Wednesday, 15 April 2015

Yet another uncosted, unfunded and unbelievable announcement from the Tories

The Right to Buy

 

This announcement is yet another uncosted, unfunded and unbelievable announcement from the Tories.

 

Having exhausted the magic money tree, they now want people to believe that they can magic up billions of pounds a year from selling off a few council homes. Last year that raised just over £100 million, while this policy costs £4.5 billion a year.

 

The test of any Government serious about restoring the dream of home ownership is to build more homes but the Tories are failing on every count.

 

·           Under David Cameron, house building is at its lowest level in peace time since the 1920s.

·           Home ownership is at its lowest level since 1985 with 205,000 fewer home owners than when David Cameron came to power.

·           Under David Cameron the average number of families claiming their right to buy each year has fallen by two thirds compared to under Labour.

 

Labour supports home ownership which is why we back the Right to Buy and we will look at options to help more tenants buy their own home.

 

But in the 21st Century that means building homes and not forgetting the vast majority of people that want to buy their own home but currently rent privately or live with their parents.

 

Labour's better plan for housing will get 200,000 new homes built a year by 2020 in the places where local communities want them by:

·           Give first time buyers on new homes in areas of housing growth

·           Tackle landbanking through new lose it or lose it powers

·           Unlock a new Future Homes Fund by requiring that the billions of pounds saved in Help to Buy ISAs is invested in building homes

·           Shake up the housing market by backing small builders

·           Build a new generation garden cities and suburbs creating over half a million new homes

·           Prioritise capital on housing so it's at the top of the list for investment

 

Q&A

 

Will you match this commitment to extend the right to buy?

We support right to buy and we will look at proposals to help more social tenants to buy their own home but unlike the Tories we won't make promises we can't keep and the Tories can't explain how they will fund this proposal.

 

The truth is to tackle the housing crisis and restore the dream of home ownership we need to build more homes and that is exactly what Labour's better plan will do.

 

You say this policy is unfunded but the Tories have said councils will be forced to pay by selling expensive social homes?

The Tories have spent the last few days spraying around unfunded, uncosted and unbelievable policies. They originally said this policy would be funded by the taxpayer, now they say the £4.5bn cost will be paid for by selling off a few council homes – no one will believe a word. Having exhausted their magic money tree they're now just making it up.

 

Do you support selling off expensive social homes?

Of course it's right that councils and housing associations manage their stock and make sensible disposals but having exhausted the magic money tree, the Tories have now resorted to making it up. The Tories can't explain how they'll pay the £4.5bn billion.

 

The Conservative Party have not stood up and will not stand up for working families.

Conservative manifesto

 

The Conservative Party have not stood up and will not stand up for working families.

 

It is working people who have paid the price of the last five years, with higher taxes and wages down £1,600.

 

And it is working people who will pay the price of the Tories’ desperate campaign.

 

There is nothing more dangerous to the NHS than saying you will protect it, without being able to say where the money will come from.

 

And their flaky election bribes from housing to childcare will leave working people paying the price in higher taxes. Their manifesto confirms that the Tories have £25 billion of promises which they have no way of paying for, while refusing to rule out extending VAT to areas such as food and children clothes. That means higher taxes for every working person in this country.

 

This is why the head of the IFS said today that the Tory plan “requires really very dramatic spending cuts or perhaps tax increases between now and 2018, at least on the scale that we’ve seen over this Parliament”.

 

Yesterday Labour showed that it was the party of change and the party of responsibility with a fully funded manifesto that does not require any extra borrowing. The Conservative manifesto today shows once again that working people can’t afford five more years of the Tories.

 

 

Childcare

 

The Tories' childcare policy is unravelling because their sums don't add up. They claim that Labour's plan for 25 hours free childcare for working parents of 3 and 4 year olds would cost £800 million – but they say their own policy would only cost £350 million.

