My Ilford Recorder column 26 September 2013

I was at the Labour  Party Conference in Brighton this week where I heard Labour Leader Ed Miliband  and other Shadow Ministers set out Labour's policies and how Labour will build an economy that works for working people.
Despite Conservative claims, times are tough. The monthly bills are high, prices are up and everybody has to work hard to make ends meet. David Cameron is too out of touch to realise it – but there’s a cost of living crisis facing the country.
I was pleased to hear Labour calling time on the race to the bottom, where exploitation and undercutting of people’s wages are currently all too common.
When there a million young people unemployed, we need to do everything we can to encourage employers to give them a chance.
Any company that wants a contract from government is going to have to offer apprenticeships as well.
Labour will increase the level of the national minimum wage.  
Labour will also increase the fines for firms that are paying people below the national minimum wage from £5,000 to £50,000.
 Miliband committed the next Labour Government to require every large firm that’s hiring a migrant worker from outside the EU to offer an apprenticeship, too.
Immigration has brought enormous benefits to Britain, from sustaining our NHS to groundbreaking research in our universities. It has also played an immensely important role in our history, in Britain, in London which is a global city,  and here in Ilford.    But it is precisely because immigration is so important that it needs to be controlled and to work for everyone in our society – not just for some. Under Ed Miliband, One Nation Labour is moving forward with plans to make sure it does just that.

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