Every time I go out campaigning I hear more stories about how the #CostofCameron is affecting people in Aberconwy:
- The woman working freelance: finding it takes people longer to pay her, and even when they do it’s harder and harder to keep on top of her bills;
- The disabled man: struggling to pay the bedroom tax, but his only alternative is to move from his rural village and all his support networks, as there are no smaller properties available;
- The woman who walked from Eglwysbach to Llandudno – some 9 miles mostly down a fast and windy rural A road without pavements – because she didn’t have the bus fare and was terrified if she missed her job club appointment her benefits would be stopped – hardly a shirker;
- The nurse and her husband, who were both working full-time, but struggling to pay for childcare and all their other outgoings;
- The mother who had had her disability benefit withdrawn because she was a point or two below the new criteria. She couldn’t find work, and despaired how she was going to, when there were so many able bodied people competing for what few jobs there were. She was worrying about what else she could cut from their family budget. She didn’t smoke, drink, or have Sky;
- The woman who had fled domestic violence: but because of pressure on services could find no support once she was out of immediate danger.
They are why I, and Labour MPs, AMs, members and supporters, will be out this weekend knocking on doors and talking to voters across the country about how the #CostofCameron is affecting them. As Ed Miliband said “Britain can do better than this”.
There is no recovery for too many people across Wales. All we can see is an out-of-touch Government that put a tax cut for millionaires above the needs of hard working families. Working people are now on average around £1,700 a year worse off since David Cameron came to office and prices are rising faster than wages, but the UK Government still has no idea how to react. Energy bills are still rising and the average household will be paying £70 more for their energy than last winter. We need to change this out of touch Government for one that has is serious about turning round declining British living standards.
David Cameron claims to have a “long-term plan” for the country, but his rhetoric can’t hide the reality. The simple fact is that people will be worse off in 2015 than when he came to office:
- Three years ago the Tory-led Government assured us the economy would have grown by 7.7% by now. In fact, it has grown by just 2.5% – far slower than America or Germany, which are up 6.4% and 4.4% respectively;
- David Cameron pledged to get the banks lending again, but net lending to businesses is now more than £100billion lower than in May 2010. And he used to say he would balance the books in 2015, but borrowing will be £79billion that year.
The list goes on. Whether it is on his pledge to protect Britain’s triple-A credit rating, or to get borrowing under control, David Cameron’s government has failed Wales time and time again.
Let’s remember that the Prime Minister abandoned his incredible claim that “we are all in this together” after he gave a huge tax cut to people earning more than £150,000. He should not be allowed to hide from the truth of what has gone wrong on his watch and the choices he has made.
Here in Wales Labour has shown there is a better way. Our Jobs Growth Fund has now helped nearly 10,000 young people to find an opportunity and around 98% of graduates who joined the scheme have found a job. The Tories have made big cuts to our spending budgets but we still acted to offer businesses an Economic Growth Fund – support for jobs and businesses in the toughest of times.
Only Labour will build a new economy for the future, not simply propping up the old economy of the past. In Wales we are showing how Labour can deliver skills for all our young people, not just those who go to university. Labour wants to see a banking system that can help firms create wealth, not gamble money in the City of London.
#CostofCameron day on Saturday 11 January is about exposing the true cost of David Cameron’s government and demonstrating that only Labour stands with working people to deliver an economy that works for you and your family. Do get in touch if you’d like to join us.