 

Unlike the Tories' policy, Labour's plan is fully costed, deliverable and ready to go. Labour has a better plan for supporting working families

 

Labour’s better plan for supporting working families

 

This is what a real manifesto for families looks like:

·         Labour will protect tax credits rather than cut them supporting the living standards of four million families with kids, over half of families in the country.

·         Labour will introduce a legal guarantee for parents of access to wraparound childcare from 8am to 6pm through their local primary school, underpinned by a new not-for-profit National Primary Childcare Service

·         Labour will extend free childcare from 15 to 25 hours for working parents with three and four-year-olds, paid for with an increase in the bank levy.

·         Labour will tackle the shortage of childcare places by doubling the number of places available at Sure Start centres - at least 50,000 more.

·         Labour will increase the minimum wage to more than £8 by October 2019 to ensure hard work is rewarded.

·         Labour will freeze energy bills until 2017 and give the regulator the power to cut bills this winter.

·         Labour will double paternity leave to four weeks, paid at the minimum wage.

 

Q&A

 

This is more generous than Labour’s offer?

·         No. The Tories’ offer isn’t real because it is unfunded and undeliverable.

·         Labour has a fully-funded plan to deliver £800 million investment in childcare, paid for by increasing the bank levy. The Tories have only allocated £350 million for their offer.

 

 

Income tax threshold and minimum wage

 

David Cameron said nothing new today on the minimum wage. This was simply a re-announcement of his policy to increase the personal allowance – and he still hasn't explained how he'll pay for it. It's a £6.5 billion spending commitment that can only be paid for by tax rises elsewhere, or even deeper cuts to public services.

 

Taken with their policy on the higher rate threshold, that’s £10.4 billion of unfunded tax cuts.

 

Labour will cut taxes for people on low and middle incomes with a lower 10p rate of tax, paid for by reversing the Tories’ Marriage Tax Allowance. We will also increase the minimum wage to more than £8 by October 2019 to ensure hard work is rewarded.

 

Q&A

 

Will you match the increase in the personal allowance?

·         The Tories’ claims about further rises in the thresholds are completely unfunded.

·         Labour will go ahead with the uprating of Income Tax thresholds announced in the March budget. We will also increase the minimum wage to more than £8 by October 2019 to ensure hard work is rewarded.

·         If we can go further than raising thresholds in line with inflation, we will do so, but unlike the Tories we’re not going to make promises which are unfunded and where we can’t say where the money is coming from.

 

Are the Tories more ambitious than you on the minimum wage?

·         No. Under our plans the minimum wage will rise by at least twice as much as it has under the Tories. It will mean someone working full time will be £800 a year better off compared to continuing with the rate of increases under the Tories.

 

 

Housing – right to buy for Housing Association tenants

 

Over the last 24 hours the Tories’ housing plan has fallen apart.

 

We support people's right to buy homes. But a right to buy is a fraud if you fail to find the money to fund it or build the homes.

 

The Tories once again have no idea where a penny of this plan is coming from. They want people to believe that they can magic up billions of pounds a year from selling off a few council homes. Last year that raised just over £100 million, but now they say it can raise £4.5 billion a year.

 

The Tories are once again doing nothing to build the homes our country needs.

·         Under David Cameron, house building is at its lowest level in peace time since the 1920s.

·         Home ownership is at its lowest level since 1985 with 205,000 fewer home owners than when David Cameron came to power.

·         Under David Cameron the average number of families claiming their right to buy each year has fallen by two thirds compared to under Labour.

 

The test of any Government serious about restoring the dream of home ownership is to build more homes for first time buyers. Labour’s better plan for housing will get 200,000 new homes built a year by 2020 in the places where local communities want them. We will:

·         Give first time buyers on new homes in areas of housing growth

·         Tackle landbanking through new lose it or lose it powers

·         Unlock a new Future Homes Fund by requiring that the billions of pounds saved in Help to Buy ISAs is invested in building homes.

