Thursday, 26 March 2015

Fwd: Malaria update: you have helped halve child deaths

Dear Graham,

Thank you so much for your support over the past five years.

As this parliamentary term comes to end, we have looked back over the remarkable progress the UK has achieved in the fight to end malaria in our final Malaria No More UK Parliamentary Newsletter, available below this email and attached.

Malaria is a fantastic example of what UK aid investment can achieve; child deaths from malaria have more than halved in Africa since 2000 and malaria mortality rates have reduced by 47% worldwide.

Looking ahead to the post-2015 era, we hope the UK will sustain funding because we could reduce deaths and cases of malaria by a further 40% worldwide in the lifetime of the next Parliament (WHO's Global Technical Strategy for Malaria 2016-30 – awaiting World Health Assembly approval in May) saving millions more lives, the vast majority children and pregnant women.

We already know from what happened in the 1980's that if we don't stay a step ahead of the mosquito and parasite we risk rapid resurgence of the disease. Surely after the progress of the last decade we cannot allow that to happen. As Bill Gates said in the House of Lords last year, it is critical for the UK to continue being a global player in efforts to eradicate malaria - a disease which has killed more than any other in human history but a disease which our generation could eradicate.

Once again, thank you for your support. This is such a wonderful example of what Parliament and concerted cross-party commitment can achieve.

Warm regards,

James Whiting
Executive Director, Malaria No More UK

The NHS has gone backwards under the Tories

The NHS has gone backwards under the Tories
The independent King's Fund have found that the NHS has gone backwards under the Tories, with an A&E crisis, the cancer target missed and NHS trusts in deficit.

The Tories spent £3 billion on a reorganisation that the independent experts have said today "was damaging and distracting". Now it is clear that the NHS can't afford the Tories' plan for deeper care cuts in the next Parliament. It urgently needs new leadership and a change of course.

Labour has set out a better plan to rescue the NHS, rebuild it as a national health and care service and invest £2.5 billion extra a year - on top of Tory spending plans - to fund 20,000 more nurses and 8,000 more GPs

Wednesday, 25 March 2015

Nobody will believe the Tories on VAT. Labour won't raise VAT, and under us National Insurance won't go up either.

Nobody will believe the Tories on VAT. Labour won't raise VAT, and under us National Insurance won't go up either.
Nobody will believe David Cameron on VAT. He broke his promise on VAT last time, and given half a chance he'll do it again.
  • The Tories said they weren't going to raise VAT before the election in 2010, and then put it up from 17.5 per cent to 20 per cent a few weeks later.
  • They said they weren't going to raise VAT before the election in 1992, and then put VAT on domestic fuel after the election.
  • They said they had no intention of doubling VAT before the election in 1979, and then raised it from eight per cent to 15 per cent after the election.
Their promises can't be trusted now, because the Tories still have £10 billion of unfunded tax promises to pay for, and extreme spending plans which can't be delivered. 
Yesterday, George Osborne refused five times to rule out increasing VAT. The Tories are making it up as they go along.
We have no unfunded pledges - that's why we have absolutely no need to raise National Insurance. Under us it's not going to go up, and our manifesto will make that clear. In fact we want to cut taxes on working people, through a lower 10p starting rate of income tax. We've said where the money is coming from for that - scrapping the Tories' unfair married couples allowance.

Next time, they'll cut to the bone

Labour has today launched its first poster of the 2015 general election campaign.

The poster, which warns "Next time, they'll cut to the bone. The NHS can't afford the Tory cuts plan", follows this week's Budget which set out plans for deeper cuts to public spending in the next three years than the last five years.

Following the Budget Labour is also publishing new analysis of Tory spending plans which takes into account their planned welfare reductions and promised tax cuts.

This analysis shows that in the next three years the Tories are planning cuts to public services which are deeper than any year of the last parliament; and in the next three years cuts to public services will be almost twice the level of the last three years. OECD countries which have cut public spending at the pace which George Osborne plans have ended up cutting health spending.

Britain needs a better plan. Labour will get the deficit down in a more sensible and balanced way. And we have a fully-funded plan to save our NHS and transform it for the future.

Labour’s plan means 20,000 more nurses, 8,000 more GPs and cancer tests guaranteed within one week. And we’ll pay for it by closing tax loopholes and a mansion tax on properties worth over £2 million.

After five years of David Cameron, our health service is going backwards. Our NHS just can't afford these extreme and risky Tory cuts. And after their broken promises on the NHS in this Parliament nobody will trust what the Tories say about the NHS.

Tuesday, 24 March 2015

Labour will not raise VAT. The Tories will.

