NEWS THIS WEEK – from Diane Abbott, MP for Hackney North & Stoke Newington February 19 2016
26 Feb 2016TORY CUTS TO LOCAL GOVERNMENT
When the Tories talk about devolving power to local communities what they really mean is delegating cuts. The Government have cut local government to the bone since 2010 and they continue to impose cut upon cut, hitting the most deprived areas the hardest.
It was recently confirmed that Hackney's central government grant for the next financial year will be reduced by a further £36m, bringing the total government reduction to £130m - or 35% - since 2010.
Communities and local Government Secretary, Greg Clark announced a £300million transitional grant for councils suffering the harshest cuts. Yet 85 per cent of the grant goes to the Tory authorities, which have suffered the least since 2010. Labour councils are to receive just 4% of the grant.
Steve Reed, Labour’s Local Government Minister, said “Councils in poorer areas have suffered much harsher cuts since 2010 but they are getting next to nothing.”
JEREMY HUNT IMPOSES CONTRACT ON JUNIOR DOCTORS
Jeremy Hunt’s decision to impose a contract on junior doctors has led to an unprecedented situation in the NHS. He has completely failed to listen to junior doctors and has deliberately conflated the issue of the junior doctors contract with delivery of seven-day day services. Rather than helping to resolve this difficult dispute he is gambling with patient safety.
Following the announcement, Labour Leader Jeremy Corbyn said “More strikes now look likely. If that happens, it will be clear that the blame lies with the government, not the doctors.”
He has appealed to Jeremy Hunt that “even at this late stage, to go back and negotiate with the BMA”
The Labour party recognises the huge contribution junior doctors make and the years of training they go through to look after us. These are people dedicated to our health and our NHS. It’s time the Tories realised that.
You can watch a video Diane made the week of the first Junior Doctors’ Strike on Facebook here.
WE MUST DO MORE TO SUPPORT REFUGEES IN EUROPE
As part of her work as Labour’s Shadow International Development Secretary, last week Diane visited the refugee camp on the Greek island of Lesbos.
The two-and-a-half mile stretch of the Aegean Sea between the Greek island of Lesbos and the western shoreline of Turkey marks the front door to Europe, and Diane met organisations like Save the Children, Action Aid and the Hellenic Red Cross who are struggling to offer help and support to the thousands of people making their way across the seas from Turkey to Greece, fleeing war and poverty.
Following her visit, Diane has written an article for The New Statesman on why “those seeking sanctuary deserve a better response than the one given by Britain's government,” which can be read here.