 

The Tories have failed that test and therefore fail first-time buyers at every count. That's why they can't stand up for working people.

 

Q&A

 

Will you match this commitment to extend the right to buy?

·         We support right to buy and we will look at proposals to help more social tenants to buy their own home but unlike the Tories we won’t make promises we can’t keep and the Tories can’t explain how they will fund this proposal.

·         The truth is to tackle the housing crisis and restore the dream of home ownership we need to build more homes and that is exactly what Labour’s better plan will do.

 

You say this policy is unfunded but the Tories have said councils will be forced to pay by selling expensive social homes?

·         There is no evidence the Tories can raise the money they claim. The Chartered Institute of Housing have said "the figures simply won’t stack up".

 

Do you support selling off expensive social homes?

·         Of course it’s right that councils and housing associations manage their stock and make sensible disposals but having exhausted the magic money tree, the Tories have now resorted to making it up. The Tories can’t explain how they’ll raise £4.5 billion a year from the sale of council houses.

 

 

NHS funding

 

The Tories have not got a single penny of extra money for the NHS.  They can’t explain how the £8bn they claim to be offering would be paid for.

 

As David Cameron said himself in January, "the real risk to the NHS is the risk of unfunded spending commitments bringing chaos to our economy, which would wreck our NHS". That's exactly what he's offering.

 

The Tories have taken the NHS backwards. After five years of this Government there’s a crisis in A&E, waiting lists are at a record high and it’s harder to see your GP. The NHS can’t survive five more years of David Cameron.

 

Labour has a better plan for the NHS. Only Labour has a plan to put real money into the NHS from the start of the parliament to meet our commitments to it. We have a fully-funded plan to invest £2.5bn in 20,000 more nurses and 8,000 more doctors so the NHS has time to care. This will also include 3,000 more midwives to meet our guarantee being announced today for one-to-one maternity care.

 

Q&A

 

Will you match the Tories on the £8bn?

·         The Tories haven’t set out a penny of extra funding for the NHS because they have no idea where the money will come from. David Cameron said that approach would “wreck our NHS”.

·         The Tories plans for extreme cuts – cutting double next year than this year – means no-one will believe a word of this.

 

Is your £2.5bn on top of Tory plans?

·         Yes. The Tories haven’t got a penny of extra funding for the NHS, while Labour will give the NHS the funding it needs. We have a clear plan to raise more money for the NHS above Tory plans from the first year of a Labour government.

 

But Simon Stevens’ NHS Forward Look says £8bn is needed?

·         Labour will give the NHS the funding it needs. People know this because of our record, because we have a clear plan to raise money for the NHS from the first year of a Labour government and because we don't have extreme spending plans or unfunded promises.

 

Rail – five-year rail fare freeze

 

This is another unfunded promise from the Tories.

 

There is no detail on how this will be funded. In August last year, however, the Tory Transport Secretary put a £1.8 billion figure on a fares freeze across the lifetime of the Parliament - that's £360 million a year.

 

Labour has a better plan for the railways to get a better deal for passengers and taxpayers. Instead of a Tory promise of a rail freeze they have no way of paying for, we will freeze rail fares next year paid for by reprioritising within the Transport budget – delaying road schemes where the economic case is still uncertain. During the freeze we will review the franchising process as a priority to bring an end to the Conservatives’ franchising fiasco and put in place a better system.

 

Q&A

 

This is more generous than Labour’s one-year freeze?

·         The Tories’ claim is unfunded and unbelievable.  By contrast, Labour’s one-year real terms freeze is fully funded.

·         The House of Commons Library estimate, based on Treasury numbers, is that Labour’s pledge will cost just over £200 million. We will pay for this by switching spend within the transport budget. So this requires no extra borrowing or spending.

·         The government have allocated funding for road projects in the next parliament. Whilst we support the idea of long term investment on roads, there are a couple of schemes where the case still needs to be made. We will delay the A27 Arundel Bypass and the Taunton A358 until the next road investment period. This will unlock £600 million in the next parliament which we will use for other priorities, like the fares freeze.

