Tory spending plans will ‘fail to tackle the decade of decline’ – McDonnell
John McDonnell MP, Labour’s Shadow Chancellor, responding to the Resolution Foundation’s report that predicts a budget spending splurge and tax rises, said:
“This report confirms that even the most hyped prediction of what could be in the budget will not go anywhere near making up what the Tories have cut over the last decade.
“Even though the Tories at long last are following Labour’s policy of borrowing to invest in our infrastructure the scale of spending will fail to tackle the decade of decline caused by the Tories and will not tackle the increasingly serious existential threat of climate change.
Having raised expectations so high, inevitably people will be bitterly disappointed at this failure to deliver by Johnson and Cummings.”
Priti Patel ‘clearly clueless’, says Labour
The shadow health secretary Jonathan Ashworth has mocked home secretary after she claimed eight million “economically-inactive” potential workers can help fill vacancies after the planned crackdown on low-skilled immigration.
“I means she’s clearly clueless, isn’t she? Not only are these proposal hugely damaging for our economy ’ they’re potentially devastating for our health and care sector.”
Ashworth added: “It seems there will be no exemptions whatsoever for social care staff. At the moment there’s around 250,000 staff working in our social care sector recruited internationally, and we also have vacancies for 122,000 in social care.”
Patel earlier told BBC Radio 5 Live suggested that around 20 per cent of working age people were inactive and could fill vacancies.
Diane Abbott, Labour’s Shadow Home Secretary added:
“This isn’t an ‘Australian points-based system’, which is a meaningless government soundbite. It’s a salary threshold system, which will need to have so many exemptions, for the NHS, for social care and many parts of the private sector, that it will be meaningless.
“Just as important is what rights will be attached to these visas. If families are split up because spouses and children are denied entry, this will be terrible for them and will deter many of the workers we need. If they are all short-term visas only the most desperate workers will come, and will have the effect of creating a two-tier workforce.
“Ultimately, it will also be very difficult to attract the workers we need at all skill levels while the Tories’ hostile environment is in place. It needs to go. Labour will be pressing hard on all these points as the legislation proceeds.”
Tories are condoning Daniel Kawczynski decision to share platform with fascists – Andrew Gwynne
Andrew Gwynne MP, Labour’s Shadow Communities Secretary, commenting on the Conservative Party’s refusal to suspend Daniel Kawczynski MP, said:
“In refusing to suspend Daniel Kawczynski, the Conservatives are condoning his decision to stand shoulder to shoulder with fascists and legitimising the islamophobia, antisemitism and homophobia they promote.
“Only three days ago Kawczynski described those, such as Muslim and Jewish groups, who called on him not to attend the Conference as ‘hysterical’, and he has not made any public apology for sharing a platform with fascists.
“Boris Johnson has once again broken his promise that those who do this sort of thing are ‘out first bounce’, which is no surprise given his own racist comments, which risk emboldening the extreme far right in our country.”
Labour demands animal welfare and environmental protections enshrined in new Agriculture Bill
Labour has challenged the Prime Minister to enshrine his promises on food standards, animal welfare and environmental protections in the Agriculture Bill – the first substantial piece of post8Brexit legislation.
Luke Pollard MP, Labour’s Shadow Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs,has warned that the Agriculture Bill could result in chlorine-washed chicken, hormone-treated beef and food produced to lower animal welfare and environmental standards being sold in the UK after Brexit, lowering standards and undercutting British farmers and producers.
The Labour Party is withholding its support for the legislation unless it includes legal guarantees that animal welfare, food standards and environmental protections will not be undercut in a post-Brexit trade deal with Donald Trump and the USA.
Luke Pollard, in challenging Boris Johnson to write his election promises on maintaining standards into law as guarantees, said:
“We won’t accept chlorinated chicken in our supermarkets or Boris Johnson selling out our animal welfare, food and environmental protections in a bid for a trade deal with Donald Trump.
“Promises that Ministers have made to maintain standards aren’t worth anything until they are written into law, and unless they do so we must surely conclude that they intend to break these promises during trade talks with the USA.
“Labour will defend our environment, animal welfare and food standards, protect British consumers and stand up for Britain’s farmers so they are not undercut by food produced to lower standards in the USA”.
“Meaningless” – Andy McDonald responds to Grant Shapps’ rail announcement
Andy McDonald MP, Labour’s Shadow Transport Secretary, responding to Grant Shapps’ rail announcement, said:
“The funding pledged by the government would reopen just 25 miles of railway.
“The Conservatives claim to have been reversing Beeching cuts since 2017 despite not reopening an inch of track.
“Investing in the railway is a fantastic policy but this is meaningless without a serious funding commitment of billions of pounds.
“The timing of this announcement is also suspicious and seems designed to distract from the imminent collapse of the Northern rail franchise.”