Autumn Statement: Losers – The Young, Working Families and Children – and the greenfields of North West Leeds?

How should we react to the autumn statement? Perhaps, as many commentators have said, as a piece of political theatre. It was certainly that – complete with smoke and mirrors. Its big message is – continuing austerity. And it’s becoming clear that for George Osborne, David Cameron and Nick Clegg austerity is an end in … Continue reading Autumn Statement: Losers – The Young, Working Families and Children – and the greenfields of North West Leeds?

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A party that works for working people, which has learnt from the lessons of the past: Jon Trickett’s speech to Leeds NW Labour

Many Adel and Wharfedale members had a great evening at Leeds NW CLP’s annual dinner. You can read about Jon Trickett’s speech here.

Leeds North West Constituency

Learning from the lessons of the past, making Labour truly the people’s party – these were the themes of Jon Trickett’s speech at Leeds NW Labour’s hugely successful annual dinner and 2015 campaign launch on Sunday evening.IMG_2553

He was eloquent about Ed Miliband’s style of leadership:
– His strength – standing up to Murdoch, where some might have kept quiet; one of the first politicians prepared to do that
– – ready to take a principled stand on Syria, to give diplomacy a chance.
– In general his readiness to listen and learn – but also his courage to act when his mind was made up.

Jon reminded us of the successes of the last Labour government – and especially about its rescue of the NHS from the crisis situation of 1997
– the contrast with the failures of this LibDem/Tory Coalition
– a government which had created an A…

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‘Labour – the party for ALL children and ALL families – in Leeds and at Westminster’: Alex Sobel.

Leeds North West Constituency

This week has seen significant announcements by both main parties relevant to childcare and families.

In advance of the Tory Party Conference, David Cameron has said he will bring in tax relief for families in 2015.
By this what he means is tax relief for a Tory version of a family – in work, with one wage-earner, a stay-at-home parent, earning enough to benefit from tax-threshold changes. The gender of the working parent is not specified – but in practice this looks too like a return to the old Married Man’s Tax Allowance for comfort. In practice, too, it will likely put money into the hands of men, rather than directly into the hands of women and children.

‘Love is love, commitment is commitment’ says David Cameron
– for married couples with one earner on £40K, but not for married couples with each on £10K;
– except for two thirds…

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One in six households in Leeds North West in fuel poverty – less champagne, Dave, and more help for families struggling with the Cost of Living Crisis

Celebration of recovery may be premature – it’s certainly inappropriate as living costs soar.

Leeds North West Constituency

Families in Leeds North West and across the country can see what David Cameron and George Osborne are incapable of seeing: that the Government has failed to turn things around for Britain’s hard-working families.
We’ve had three damaging years of a flat-lining economy and the slowest economic recovery in over a century.
As we go round the constituency, people in Leeds North West tell us they are struggling – that things are getting harder not easier for them as the prices of essentials such as food, clothes and heating are rising much faster than wages.
The government boasts that they’ve fixed the economy but their decisions choked off the recovery and we’re yet to make up the ground lost since 2010.
The talk of economic recovery rings hollow for families that are still struggling with the cost of living crisis.

Since David Cameron became Prime Minister wages in Yorkshire and…

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David Cameron is worst PM for living standards on record as working people set to lose £6,660 by 2015

Labour is today revealing the full scale of the cost of living crisis under David Cameron. Analysis of historical figures from the Office for National Statistics shows that David Cameron has been in Downing Street for 36 months of falling real wages – more than any Prime Minister on record. And no Prime Minister has … Continue reading David Cameron is worst PM for living standards on record as working people set to lose £6,660 by 2015

Keith Wakefield, Leeds Labour Leader – on poverty, the wicked Bedroom tax, and power to the North.

Leeds North West Constituency

Unless you are an avid reader of the Online Guardian, you probably missed this interview with Keith Wakefield – Labour Leader of Leeds City Council – which appeared in its Professional section this week.image_gallery

If so, that’s a shame, and you should make sure to read it in full.

The autobiographical bits are revealing. Keith Wakefield has come up the hard way – in care in Birmingham as a boy, he’s a man who has experienced poverty first hand. He knows what it’s like to sleep rough, or be jobless.

Perhaps it’s experiences like this which have made him such a committed fighter against this Coalition’s welfare reforms. Leeds has been at the forefront of the struggle against the Bedroom Tax.
His understanding of what the Coalition Government’s policies are doing to the poor comes across strongly.
He’s ready to speak out for the sort of people our right-wing…

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Busting the poverty myths

We've frequently reported on the wicked demonisation of poverty which this Tory/LibDem government has been engaged in. That demonisation has been accompanied by a steady feed of untypical individual stories, like the infamous Philpott case, and underpinned by the re-iteration of myths and half truths. So here are a few more myths - recently exposed … Continue reading Busting the poverty myths

Universal Credit could lead to hardship for families on limited budgets

This Government is committed to replacing a number of welfare benefits with a single benefit called Universal Credit.  In principle this would simplify the benefits system and seems like a good idea but there are major problems in the way the scheme will be operated. From April 2013 Universal Credit will replace a number of … Continue reading Universal Credit could lead to hardship for families on limited budgets

Support for new mums is cut on the same day as millionaires receive a giveaway worth on average £100,000

Today, 13,000 millionaires got a tax cut from this Tory-led government.  On the same day that millions of working families have their tax credits cut, millionaires will receive a giveaway worth on average £100,000. Yvette Cooper writes: Not that long ago, David Cameron promised to lead the most family friendly government ever.  Yet, this weekend he … Continue reading Support for new mums is cut on the same day as millionaires receive a giveaway worth on average £100,000

Child poverty in Leeds – new report gives measure of growing problems

The End Child Poverty campaign has published a map of child poverty which makes for sobering viewing. Leeds as a whole had 20% of children in poverty in 2012 - a bad enough figure in itself. But Leeds Central, with 38% child poverty, was 11th in the national table of deprivation, and there are pockets … Continue reading Child poverty in Leeds – new report gives measure of growing problems