Tuesday, 14 April 2015

5-a-side Competition at the Accrington Lions Carnival

I have always been a passionate supporter of football at all levels, and this year I am proud to be sponsoring 5-a-side football competition the Accrington Lions carnival which is taking place on Saturday 13th June on the King George Playing Fields in Accrington.

The event is a great local fundraiser, and every penny raised by the Accrington Lions goes to worthy causes in the community as they have no administration expenses. The event will also feature a parachute display, a Viking display as well as live bands and loads of events and activities for children.

For just £10, you can enter your 5-a-side team and you will be supporting the Accrington Lions to raise funds for worthy causes – plus you will have the opportunity to win £100.

To express an interest please contact Lion Jaqui at jaquicollins@yahoo.co.uk message the organisers via the Facebook page The Famous Accrington Lions Community Carnival or phone 0845 8337386 for further information. Closing date for applications is Saturday 30th May 2015.

I am really looking forward to the event, and hope for a huge turnout on the day.

Saturday, 11 April 2015

Labour’s better plan for maternity care

Labour's better plan for maternity care

​Labour will guarantee one-to-one maternity care for every woman during labour and birth. Labour is publishing its Health Manifesto which will put personalised care at its heart.

  • The manifesto will include a new 'Call the Midwife' pledge which will see:​​Guaranteed personalised one-to-one care from a midwife for every woman during labour and childbirth.
  • This guarantee will be enshrined in the NHS constitution.
  • A plan to make this guarantee a reality by providing 3,000 new midwives, through our fully-funded £2.5bn Time to Care Fund.
A world-class NHS, fit for the 21st century, needs enough doctors and nurses with the time to care for patients. But over the last five years staff numbers haven't kept pace with demand.
 
This means midwives are not always able to offer woman one-to-one care during labour, as recommended by NICE. A failure to deliver one-to-one care means problems are more likely to occur. The Royal College of Midwives calculates that the NHS in England would need 3,000 more midwives to be able to offer all women one-to-one care.
 
Labour has a better plan for maternity care. Today we are announcing that, for the first time, all women in labour will be guaranteed personalised one-to-one care from a midwife. It will mean:
 
·         A midwife solely dedicated and able to give her full commitment to the woman all the time she is in labour.
·         A guarantee of one-to-one care which is widely accepted to improve the quality and safety of care for women and babies, and is more likely to lead to a positive experience of childbirth

 
One-to-one care means that a woman in established labour receives care from a designated midwife for the whole of that labour. This means that a midwife will be able to care for the woman 100 per cent of the time. The one-to-one care will cover the labour, the birth and the period immediately after giving birth.
 
The guarantee will be enshrined as a new right in the NHS constitution, made possible by our commitment to recruit 3,000 more midwives by 2020 – through our £2.5bn Time to Care Fund, funded through a mansion tax on properties over £2m, tackling tax avoidance and a new levy on tobacco firms - but our aim will be to achieve it as soon as possible within the next Parliament.
 
This is part of Labour's broader plan to make sure the NHS is sustainable and fit for the future. Rather than simply responding to problems, we need to focus on promoting good health and preventing ill health – starting at the very beginning of life.
 
Conservative didn't put the NHS in their 6 prioritised and are now making unfunded commitments.
 
This is a desperate announcement from a Tory campaign that is in chaos. It is completely unfunded and you can't believe a word of it.
 
David Cameron's promises can't be trusted because there's no answer as to how this will be paid for. The truth is the Tories' extreme plans to cuts twice as fast in the next year as last year. Their plans would threaten the NHS as we know it.
 
The Tories have taken the NHS backwards. After five years of this Government there's a crisis in A&E, waiting lists are at a record high and it's harder to see your GP. The NHS can't survive five more years of David Cameron.
 
