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News from Westminster: 20 October 2014

ONLY LABOUR WILL BUILD THE HOMES LOCAL PEOPLE NEED

Britain is facing the biggest housing crisis in a generation. Less than half the number of new homes Britain needs are being built, and house building is at the lowest level since the 1920s.

I’ve spoken to many young people in Chesterfield who have all but given up on their dreams of ever owning their own homes, especially as the average deposit for a home is set to reach an eye-watering £72,000 by 2020.

Other local people have told me how frustrated they are that even when there are new developments, too often they get snapped up by buy-to-let investors before would-be first time buyers from our area can benefit.

We need to get Britain building again and we need to make sure local people are prioritised so that they benefit when new homes are built. That’s why the next Labour government will build 200,000 homes a year by 2020, and set a course for doubling the number of first-time buyers by 2025.

For too long, communities have felt that they have no influence over where new homes should be built. So local authorities will be given new powers to designate particular land as ‘Housing Growth Areas’ where they can use new powers to ensure that new homebuilding goes ahead.

To help local first-time buyers, Labour will give councils the power to reserve up to 50% of homes built in the Housing Growth Areas for first-time buyers from the local area, who will have priority access for two months.  In addition, councils will be able to restrict the sale of homes in these areas so they cannot be sold to investors as buy-to-let properties.

For too many people in Chesterfield the dream of home ownership is just that: a dream. The Tory-led Government has washed its hands of this problem. Only Labour has a plan to build the homes that our country, our local communities and our families need.

 

LABOUR’S TOUGH NEW APPROACH TO IMMIGRATION WILL PROTECT LOCAL WORKERS’ WAGES

For centuries, people have come here from abroad to set up businesses, work in our NHS, fight in our armed forces and contribute to Britain. Countries that try to close the door on the rest of the world lose out on investment and international talent.

But there must be strong controls and effective rules. Immigration must be controlled and managed so the system is fair for local people and works in the interests of Britain.

Labour has said there should be stronger controls at the borders and tougher action against illegal immigration. And we need to crack down on the agencies and zero hours contracts that employers use to exploit immigration and undercut local workers.

But there are different kinds of immigration – for example there’s a big difference between illegal immigrants breaking the rules to get into Britain, and fee paying university students who bring in billions in investment.

The Tory-led Government’s approach isn’t working. Their net migration target is in tatters, with the numbers going up, not down. And there are still serious problems with employers who exploit migrant labour to undercut local wages and jobs – something UKIP would make worse by axing employment rights.

That’s why Labour is taking a tough but sensible approach to controlling immigration. One that recognises the benefits immigration can bring, and also sets out practical policies to control immigration, address the impact on jobs, wages and communities and make the system fairer for all.

 

THE NASTY PARTY IS BACK

This week the Tories confirmed what we had all long suspected: the ‘nasty party’ is well and truly back, if it ever went away.

Budget 2014When asked about the Minimum Wage, Lord Freud, David Cameron’s Minister for Welfare Reform, said that he believes some disabled people are “not worth the full wage”.  He even said he would go away to look at this issue, suggesting that the Government would consider it.

Disability charities have condemned Lord Freud’s comments and even senior Tories have called for Lord Freud to resign, yet David Cameron has failed to act.

Someone holding such abhorrent views shouldn’t be in government and certainly should not hold such an important job. If David Cameron continues to keep Lord Freud in his Government, we will have yet more proof of how he just stands for just a privileged few at the top.

In the dog days of this Government, the Conservative Party is going back to its worst instincts. The mask is slipping: the nasty party is back.

One Response to “News from Westminster: 20 October 2014”

  1. Marshal Anderson says:

    On the housing issue Toby, it would be nice to see some sort of commitment to expanding the social housing stock in the foreseeable future. This would provide jobs in construction, profits for building companies, good housing for the less well off, reduced buy-to-let purchases and, quite possibly, take the pressure off the housing market generally leading to lower house price inflation. Just sayin’ :O)

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I am Toby Perkins, Labour's Member of Parliament for Chesterfield. If you would like to get in touch with me, my office is open and can be reached by phone on 01246 386 286. I also hold regular surgeries so that constituents can meet me and I can take up their concerns. If you would like to make an appointment then please do contact my office. Thank you for visiting.

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