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Former Labour leader, Ed Miliband, with Toby and Lucy at the Chesterfield Labour Party gala dinner

GUEST BLOG: Outwood Academy Newbold student, Lucy Parker, asks the question ‘Should people automatically get paid more just because they’re older?’

Earlier this year, the national living wage was raised to £7.83 an hour while the rate for people aged 21 to 24 trailed behind at just £7.38 per hour. My question is; should the national living wage be applicable to everybody and not just people in the over 25 age bracket?

From a survey conducted by The Telegraph, research disclosed that the average person expects to move out of their parents’ house by the tender age of 22. This makes it apparent that people around the age of 22 will need an enhanced income to remain solvent, while paying a mortgage. The national minimum wage is the minimum pay per hour that workers are entitled to by the law. The national living wage is the minimum pay per hour workers aged over 25 are entitled to by law.  I would like to raise the argument as to whether pay should be determined by age, experience or work conducted. One issue that I’ve focussed on is whether the current minimum pay system discriminates against age and doesn’t considerer the capabilities and experience of the employee to determine the pay that they receive.

Former Labour leader, Ed Miliband, with Toby and Lucy at the Chesterfield Labour Party gala dinner

Former Labour leader, Ed Miliband, with Toby and Lucy at the Chesterfield Labour Party gala dinner

Some possible factors that could affect the wage that a person receives include; education, industry, company, location and age. The prevalent theme in these factors is that they are all able to be altered by us. We can enhance what level of education we have and whether we want to pursue higher education. We also get the choice regarding which industry we would like to enter, along with the instilled hard work to get work experience. The only factor that we cannot change is age. We can’t morph ourselves to be two years older just so that we receive a better wage, so why should this restrict the earnings a person receives? In addition, the pay system also doesn’t delegate pay in proportion to the need of the employee.  An employee aged 22 may have a mortgage as well as two young children, yet still earn less that a 25 year old who lives in their parents’ house. As a society we encourage young people to begin building their own lives from a young age yet where is the support in the minimum wage system to do this?

It is also apparent that when an individual becomes an adult on their 18th birthday they are given adult responsibilities. They can now vote in political matters, get married on their own accord, join the army and stand for parliament. Surely their entitlement to these adult responsibilities ought to entitle them to an adult wage? The low pay commission justifies the low wage by claiming “young workers are most at risk of being priced out of jobs”, meaning that working for less helps us get into employment.  But shouldn’t we employ people based on their experience and hard work rather than how much they cost the company? Young people can work for poverty inducing wages yet still give the exact same to the company. For example, two waitresses can both work the same number of hours, at the same workplace, doing exactly the same job with the identical responsibilities, yet receive enormous differences in pay. In addition, people with no experience automatically get paid more than their experienced colleagues. Why? Because they’re 18 and you’re not. Personally, I have worked in pubs and restaurants since I was 15 and therefore have two years of catering experience, however an 18 year old who is just starting their first job automatically gets paid more. Younger people earning lower wages also makes university seem more financially strenuous and adds to the concerns of the impending student debt. That’s why I believe that two people who conduct identical jobs should be paid the same amount of money. Under the equality act of 2010, a woman can challenge her boss if she is getting less than her colleague who conducts the same job role, yet with the factor of age, a pay gap is encouraged.

Good wages can encourage students not to pursue higher education as they may think that the short term buzz in each pay packet will be enough for them to get a mortgage and fund a household in the future. Additionally, younger people generally have less experience than their older peers. This would give the employer a reason to pay younger workers a lesser wage that their older colleagues as the workplace may have higher training costs and therefore will need compensating. In partial agreeance with the low pay commission, a lower wage does give the employer a bigger incentive to take on younger staff.  Young workers also do generally work in lower paying sectors such as retail and catering. But nevertheless, they still ought to be entitled to an equal wage that their colleagues are earning. Businesses also argue that they can’t afford to pay their staff a fair and equal wage, but then should a business be allowed to morally operate if it can’t afford to pay their staff fairly? Arguably, people aged under 25 and under 18 typically have less financial needs than their older colleagues. For instance, an under 18 year old probably won’t have learnt how to drive and therefore won’t have to fund a car, along with the dreaded first-year car insurance. Similarly, an over 25 year old is more probable to have moved out, and therefore will be more likely to need a bigger wage to fund their lifestyle. I understand that the pay brackets have got to be general to suit the majority of the population, but employers could easily notice the hard work that young people contribute and pay them an equal wage. Understandably, younger people can’t always expand their job roles while acting legally. For example, an older colleague may be able to work both on the bar and in the kitchen in a pub, meaning they can give more to the company and therefore are entitled to a better wage.

