Lyn Brown

Member of Parliament for West Ham

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We cannot afford another five years of Tory rule - March 2015

May’s general election is the most important in decades.

This Tory-led government has decimated Newham Council’s budget; the NHS is at breaking point and working people are, on average, £1,600 a year worse off. We live in a country deeply divided between the “haves” and the “have-nots.”

Civilised societies look after the elderly and vulnerable. The past five years have seen a 40 per cent reduction in government funding for social care. Care budgets suffered cuts of £3.5bn.

Apprenticeships have been cut, child poverty is rising, food banks abound and working people’s dependency on housing benefit will double, as rents rise and wages stagnate.

With the rise in zero hours contracts, childcare and housing costs, work isn’t always the route out of poverty. While ordinary people struggle, this government cut taxes for the rich. Austerity lets the richest one per cent thrive.

I’m terrified what another five years of Tory government would mean for West Ham people. Their published plans are chilling. They’ll cut another £70bn from public spending. What would this mean for the NHS, for care budgets and for low-paid working families? That scale of cuts is unprecedented, dragging us back to 1930s spending levels, when there was no NHS and my grandparents couldn’t afford to take my mum to the doctor.

Labour will balance the books and get debt falling, without putting our NHS and essential public services at risk, and tackle tax avoidance; close loopholes, increase transparency and toughen penalties. We’ll reverse this government’s £3bn-a-year millionaires’ tax cut, reduce student fees, freeze energy prices, ban exploitative zero hours contracts and introduce a Mansion Tax on properties worth over £2m, to save our National Health Service.

I am determined to do everything possible to rid us of this unfair, out-of-touch government.

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