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My Column in Ilford Recorder December 18 2014

Many people in Ilford and nationally are stuck in low-paid jobs and have had falling real wages.  Low wages mean low tax revenues and increased need for in work tax credits and housing benefit .  This cost of living crisis is the reason why The Conservative led government's key promise to balance the nation’s books by next year lies in tatters.  Chancellor George Osborne has  borrowed a staggering £207 billion more than he planned.  Having failed on the deficit in this Parliament, the Tories now plan cuts for the next Parliament going much further than balancing the books.  They want to take Britain back to 1930s spending levels to a time before the National Health Service, when young people left school at 14.  I reject this Tory plan of a 35 per cent state. I support Labour’s plan to tackle the cost of living crisis by increasing the minimum wage, building homes, reforming the banks and transforming vocational education. This is an agenda for economic change and big reform not big spending.  There will have to be common sense spending reductions. But the deficit should also reduced. By raising money from taxes  on those at the top such as by reversing the  50p millionaires’ tax cut.  Labour will raise an extra £2.5 billion Time to Care Fund for the NHS funded by a mansion tax on homes worth over £2m.  Unless we tackle the deficit in a tough but balanced way we face a simple choice between spending more money on debt interest payments and subsidising low wages and high rents or more money on vital public services like our NHS.

I would like to wish my constituents a happy Chanukah this week,  a Merry Christmas next week and a peaceful and prosperous New Year. 

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