People who conduct the same job should be entitled to the same wage without regard to their age. If younger people were to earn equal wages, it would encourage them to save for bigger life events such as their first car or their university costs, along with their virtually impossible deposit on a house.  It would also provide them with the transferrable skills of budgeting and managing their money. Pay should be proportional to the quality of the work that is conducted, not an employee’s age. Society wants to give us adult responsibilities yet we are not entitled to an adult wage. The media claims that young people are being priced out of jobs, but the concept of being employed ought to be based on your contribution to the company and not the wage that you get paid. I think that they current minimum wage system is based on the traditional and stereotypical belief that older people work better than younger people whereas, younger people are freshly out of education and can bring new and innovative ideas to a workplace

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Toby with volunteers at the Air Ambulance charity shop on Burlington Street

Chesterfield MP celebrates National Volunteer Week by visiting the local Air Ambulance shop

National Volunteers’ Week is a chance to say thank you for the fantastic contribution millions of volunteers make across the UK. It takes place annually between 1st-7th June and is an opportunity to celebrate volunteering across the UK. During this week, hundreds of events and celebrations take place across the country, saying thank you to volunteers and recognising their invaluable and diverse contribution to the UK.

Toby visited the local Air Ambulance Shop in Chesterfield, which turns over in excess of £110, 000 per annum and contributed almost £35, 000 to the Air Ambulance service after last year which allows two air ambulances to be operated, covering over 3850 square miles. On average they have a 13 minute response time, responding to an average of 6 missions per day. Every product sold within the shop costs only £1 and their stock ranges from clothing to DVDs.

Toby said, “I think that it’s important that we acknowledge the time and effort that the volunteers devote to such important causes that may not be able to operate without their crucial help. It was great to learn more about the Air Ambulance Shop and to see how quickly volunteers turn new donations into shop ready goods.”

In 2015, volunteering inputted more than £22.bn to the UK economy. This is about 1.2% of GDP, showing the tremendous contribution volunteers make to society.

Toby with volunteers at the Air Ambulance charity shop on Burlington Street

Toby with volunteers at the Air Ambulance charity shop on Burlington Street

There are currently 22.6 billion active volunteers that regularly help UK charities.

If you would like to find out more about the Air Ambulance you can visit their website at www.dlraa.co.uk or you can visit their shop at 20 Burlington St, Chesterfield S40 1RR.

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Dementia Action Week pic for website

Chesterfield MP marks Dementia Action Week

There are over 850,000 people in the UK living with dementia, and this figure is set to rise to over 1 million by 2021. Chesterfield MP Toby Perkins is calling for greater awareness of those issues that affect people with dementia and the need for social care.

Toby attended the Alzheimer’s Society ‘Fix Dementia Care’ Event, which highlighted the work that the Alzheimer’s Society has been doing ahead of the upcoming Green Paper on adult social care.

Mr Perkins said, “I was pleased to learn that in North Derbyshire CCG, the diagnosis rate is 68.1% higher than the national average, whilst 20.47% of the Chesterfield’s constituency population are over 65.”

Toby met with people affected by dementia, who explained how dementia had affected their lives and the struggles they have faced in attempting to obtain funding for their mothers care.

If you would like to find out more about the Alzheimer’s Society and the support they can provide, please visit https://www.alzheimers.org.uk

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Toby Perkins MP backs new support group for parents of children with Autism and other mental health needs

Local Mum, Nicola Gilbert is looking to set up a support group for parents, like her, whose children have mental health needs, but do not currently fit the criteria for support from organisations like Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services (CAMHS).

Nicola has recently been through the process of having her child referred to CAMHS and has found the process extremely frustrating, only to find at the end that her child does not meet the criteria for support. In addition to this, there is very little support available from elsewhere for Nicola, her child or her family. During this process, Nicola came into contact with many other parents, whose children also did not quite meet the criteria for support but also had mental health needs. This gave Nicola the idea to create a support group for parents who are in a similar situation to her so that advice and best practice can be shared between them.

For further information regarding the support group Nicola can be contacted by emailing SpaceEmpowers@gmail.com or by joining the Facebook Page SPACE – supporting parents of Anxious Children Empower.

Nicola said “The most valuable part of my journey has been meeting parents with the same frustrations and hearing their experiences. This has been hugely beneficial and the support group will give other parents the confidence to share their story. Together we will empower each other.”

Toby added “I have been in contact with CAMHS on Nicola’s behalf and I was disappointed to see that there was very little support available. During this challenging time for Children’s Mental Health services I think it is important that support is available for parents and I support Nicola in providing further support for other parents”

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Toby with Matina Loizou, Senior Policy Adviser at Parkinson’s UK and Co-Chair of the Prescription Charges Coalition

Chesterfield MP backs scrapping prescription charges for long-term conditions

 

Toby Perkins, MP for Chesterfield, has given his support to a campaign to scrap prescription charges for everyone in England with a long-term condition, as new economic analysis reveals that such a move would save the NHS millions and improve health outcomes.

