Gazette column - 14/2/19

Sitting smugly in their ivory towers the Tories have no idea and care less about what is happening in real Britain.

Take unemployment, Theresa May and her Conservative propagandists forever pretending the country's awash with jobs.

 

We know differently and the truth is proved by official figures from the House of Commons Library which shows the number of unemployed claimants in the Jarrow parliamentary constituency increased 25% in the past year to 2,185 in December 2018.

 

Unemployment in the wider North East climbed 14,000 to 71,000 so that's a lot more job hunting people who hear the Tories adding insult to injury whenever the Prime Minister plays fantasy politics.

 

These are disturbing statistics when behind the raw figures are blighted lives and frightened families.

 

Thousands of jobs lost mean thousands of extra people and families wondering how they’re going to pay the bills and thousands more relying on the charity of Foodbanks to survive.

 

The grim reality is also too many of the 65,000 people grafting across South Tyneside are in low paid, insecure jobs or on zero-hours contracts without any security whatsoever.

 

Earlier this week in Parliament I raised my concerns that the Tories continue to boast about their record levels of employment, but this government is in fact running a slave economy, with four million people in the UK on bogus self-employment, zero-hours contracts and agency work, which means they have no way of knowing how long they will work, or how much they will earn, from day to day.

 

It's a shaming fact that the majority of poor people in our country are in households where people work, the working poor the great exploited of our time.

 

Spiteful cuts to Tax Credits and Universal Credit and along with nasty scams like the Bedroom Tax, are the Conservatives deliberately making poor people poorer by gouging holes in social security and the welfare state.

 

We all know the roll out of Universal Credit's a disaster leaving individuals and families without money not because their circumstances changed but the Government's treatment of them changed for the worse.

 

Ever since the Tories walked into Downing Street in 2010 they've told the country that everything in the jobs garden is rosy when millions of people in badly paying jobs, never mind those without jobs, are aware the Government's talking nonsense.

 

I believe our young deserve a decent chance, every worker deserves a decent day’s pay for a decent day’s work and the people of this area must never again be treated as second best or chucked on the scrapheap by May's Tories as happened under Thatcher’s Tories in the 1980s.

 

Quality jobs for all is Labour's goal, every worker paid at least £10 an hour and treated with dignity and respect.

 

Tories want to take workplaces back to a Victorian master-servant relationship as the party of Fat Cats paying the bills of the Conservatives, May's mob the political wing of greedy financial interests.

 

So join us in ending the scandal in one of the world's wealthiest economies millions of families on low pay struggling to make ends meet when even a full week's work leaves them on the breadline.

 

The Tories don't give tuppence for low and middle earning workers when wages are worth less than they were more than 10 years ago after the longest pay squeeze since Wellington beat Napoleon at the Battle of Waterloo.

 

You have my word the future Labour Government would improve life massively for the better.

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Meet your MP

 Stephen-Hepburn-MP

Stephen Hepburn has served the Jarrow Constituency as MP since 1997.

He was last elected to serve in June 2017 and won the seat with a conclusive 17,263 majority.

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