NEWS THIS WEEK – from Diane Abbott, MP for Hackney North & Stoke Newington
19 Jan 2017Theresa May’s speech on Brexit –a threat to jobs and living standards
Theresa May has made clear that she is determined to use Brexit to turn Britain into a bargain basement tax haven on the shores of Europe.
She makes out this is a negotiating threat to the 27 EU countries but it’s actually a threat to the British people’s jobs, services and living standards.
And In saying we will definitely leave the single market, it is clear that she is prepared to risk the future prosperity of our economy in order to appease those on the Hard Right demanding she is ‘tougher’ on immigration.
As Shadow Chancellor John McDonnell MP put it, “losing access to the single market would cut ourselves off from one of the largest markets on the entire planet threatening jobs, living standards and the public finances.”
Furthermore, whilst this speech should have been given in Parliament where MPs could ask her questions on behalf of their constituents, it was instead given elsewhere.
She talks about Brexit restoring parliamentary sovereignty but, once again, she is determined to avoid real scrutiny of her plans.
What kind of Shared Society looks like this?
While Theresa May made a speech in favour of a “shared society” last week, spiralling inequality and division remain in Britain.
Talking of “burning injustices,” the Prime Minister said she will heal the divisions “between a more prosperous older generation and a struggling younger generation; between the wealth of London and the rest of the country; between the rich, the successful and the powerful, and their fellow citizens.”
If these are the standards they have set themselves, then the Tories should be judged on what they have done in government. Over the last six years, they have systematically failed the majority of people and they have no plan to change course on the key issues that matter.
Under the Tories those at the top have been given tax breaks while everyone else suffers, working people have had vital support cut and our NHS, local government services and others are being run into the ground.
You can read my recent column in response to Theresa May’s speech here.
NHS Crisis - Theresa May needs to take responsibility
First, government Ministers blamed patients for the deepening crisis in our NHS, then Theresa May blamed the NHS England Boss Simon Stevens and now she is blaming family doctors.
As our Shadow Health Minister Jonathan Ashworth put it, “Instead she tries to tell the British people that the NHS crisis is nothing more than just a ‘small number of incidents where unacceptable practises have taken place’. Patients, their families and hardworking over stretched NHS staff will be shocked at the Prime Minister’s casual dismissal of the realities of what’s happening on the ground.”
Theresa May has supported £4.6 billion of cuts to social care, refused to offer any help for social care in the Autumn Statement and even stubbornly dismissed pleas to bring forward £700 million of social care cash.
Furthermore, as Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn pointed out this weekend the Tories ideologically-driven obsession with privatisation further hits the NHS, where private provision has more than doubled since 2010.
As Jeremy put it, “Privatisation fails our most valued national institution: the NHS. It saddles us with an expensive and unnecessary internal market. It puts tax avoidance, not patient care, at the heart of its management. It also promotes excessive boardroom pay and grotesque inequality.”
Theresa May’s response to this crisis has been dismissive, incompetent and floundering. Patients deserve better.
Please join our local campaign actions on Labour’s NHS national campaign day this Saturday (January 21) at 47-49 Stamford Hill (full details here,) Dalston Kingsland Overground Station (see here,) and outside the Farmers Market on Stoke Newington High Street (see here.)
The Tories Are Failing Victims Of Crime
The Tory government is breaking one of its key manifesto pledges and is completely failing to increase support for victims of crime. Parliament is currently deliberating the Policing and Crime Bill - colleagues in both the Lords and the Commons have put forward a series of amendments which would increase the rights of victims and make the public sector more responsive to their needs. The government rejected them all.
Read my piece for the Huffington Post on the Bill here.