Today Labour announces a clear pledge to the British people. The next Labour government will not raise VAT.
VAT is the tax that hits everyone – with the same rate paid by the pensioner as the millionaire. It is the tax that every Tory government in the last forty years has raised. But no Labour government has ever hiked up the main rate of VAT.
So we will not put up VAT. And we will not extend it to food, children's clothes, books, newspapers and public transport fares.
We will make our tax commitments in full in our manifesto. But we are clear that while millionaires have been given a huge tax cut, working people are paying more in tax after the last five years of the Tories.
The Tories can't be trusted when it comes to VAT. Time and time again they have made pre-election promises not to increase VAT or extend its scope, only to break them as soon as they are back in power. They've done it before. They'll do it again.
  • David Cameron told the British people a few days before the 2010 election that he had "no plans" to raise VAT. The Liberal Democrats promised not to increase VAT, and warned against a Tory "VAT bombshell".
  • The Tories and Lib Dems then raised VAT within weeks of the last general election.
  • The Tory VAT rise hit the living standards of millions of people. It led to higher prices – helping inflation hit 5.2 per cent when it was raised. And over the last four years it has cost families an average of £1,800, according to the Treasury's own figures
  • The Tories are taking the British public for granted

It is typically arrogant of David Cameron to presume a third Tory term in 2020 before the British public have been given the chance to have their say in this election. In the UK it is for the British people and not the Prime Minister to decide who stays in power.
Instead of focusing on themselves, it is time we had a Government focussed on the needs of working families. Another term of this Government would mean working people worse off and the NHS under threat because of their extreme spending plans.
We need a better plan for a better future. We need a Labour government.  


Our national health service is in crisis. But the Budget this week said nothing about the NHS.

Instead, the Tories confirmed plans for extreme spending cuts in the three years after the election which will put our NHS at risk

The NHS as we know it won’t survive five more years of David Cameron

The Tories plan is failing the NHS: more patients are waiting longer and it’s harder to get the care you need: there is a crisis in A&E, waiting lists for treatment are growing, it’s getting harder to see a family doctor and more than half of nurses say their ward is dangerously understaffed.

The Tory plan is failing older people too. Cuts to elderly care are making it harder for to get the care at home that many need, meaning more people end up in A&E.

Labour has a better plan, to invest in and improve the NHS so that it has time to care for you and your family.

Our £2.5 billion Time to Care Fund will recruit 20,000 more nurses, 8,000 more GPs, 5,000 new home care workers and 3,000 more midwives, funded by a mansion tax on properties worth over £2 million, cracking down on tax avoidance and a levy on tobacco companies.

This week’s budget confirmed something I already knew. You can’t trust the Tories with the NHS.

Response from Yvette Cooper to Theresa May’s speech

Response from Yvette Cooper to Theresa May's speech


Colleagues may wish to note the response from Yvette Cooper to Theresa May's speech today. This is copied below and a link here:


"Every day we hear of more British citizens being groomed, radicalised and trying to travel to Syria to join a vile barbaric organisation. Yet Theresa May's strategy has failed to tackle the problem. She has had five years as Home Secretary to do all these things, yet too many of her promises are the opposite of what she has done in Government.


"She says she wants a partnership between government and community to prevent extremism. Yet she cut the community-led Prevent programme from £17 million to £3 million and there has been hardly any work by Government to develop community programmes in four years. Indeed one of her first decisions as Home Secretary was to cut the number of areas included in the Prevent programme from 93 to 23. Five years on she has been forced to backtrack and reverse her decision.


"She says she wants stronger powers but she abolished control orders and relocation powers which made it easier for terrorists to organise and send people to Syria. Once again, five years on, she has been forced to backtrack and reverse her decision.


"And she still hasn't made it compulsory for people returning from Syria to go through the Channel de-radicalisation programme.


"She could have had banning orders, reviewed sharia courts, and insisted preachers speak English five years ago, rather than leaving it until now.


"Everyone other than the extremists agree that we should robustly defend and actively promote the pluralistic values our society rightly holds in esteem. But it isn't enough for the Home Secretary to say it, she needs to act. We need to work in as many communities as possible, throughout the UK, to support civil society and defeat extremism. And we should never tie the hands of our agencies and the police in confronting dangerous, violent extremists. The Government's record is one of making that harder, not easier."

Councillors call on new Accrington rail link to be extended to Manchester Airport

Graham Jones MP
As-it-happens update March 23, 2015
Councillors call on new Accrington rail link to be extended to Manchester Airport
The Observer in conjunction with Hyndburn MP Graham Jones campaigned for trains to get running on the line and now councillors want further ...
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