Labour has a better plan for the NHS. Only Labour has a plan to put real money into the NHS from the start of the parliament to meet our commitments to it. We have a fully-funded plan to invest £2.5bn in 20,000 more nurses and 8,000 more doctors so the NHS has time to care. This will also include 3,000 more midwives to meet our guarantee being announced today for one-to-one maternity care.
 
Q&A
 
What does one-to-one care mean?
One-to-one care means that the care provided for the woman throughout labour is provided exclusively by a midwife solely dedicated to her care.
 
What happens if the midwife's shift ends before labour is over?
On these occasions care will be handed over to another designated midwife, who will continue the one-to-one care of that woman. The key point is that at any one time the woman will be assigned a midwife who is solely dedicated and able to give her full commitment to her care.
 
What happens if the woman needs more than one midwife?
The calculation of 3,000 more midwives takes into account situations where more than one midwife might be required, such as complications during labour.
 
How is this different from a 'named midwife'?
A named midwife isn't the same as one-to-one care. For example in some cases all it means is that there is an individual overseeing rather than delivering the care directly. It tends to refer to pregnancy rather than labour.  One-to-one care ensures there will a dedicated midwife able to give 100 per cent of her attention to the woman in labour.
 
How will you guarantee it?
We will give women a new right in the NHS constitution to one-to-one care, backed up by commitment to increase midwife numbers by 3,000. The Royal College of Midwives calculates that 3,000 more midwives will be enough to ensure every maternity ward in England can offer one-to-one care during labour. 
 
When will you guarantee it by?
These staff will be in place by 2020 at the latest, but we hope to deliver it sooner in the Parliament than that. We expect to make significant progress towards eliminating the shortage of midwives in the coming years.
 
Will you guarantee 1:1 care seven days a week?
Yes this guarantee will apply regardless of the time of day or day of the week.
 
Where did the figure of 3,000 come from?
This is based on calculations from the Royal College of Midwives on the number of midwives required to guarantee women one-to-one care during labour, given the birth rate.
 
How much will these midwives cost and how will you pay for them?
These midwives are fully covered by our £2.5 billion Time to Care Fund, paid for by a mansion tax on properties over £2m, tackling tax avoidance and a levy on tobacco companies.
 
Where will you recruit the midwives from?
We are working with the Royal College of Midwives on plans to deliver these numbers – but given there are four applicants for every available place on a midwifery training course – a key part of the plan will include increasing the number of available training places so we can bring through the next generation of British midwives. Our plan will also involve schemes to encourage better retention and to attract those midwives who have recently left the NHS to return to practice.
 
Won't this mean midwives are pulled from the community to work in hospitals? What about home-births?
No. The RCM's calculations take into account the fact that many women choose to give birth in birthing centres or at home.
 
Aren't the Government already doing this – they said in the NHS Mandate they wanted this?
No. Under the Tory-led Government there is a shortage of midwives. Successive governments have talked about this for too long and it still isn't happening. Only Labour has a funded plan to deliver the extra midwives needed to eliminate the shortage and guarantee women one-to-one care during labour.
 
Tories says plans in place to train more midwives?
Only Labour is prepared to fund the additional posts which are required to eliminate the shortage of midwives.
 
Tories say more midwives than ever before?
The key point is that midwife numbers haven't kept pace with the rising birth rate.
 
Tories say the vast majority of women rate their maternity care as excellent or very good?
The same survey shows one in four women say they were left alone during labour at a time that worried them. That's not good enough. That's why Labour has a better plan to guarantee all women one-to-one care during labour.
 
Shortage of midwives isn't a new problem?
No, but the previous Labour government increased the number of midwives by over 4,000. Under this Government we are seeing shortages because numbers haven't kept pace with demand.
 