The independent research by the York Health Economics Consortium, commissioned by Parkinson’s UK and Crohn’s and Colitis UK, showed savings of more than £20 million per year if the NHS scrapped prescriptions for people with Parkinson’s and Inflammatory Bowel Disease alone.

Savings would be made from a reduction in health complications due to people not taking their medication as prescribed: previous research has shown around a third of people with long term conditions who pay for prescriptions do not pick up or take their medication properly due to the cost¹.

The £20 million would be saved by reductions in hospital admissions, inpatient days, A&E visits and GP appointments.

Attending the launch of the report at Westminster on Wednesday 23rd May, Toby Perkins MP expressed his concern that not everyone with a long-term condition in England was entitled to free prescriptions, despite the projected government savings.

Toby said: “This is an extremely important report, highlighting a significant injustice to so many people with long-term conditions in England.

“The NHS has a list of conditions that exempt people from paying prescriptions, but this hasn’t been updated since its creation in 1968.

“Over the past five decades, medical progress has been astounding, but this list is stuck in the past, omitting so many conditions that were undiscovered or had very short life expectancy at the time. I am committed to ensuring people in Chesterfield with long-term conditions are treated fairly.”

The report shows that extending prescription charge exemptions to people with long-term conditions would save the NHS:

  • £93 per person with Parkinson’s per year
  • £180 per person with Inflammatory Bowel Disease per year

And would result in:

  • 789 fewer A&E visits for people with Parkinson’s
  • 3,796 fewer GP visits for people with Crohn’s Disease

Matina Loizou, Senior Policy Adviser at Parkinson’s UK and Co-Chair of the Prescription Charges Coalition, said: “No diagnosis should come with a bill – not from our NHS – and it is appalling that so many people have to pay for the privilege of having a long-term condition they certainly didn’t ask for.”

Jackie Glatter, Health Service Development Manager at Crohn’s and Colitis UK and Co-Chair of the Prescription Charges Coalition said: “The Government has freely admitted that the current prescription exemption criteria are outdated and arbitrary and this analysis clearly shows they are also a false economy.

“This broken system needs urgent reform to ensure people with long-term conditions get the vital medicines they need and to deliver value for money for the tax payer.”

Toby with Matina Loizou, Senior Policy Adviser at Parkinson’s UK and Co-Chair of the Prescription Charges Coalition

Toby with Matina Loizou, Senior Policy Adviser at Parkinson’s UK and Co-Chair of the Prescription Charges Coalition

 

 

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Response from Chesterfield Royal Hospital to my Letter Regarding the Creation of a Wholly Owned Subsidiary

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I recently wrote to Chesterfield Royal Hospital following my meeting with Lee Outhwaite, the Director of Financing and Contracting at the Hospital regarding their plans to create a wholly owned subsidiary company. I have received the response above. Their response clarifies some of the questions that had been raised and I am pleased to see that the Royal has been able to offer these reassurances, but the ongoing question about future working conditions remain, as do more fundamental questions about taking NHS jobs out of the public sector. I appreciate the clarification they offer around pensions and outsourcing but I still have reservations about the Royal’s proposals. I am in the process of organising meetings with the unions and other staff groups at the hospital.

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Toby Perkins MP: Privacy Notice and Policy following introduction of GDPR

Privacy Policy

I am the MP for Chesterfield. As your MP, it is important that I and my office can keep in touch with constituents about my work, take up casework on their behalf and ask for views on local issues.

As a Labour MP I also have access to other information which I or my office, or volunteers working with me, will use for campaigning purposes or for communicating with Labour Party members.  In respect of that information, the Labour Party is the data controller, and you should consult their privacy policy (https://labour.org.uk/privacy-policy/ ) for details of what information they hold, why, and how they use and process that information.

This page explains how I collect and use personal data, the legal basis for doing so and provides information about your rights in respect of your personal data for which I am the data controller.

My responsible officer for data protection can be contacted at williamscab@parliament.uk or on 01246 386 286.

 

Data collection and use

The office of Toby Perkins MP will only collect and use personal information for the specific purpose for which it has been obtained.

I will undertake casework using personal information provided by or on behalf of a constituent. It may be necessary for me to share your information with third party organisations. I will only do this where it is necessary and reasonable to do so, and I will share only the minimum amount of personal information necessary in order to advocate on your behalf. Please see the “who I share your information with” section for further details.

When registering with this website or by completing a form or survey sent to you by my office, you may be asked for personal information. In each case, I will ask for your explicit consent to use your information, and I will only use it for the purposes for which you provide it.

I may communicate by post, email, phone or text message about my work and to give you the latest news on my campaigns and opportunities to get involved. I have a legal entitlement to the full electoral register for my constituency, which includes the full name and address of every registered elector and I may write to you in connection with my activities as an MP.

