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Sunday, 7 May 2017

It cannot be right that nurses are forced to use Food banks and Pay day loan companies.

Labour will raise income tax only for people earning £80,000 and above.

Image result for john mcdonnell on marr tv programme 7 may 2017

John McDonnell the shadow Chancellor, has today announced no increase in VAT, Income tax or National Insurance contributions for 95% of people in this country. For those earning in excess of £80,000 per year, McDonnell proposes a modest increase in the rate of tax in order to fund public services. To nobody's surprise, the conservatives took very little time in condemning the proposal with the now well worn cliche of, "Labour's figures do not add up".
The conservative machine however, fails to explain how Labour's figures "do not add up", nor do the conservatives provide any alternative proposals to fund public services. Perhaps the conservatives consider that public services are sufficiently funded now, or perhaps they take the view that asking the top 5% to pay a little extra tax and freeze tax rates, VAT and National Insurance contributions for the remaining 95% of our people, would be an unpopular measure with the few who usually benefit from conservative tax policy.
The Labour party considers that the funding of public services has been for far too long, an area which has been woefully neglected, particularly over the past 7 years and particularly in our NHS where, with the imposition of a derisory 1% pay award for all of that period, the value of earnings has fallen by almost 14% in real terms. This vindictive annual pay award has been inflicted on health service staff because the government are well aware that the employees in the health service, particularly nurses, are unlikely to stage any form of industrial action (albeit that the situation could change as the RCN are balloting their members for such a possibility) as they are considered by government as "the soft option" and will accept anything given to them.
Last Sunday (30th April), on the Andrew Marr programme, Prime Minister Theresa May, clumsily avoided a question from Marr in respect of nurses being driven to use Food bank charities, saying that there are many reasons why people go to Food banks. On BBC's "Question Time" on Thursday, David Davis defended the Prime Minister's remarks saying to a quite hostile audience that " People have short term cash issues, all sorts of things... the complexity of individual people’s lives - of course she was right.”
These two senior politicians demonstrate clearly how out of touch with the real world the conservative party are and how arrogantly dismissive their party remains of the damage and hardship that their punitive policies inflict upon ordinary people. In addition to the scandal of  Food bank usage amongst people, including working people, now having risen to over one and a half million, we now learn that nurses are being forced into the clutches of the "Pay Day Loan" companies where a growing number of NHS staff, including nurses have insufficient salary to live on until the end of each month.
It is this scandalous situation which the Labour party is determined to address and rectify. The pernicious 1% pay award will be scrapped to be replaced by public sector wages being agreed through collective bargaining and independent pay review bodies. In this 21st Century, no civilized country should tolerate a situation where essential workers are abused to the extent to which this government abuses health service workers. It is an abuse which will continue and grow, unless we take action to resolve it.
Raising an additional modest amount of revenue from those earning in excess of £80,000 in order to fund public services is not "Labour tax to hammer workers on £80,000" as the hysterical Sunday Telegraph headline screams out.

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The announcement by John McDonnell today is a calm and reasonable set of measures which will address and resolve a national scandal which has festered for far too long.