Didn't Labour promise this before?
The previous Labour government said women should have a named midwife to provide continuity of care during pregnancy, which is also important. Today's announcement is about guaranteeing women one-to-one care during labour. It's true that one-to-one care during labour has been considered as the gold-standard for some time, but in recent years there just haven't been enough midwives to deliver this. Only Labour has a funded plan to eliminate the historic shortage of midwives.
 
www.labour.org.uk to join or renew call 0845 0922299. 


Friday, 3 April 2015

Here are ten points — and the facts behind them — we think will come up during the debates






Here are ten points — and the facts behind them — we think will come up during the debates:

1The NHS as we know it can't survive five more years of the Tories 

  • The Tories spent the last election promising to protect the NHS but broke their promise.

  • Waiting lists have grown to their highest for six years and one in four patients wait a week or more to see a GP.

  • The Tories have extreme spending plans which will mean the end of the NHS as we know it.

2Cameron is a threat to working people's living standards 

  • The Tories can't raise standards of living for working people because they believe Britain only succeeds when they help the privileged few at the top.

  • Wages are down by £1,600 a year since 2010 and energy bills are up £300.

3The Tories always stand up for a privileged few 

  • The Tories' first priority is always to help the privileged few at the top.

  • They said we were "all in this together", then gave millionaires a tax cut worth over £42,000 a year.

  • Millions of working people are paying more because of the Tories' VAT rise.

4Their extreme plans could mean over 1,000 fewer Sure Start centres 

  • Before the last election, David Cameron said he would protect Sure Start but since then there are hundreds fewer centres.

  • If they win the next election, they'd do it again. Their extreme plans mean over 1,000 of the remaining centres face the axe.

5Labour will build a strong economic foundation 

  • We'll balance the books and cut the deficit every year in a fair way by taking different decisions to the Tories.

  • We reject their plans for deeper spending reductions in the next three years than the previous five. 

6We'll raise living standards for working families 

  • We will stand up for working people and take on vested interests like the banks and the energy companies to raise living standards.

  • We'll freeze gas and electricity bills until 2017 so that bills can fall but not rise.

7We'll save the NHS 

  • Labour created the NHS and it always falls to us to save it. 

  • We'll invest £2.5bn to hire 20,000 more nurses and 8,000 more GPs.

  • We will guarantee GP appointments within 48 hours and cancer tests within one week.

8We'll make sure the next generation can do better than the last 

  • For the first time in living memory, people are worried that the next generation won't do as well as the last.

  • We'll cut tuition fees to £6,000, guarantee an apprenticeship for every school leaver and cut class sizes for 5, 6 & 7 year-olds.

9You can't trust Nick Clegg 

  • We all know Nick Clegg's rap sheet — but he'll be trying to hide it tonight.

  • We won't let him forget that he promised to abolish tuition fees, then trebled them. 

  • We can't let him forget that he promised fairer taxes and then cut taxes for millionaires.

  • We will keep reminding him that he said he wanted to get rid of the bedroom tax, and then voted to keep it.

10Nigel Farage wants to privatise the NHS 

  • Nigel Farage and senior UKIP figures have repeatedly argued for going even further than the Tories on the NHS.

  • Nigel Farage says he supports a move away from the NHS as we know it to "an insurance-based system of healthcare".

  • This would end an NHS free at the point of use for all.





Wednesday, 1 April 2015

Labour will ban exploitative zero-hours contracts

Labour will ban exploitative zero-hours contracts

Labour is today setting out our plans to ban exploitative zero-hours contracts.

We will act so that anyone working regular hours will be legally entitled to a regular contract not a zero-hours contract. The new legal right will kick in after 12 weeks - earlier than previously expected because of evidence that the problem has grown.

In the last year the number of people on zero hour contracts has grown by nearly 20%.

There are now 1.8m zero hour contracts in Britain, more than the populations of Cardiff, Glasgow and Leeds combined.
Ed Miliband is also making a personal commitment that legislation to ban exploitative zero-hours contracts will be in Labour's first Queen's Speech, putting an end to a symbol of the insecure economy that means the recovery hasn't reached the homes of working families across Britain.