I will only send emails, texts or contact you by telephone where you have provided explicit consent for me to do so. You may withdraw your consent or unsubscribe at any time from communications in any medium by contacting our Data Protection Officer or by using the unsubscribe option I provide in all communications.

I will not use personal data for any automated decision making or profiling.

 

Who I share your information with:

When I take up casework on your behalf, it may be necessary for me to share the details you provide with government departments, local authorities and other public bodies. I will only share as much information as is necessary to take your case forward. If you have any questions or concerns about how information you provide as part of a casework request is used, please contact my Data Protection Officer for more information.

Other than in the circumstances above, I will not share personal information with other organisations without your explicit consent.

In order to communicate with you about my work as the MP for Chesterfield it may be necessary for me to transfer personal information to countries or jurisdictions outside the EU. In each case, I will take steps to ensure that the suppliers I use comply with the General Data Protection Regulation or are subject to the Privacy Shield scheme agreed between the European Union and the United States.

 

Retention of personal data

I will only keep your personal information for as long as it is necessary to fulfil the purposes described in this policy. Information relating to casework will only be retained for as long as it is necessary to resolve or otherwise complete your request, although I may retain a minimum amount of information about closed cases in the event that you contact me again for help.

If you have consented to receive information about my work, I will only retain your personal information so long as I am the MP for Chesterfield, or you ask not to be contacted further.

I will regularly review the personal information I hold to ensure that its use is necessary and proportionate.

 

IP Addresses and Cookies

This site does not automatically capture or store personal information, other than logging the user’s IP Address or the location of your computer or network on the Internet, for systems administration and troubleshooting purposes.  I also use IP addresses in the aggregate to track which pages people visit in order to improve the quality of the site.

A cookie is a tiny text file that is stored on your computer. Cookies may be used in order to tailor your experience on this site according to the preferences you have specified. Cookies on this website do not contain personally identifiable information, other than your IP address, which itself is only very rarely enough to identify you as an individual.

 

Links to other websites:

This website contains links to other websites. I am not responsible for the content or privacy practices of these websites.

 

Your rights:

You have a number of rights in relation to your personal information and the opportunity to choose how it is used. You can:

  • Obtain copies of the personal information I hold about you (known as a “subject access request”)
  • Request that I correct or update any personal information held about you
  • Ask that we erase or restrict the way in which I use your information
  • Request that personal information you have given your consent for me to use is provided in an electronic format so it can be transferred to another data controller (also known as “data portability”)

You may opt out of receiving further communications form me in any medium at any time. All requests to unsubscribe are dealt with promptly, and in all cases within a fortnight.

If you wish to exercise your rights in respect of your personal data or have any concerns about how your data is used, please contact my Data Protection Officer:

Christopher Williams

The Office of Toby Perkins MP, 113 Saltergate, Chesterfield S40 1NF

williamscab@parliament.uk

01246 386 286

Alternatively you have right to raise any issues or concerns directly with the Information Commissioner’s Office.

 

 

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Toby Perkins MP Shows Support for Fair.Vote Campaign for Votes at 16

A plan to lower the voting age to 16 has received the backing of Chesterfield MP, Toby Perkins.

Fair.Vote is a campaign which aims to equal the voting age across the UK to 16. Launched by Association of College and the National Union of Students, it looks to bring together individuals and organisations from across the UK and politicians of all parties who believe that young adults should have a greater stake in democracy.

The Bill it’s due to have its second reading in the House of Commons later this year and has received crossparty support which shows that the political appetite for change is there. With Scotland already having a voting age of 16, and Wales potentially about to follow suit, it would be a profound shame for UK-wide elections and votes in England to be left lagging behind.

Toby said: “16 and 17-year-olds hold many responsibilities in our society, and extending the franchise would engage them in the political affairs, current events, and democratic processes that impact their lives. I would fully welcome young people in Chesterfield having the opportunity to vote at 16”

David Hughes, Chief Executive of the Association of Colleges, said: “Lowering the voting age to 16- and 17-year-olds is something that should be welcomed by politicians from across the political spectrum given the rise in young people’s participation in politics. With young people’s turnout astonishingly rising in the last General Election, it’s time to think boldly about enhancing Britain’s democracy and the future of our country. In this country you can marry at 16, you can pay taxes at 16, so what’s stopping you from having the right to vote?

Visit www.fair.vote to find out more, and download their toolkit to get involved.

Follow the conversation online @fairvote16 using the hashtags #fairvote16 and #votesat16.

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Welcome

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
Email: toby.perkins.mp@parliament.uk
Post: 113 Saltergate, Chesterfield, S40 1NF

Surgeries

I hold regular surgeries for my constituents.
Please call 01246 386286 or email toby.perkins.mp@parliament.uk to make a booking.

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