Archive | March, 2015


Ed Miliband challenges David Cameron over TV debates at PMQs

chickenAt Prime Minister’s Questions today, David Cameron again refused to take part in a head-to-head debate with Ed Miliband.

David Cameron’s feeble excuses won’t fool anyone. He’s running scared of the head-to-head debate because he lost the debates last time and he’s worried he’ll lose again. Like all bullies, when the heat’s really on, he runs for cover.

See more here.

During the last General Election David Cameron repeatedly stressed how important TV debates were, how he wanted them and how they should be “here to stay”.

He said that Prime Minister’s Questions is no substitute for television debates.

Since the 2010 election he has repeatedly reiterated his support for continuing the debates, saying “I think we’ll have them in every election in the future”.

Last year he said that we need a head-to-head debate between the two candidates for PM.

In January this year, when questioned at PMQs, David Cameron spoke in favour of the concept of head-to-head debates, saying the idea was “credible”.

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Whittington Care Centre Feb 2015

£70 billion of Tory spending cuts will put the NHS at risk

Conservative spending plans will mean £70 billion of cuts to public spending if the Tories win the election – more than double the amount admitted to by David Cameron and George Osborne – an analysis by Labour exposes today.

Whittington Care Centre Feb 2015If the £70 billion of spending cuts, minus the £12 billion George Osborne has pledged to cut from social security spending, were applied equally to non-protected departments they would lead to unprecedented cuts to vital public services such as policing, defence and social care.

The cuts would be so extreme that they would lead to the smallest police force since comparable records began, the smallest army since Cromwell and over a third of older people receiving social care losing their entitlement to it.

These cuts are unprecedented, extreme and close to impossible to deliver. As a result  there is a real risk that the Chancellor will be forced to break his promise to ring-fence the NHS. All other countries that have implemented spending reductions on this scale since 1945 have cut health spending.

And after their broken pledge not to have a top-down re-organisation of the NHS in this Parliament, the British people know that the Tories have form when it comes to broken promises on the NHS.

So the choice for the British people is now clear. A tough, but balanced and fair plan to deliver rising living standards and get the deficit down with Labour.

Or an extreme and risky plan under the Tories for bigger spending cuts in the next four years than the last five years which would cause huge damage to our public services and put our NHS at risk.

And the Tories now have a choice too. They can either say that these unprecedented, extreme and close to impossible cuts to our police, armed forces and social care are the true consequences of their spending plans.

Or they can confess that their plans are in fact impossible to achieve without breaking their promise to protect the NHS.

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Chesterfield MP congratulates three inspiring Chesterfield businesses at the London Stock Exchange

Today (9 March 2015), The London Stock Exchange Group launched a new report highlighted the innovative and successful work of 1000 inspirational small businesses across the UK.

3 of the companies featured are headquartered in Chesterfield:

In his capacity as Labour’s Shadow Small Business Minister, Chesterfield’s MP, Toby Perkins, gave the keynote address at the launch of the report at the London Stock Exchange.  He used this opportunity to congratulate the three businesses and reflect on their importance to Chesterfield.

Toby Perkins said: “I am delighted that three of our local small businesses feature in such a high profile report, not just as the

3town’s MP but as someone who used to run his own small business here before standing for election.

“Small businesses are facing unique challenges at the moment but as this report demonstrates we are still an enterprising town in an enterprising nation.  Small businesses are the lifeblood of our economy, providing jobs to thousands of local people.  I hope other budding-entrepreneurs in will be inspired by the success of these home-grown firms.”

Xavier Rolet, CEO of the London Stock Exchange Group, said: “There are more than four million SMEs in the UK and their success is inextricably linked to the success of the UK economy.  Our landmark ‘1000 Companies to Inspire Britain’ report profiles the most exciting and promising of these SMEs , which are of exceptional importance to UK economic growth and job creation. We need to ensure that the best start-ups have the environment and the support they need to scale up and make the transition from million-pound-starlets to billion-pound superstars.”