The Tories have refused to back Labour's plans to ban exploitative zero-hours contracts. David Cameron last week said that the reason there had been an explosion in zero-hours contracts was because people choose them - but then he admitted he couldn't live on one.

Labour will prioritise tax cuts for small firms

No one will be surprised that some business people are calling for low taxes for big businesses. That's nothing new and under Labour Britain will have the most competitive corporation tax rate in the G7.

But whilst the recovery may have reached some firms it hasn't reached many others which is why we will prioritise tax cuts for the smallest firms with an immediate cut in business rates for 1.5 million small business premises.‎

That's not anti-business - it's anti-business as usual. And many business people understand that because they see the low productivity economy we've become after five years of wages not keeping up with prices and soaring zero-hours contracts.

We understand that Britain only succeeds when working people succeed. We don't believe, as David Cameron does, in more tax cuts for the richest in society - the priority is tax cuts for small firms, working people and saving our NHS.

Saturday, 28 March 2015

More desperate unfunded spending from the Tories

The Tories won't deliver a 7-day a week NHS, they'll cut it

At the last election, David Cameron promised seven-day NHS services in his manifesto. Five years on, he's making the same promise again. Not only has he failed to deliver on that promise, he made it harder for people to get a GP appointment from Monday to Friday.

With the NHS in increasing financial distress, David Cameron must set out clearly how it will be paid for. His extreme plans for spending cuts will mean they won't be able to protect the NHS.

The NHS as we know it can't survive five more years of the Tories. David Cameron's plans are simply not credible without the extra staff the NHS needs so it has time to care. Labour will invest £2.5 billion extra each year from a mansion tax to recruit 20,000 more nurses, 8,000 more GPs and guarantee appointments within 48 hours.

No-one will believe a word of the Tory promises on the NHS. They won't believe them because:
They promised seven-day NHS services before the last election and have broken their promise.
They've taken the NHS backwards, making it harder to see your GP and creating a crisis in A andE.
They have now got extreme spending plans to cut more in the next three years than the last five which means they can't protect the NHS.

The Tories record on the NHS is of broken promises, an A&E crisis, and people waiting to see their GP. They have proved the oldest truth in politics: You can't trust the Tories on the NHS.

The Tories' extreme plans to hit disabled people and carers

Documents leaked to the BBC show that the Tories are planning cuts to benefits including Disability Living Allowance, Personal Independence Payments, Attendance Allowance and Carers' Allowance as part of their proposal to cut a total of £12 billion from welfare.

These plans to hit disabled people and carers were drawn up for Conservative ministers to deliver their extreme cuts plan.

The Tories now need to come clean about what cuts they plan to make and who will pay the price. If they are ruling out these extreme cuts for the most disabled and carers, then it is clear they will be hitting the tax credits, and support for children, for millions of working families.

Labour has a better plan to control the costs of social security, by tackling the root causes of spending in low pay and rising housing costs. We will raise the National Minimum Wage to £8 an hour, promote a living wage, and get at least 200,000 homes built a year.

Massive drop in employers fined or imprisoned for employing illegal workers

The Tories have failed to tackle illegal immigration. Figures today show 45 per cent fewer employers being issued with fines and 88 per cent fewer facing prison sentences for employing illegal immigrants

The Government is deporting fewer illegal immigrants and seizing fewer illegal drugs. They are also letting more dodgy firms get away with breaking the rules for profit, employing people illegally and exploiting them to undercut local jobs and wages. It's unfair on everyone – the port authorities and border staff working hard to keep our country safe, responsible businesses who employ people on a fair wage and communities across the country as local jobs and wages are undercut.

Labour has a better plan. We will recruit an additional 1,000 border force staff – funded by introducing a small fee for non-visa visitors to the UK – to ensure immigration rules are enforced and the system is fair. We will also significantly increase fines for employing illegal immigrants, make exploitation a crime, and increase enforcement checks.