On 3 November, The Rugby Advertiser newspaper published one of my letters (co-written by the Vice Chair of Rugby Constituency Labour Party, Paul Castle) on Labour's Plan For Jobs.
There is an alternative
Cemex’s threat to leave Rugby because of the Government’s tax policy and soaring energy bills is a timely reminder that disastrous economic policies at the national level can have a devastating effect locally. Hard-working voters are waking up to the gap between rhetoric from this Cabinet of millionaires and the reality of their disastrous economic policies. Mr Osborne lectured us that “we’re all in this together” yet only last week we read that FTSE-100 directors have awarded themselves an average pay rise of 49% despite pay freezes for average workers and sky-high inflation. The Government, propped up by its Lib Dem support act, trumpets its ‘pupil premium’ but university applications are down after the trebling of tuition fees and UCASadmit the system favours the rich at private schools. Osborne’s arrogant claim that cuts would make Britain a “safe haven” rings hollow with growth flat-lining and the country about to dip back into recession.
And as local enforcers of the Government’s Plan A for Austerity, Conservative councillors at the Borough and County level, aided and abetted by the serially loyal Mark Pawsey, are making cuts to the police, youth services and social care, affecting those who are most vulnerable and had nothing to do with the causes of the economic crisis. There is an alternative. Last week, Labour set out a Five Point Plan for Jobs, which includes a VAT cut, tax breaks for small firms and a bank bonus tax to pay for new affordable homes and guaranteed jobs for young people. Rugby Labour will be campaigning on this in coming weeks, setting out a positive alternative on the economy. While the Tories and their lackeys believe in balance sheets at all levels, Labour believes in people, families, jobs and the society in which we live.
John Slinger – Labour Party member and former RBC candidate
Paul Castle - Vice-Chair, Rugby Constituency Labour Party