More about the businesses featured in the report:

  • Owners of retail outlets know that what people hear in shops is just as important as what people see. But it can be hard for retailers to know exactly what music would make their target market walk in, and which would make it walk out.  This is where Concentia, from Chesterfield, step in.  They offer in-store bespoke music profiling to match individual brands.
  • Microsoft is one of the biggest companies in the world with many of us using their software every day. But it takes a particularly talented small business to adapt the Microsoft frameworks into solutions which can be used for bespoke companies in the worlds of manufacturing, distribution, oil & gas and general heavy industry.  This is what EBECS from Chesterfield do.
  • 16,000 vehicle loans for both private and business users were delivered by Chesterfield’s Evolution Funding. They offer a hybrid funding solution utilizing both their own and third party lending to offer a varied product portfolio for finance in the motor industry.  They are now the fastest growing point-of-sale motor finance intermediary in the world.

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DP - 1 July 14 p1

Labour ramps up pressure on government over late payment

Today (3 March 2015) in the House of Lords, Labour will again give the two governing parties the chance to back tough action to support small businesses who are victims of late payments.

DP - 1 July 14 p1

Last week, following pressure from Labour, the government took some limited steps to improve the Prompt Payment Code to ensure that signatories all pay their suppliers inside 60 days.  This mirrors a Labour amendment to the Small Business Bill tabled in the Commons last November.

Today, Labour’s team in the Lords will force votes on two further amendments which would go much further in tackling this problem by:

  • Outlawing the practice of “pay and stay” where large businesses force their smaller suppliers to make payments to remain on their potential supplier list. Labour have been concerned about this issue for sometime and tabled amendments to outlaw the practice several months ago, before the most high-profile of these cases, Premier Foods, was investigated by Newsnight.  The idea was rejected by the government.
  • Introducing a reporting regime for large companies to ensure they automatically pay interest to small suppliers who receive payment later than payment terms would suggest. This would remove the incentive for large businesses to pay late and empower small suppliers who often feel unable to challenge their largest customers. Again, this idea was previously proposed in the Commons but voted down by the Tory-led government.

Toby Perkins, Labour’s Shadow Small Business Minister, said:

“Building a stronger economy relies on free and fair markets, but where unfair practices emerge, government should be willing to take action.  It cannot be right that one in four business failures in this country are simply down to late payment of monies owed, rather than a failed business model.

“We are giving the government another chance today to back tough action against these egregious anti-business practices.  Hopefully this time they won’t walk away from their responsibilities to small businesses.”


Notes to editors

For more information call 020 7219 4702

The votes will be called as part of the Report Stage of the Small Business, Enterprise and Employment Bill in the House of Lords.

At the Report Stage in the Commons, Labour tabled the following amendment which the government have now taken forward the first aspect of themselves:

In names of: Toby Perkins, Iain Wright, Ian Murray, Debbie Abrahams
The Secretary of State shall:
  • Ensure that any business with payment terms of more than 60 days cannot sign up to the Prompt Payment Code, and that any existing signatory with payment terms of more than 60 days is removed the list
  • At the end of each financial year, the Secretary of State shall write to all businesses in the FTSE 350 who are not signatories of the Prompt Payment Code asking them to become so
  • The Secretary of State shall publish a list of those businesses written to prominently on the government’s website

    Labour’s clause on “pay and stay” would give the Secretary of State the power to make regulations to ‘prohibit a company from requiring a supplier company to make a payment in order to join that company’s list of suppliers’. A similar power was proposed last October by Toby Perkins in the Commons Committee but not back by the government

    Labour’s plans to introduce a reporting regime for Late Payments were set out by Toby Perkins last October in the following piece – – and pushed to a vote in the Commons Committee Stage where the government voted against. Clauses to reintroduce the principle of this measure will be introduced in the Lords today.

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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.

Contact Toby

Tel: 01246 386286
Post: 113 Saltergate, Chesterfield, S40 1NF


I hold regular surgeries for my constituents.
Please call 01246 386286 or email to make a booking.

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