it (evidence)
  61. Labour’s full rail policy has yet to be decided but, for now, Labour supports allowing a State Owned Rail Firm to bid to run rail franchises (not for profit) (evidence)
  62. Free Wifi on all trains regardless of the class of ticket purchased (evidence)
  63.  Labour will regulate the price of stamps to make sure costs do not rise unfairly (evidence)
  64. Labour will force the Royal Mail to guarantee the same cost of delivery regardless of where in the UK a letter is being delivered (evidence)
  65. Labour will legislate to ensure that the Royal Mail continues to use the Post Office network beyond 2022 (evidence)
  66. Labour will introduce a new law giving Local Councils the power to regulate Fixed Odds Betting Terminals (evidence)
  67. Labour will introduce new regulations giving powers to Local Councils to block Pay Day lenders opening on high streets (evidence)
  68. Labour would set up a Financial Crime Unit, with increased staffing, in the Serious Fraud Office to enable the SFO to pursue bankers who break the law (evidence)
  69. Labour will guarantee immunity for whistle-blowers at banks (evidence)
  70. Labour will break up the banks, separating retail banking from investment banking (evidence)
  71. Labour would force banks to sell hundreds of branches to create at least 2 new competitors (evidence & evidence)
  72. Labour will remove the requirement for Corporations to produce quarterly reports, thus ending an incentive for short termism and excessive risk taking (evidence)
  73. Labour will prevent new shareholders voting on take voters to prevent firms suffering aggressive takeovers from hedge funds and speculators (evidence)
  74. Labour would implement the High Pay Commission’s proposals including placing at least 1 worker on the board of corporations (evidence)
  75. Labour will double the tax duty on Pay Day Lenders and will use the additional £13,000,000 that raises to help foster more Credit Unions (evidence)
  76. Labour will impose a cap on the cost of credit, setting a limit at which Pay Day Lenders can charge borrowers (evidence)
  77. Labour will ban Pay Day lenders from advertising on Children’s Television (evidence)
  78. Labour will commit the UK to the 2030 Energy Decarbonisation Target (evidence)
  79. Labour will ban food from landfill to cut down on food wastage (evidence)
  80. Labour will regulate food labelling to simplify pricing so that Supermarkets cannot con customers (evidence)
  81. Labour will introduce Marine Conservation Zones to protect fish stocks and improve bio-diversity & will complete the Coastal Path enabling everyone to have access to the coast (evidence)
  82. Labour will give the Green Investment Bank the borrowing powers it needs to unlock £billions of investment (Labour will compel Water Companies to place the poorest households on a Social Tariff that makes it easier for them to pay their Water Bills (evidence)
  83. Labour will replace The Green Deal with a new “ Pay as You Save Scheme” (evidence)
  84. Labour will repeal David Cameron’s Bedroom Tax that penalised 660,000 households, mostly disabled, for the perceived under-occupation of a bedroom (evidence)
  85. Labour will introduce a new offence to punish Disability Hate Crime (evidence)
  86. Labour will sack ATOS from carrying out Work Capability Tests (evidence)
  87. Labour will cap structural Welfare Spending (evidence)
  88. Labour will replace the Tory Benefit Cap with a Regional Benefit Cap that takes account of the excessive cost of rental housing in London (evidence, evidence & evidence)
  89. Labour will axe Winter Fuel Payments for the 600k richest pensioners in the UK in order to save £100m (evidence)
  90. Labour will set up a Universal Credit Rescue Committee to make sure benefit payments are streamlined and that it pays to work (evidence & evidence)
  91. Labour’s new Immigration Bill would compel Multi-Nationals to create 1 Apprenticeship place each time a skilled worker was hired from outside the EU (evidence & evidence)
  92. Labour’s new Immigration Bill would ban Recruitment Consultancy firms from only hiring abroad & ban firms from paying temporary workers less than permanent staff (evidence & evidence)
  93. Mandatory Registration for Commercial Landlords to prevent them subletting smaller properties to large groups of immigrants (evidence)
  94. Labour will clampdown on Short Term Student Visas, freeing up regulation of Long Term Student visas so that University recruitment of foreign students runs more smoothly (evidence)
  95. Labour will give 16-17 year olds the right to participate in elections (evidence)
  96. Labour will ban Police using “Community Resolutions” instead of court proceedings to settle incidents of domestic abuse or sexual violence (evidence)
  97. Labour will introduce a Women’s Justice Board that will seek to find ways of using restorative justice to lower reoffending and the rates of women jailed (evidence)
  98. Labour will scrap Police Commissioners (evidence)
  99. Labour will introduce a Forces & Veterans Bill of Rights to build upon the Military Covenant (evidence)
  100. Labour will introduce workplace rights for army volunteers & personalised budgets for veterans with severe injuries (evidence)

“Cameron…Keep your hands off our GPs” by @jon_trickett

Last week I met with Patients, Doctors and Nurses at Crofton Surgery to launch a petition against Government cuts, which could see a loss of up to 38 GPs from our area.

I am urging people to sign my petition and have their say against the reduction of £3.8m of NHS funding. If these cuts go ahead it could mean that people in my area will be waiting much longer to see their GP and could even see practice closures – every doctor’s surgery in the area will be affected so we need all the help we can get.

Understandably local people have been extremely alarmed by these proposals and we have already had hundreds of signatures in Doctors surgeries, local shops and on my website.

Please sign, share and spread the word about the petition which will be presented by me in the House of Commons to help stop these disastrous cuts.

If you would like to help save our local NHS please sign the petition by visiting my website at –

http://www.jontrickett.org.uk/gp_petition

“Fury over UKIPs alliance with far-right Polish party” by @MichaelDugherMP

Nigel Farage’s Ukip faced fury today after forming a pact with a Polish MEP whose party leader has been accused of making racist remarks and denying the Holocaust

Robert Iwaszkiewicz, a member of Poland’s Congress of the New Right, has been allowed to join a grouping in the European Parliament set up by Ukip.

His party’s leader Janusz Korwin-Mikke has repeatedly used racist language and has said Hitler was “probably not aware” of the Holocaust.

Labour MP Michael Dugher said the pact would offend Britons in the run-up to Remembrance Day next month.

“Here are Ukip forming an alliance with a far-Right party in Europe that denies the fact that millions were murdered in the Holocaust, in order to keep receiving hundreds of thousands of pounds from the European Parliament,” the shadow cabinet office minister said. “This shows once again that Ukip do not share the values of decent working people in Britain.”

10 facts about Migrants to the UK that the Daily Mail hopes you never discover

Most recent data show
  1. Just 2.7% of Unemployment Benefit Claimants [JSA] are EU Migrants
  2. 99% of National Insurance Numbers issued to foreigners are for workers not the jobless
  3. EU Migrants from Poland & A8 Countries contribute a net £16bn+ benefit per year to the UK economy [2009 data]
  4. Just 38,000 EU Migrants claim JSA at a cost of £140m to the taxpayer
  5. NHS ‘Tourism’ from overseas visitors using the NHS costs 0.1% of the NHS Budget
  6. EU Immigrants from Poland and other A8 countries pay 39% more in taxes than they get back in state expenditure on them
  7. A UK born person of working age is 150%+ more likely to be receiving benefits than a foreign born person resident in the UK
  8. 93% of foreign born persons of working age in the UK do not receive benefits
  9. EU Migrants from Poland and other A8 countries are 60% less likely to live in Social Housing than UK citizens.
  10. In 2011, 67% of Poles & other EU (A8) nationals who attempt to claim benefits in the UK were refused