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Plymouth Labour stands with the victims of this week's terror attack in Westminster.  Alison Seabeck, who represented Plymouth Moor View from 2005 to 2015 was in Westminster when the attack happened. She sends this message.

Alison said:

The tragedy which struck Westminster this week wasn't the first attack on our democracy and sadly it won't be the last.  What is important is how we respond.  Defiance, resilience and toleration are the strengths of the British people and we need them at this time.  

Locked into my office in Westminster, getting messages from colleagues around the building and from within the Chamber, I was aware of the way in which people were supporting each other across Party lines.  The building was full of visitors and children in vast numbers who were visiting were also caught up in what was happening.  When the news began to filter through of the loss of one of the police officers who on a daily basis protect the buildings, the people who work in it and ultimately our democracy, the mood became even more sombre and sad.  

The following morning as I walked in to work I passed the many police officers protecting the site and the words "thank you" were spoken not just by me but by those around me.  But the House was back working and commemorating and honouring the life of PC Keith Palmer and the other victims. It was also very clear from all sides that we do not give in to such actions and threats.  Importantly we must do all we can to challenge and discredit that small minority which always try to divide our communities in these circumstances.  

Westminster terror attack

Plymouth Labour stands with the victims of this week's terror attack in Westminster.  Alison Seabeck, who represented Plymouth Moor View from 2005 to 2015 was in Westminster when the attack...

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Plymouth Labour has become one of the first parties in the country to use the latest doorstep campaigning technology on canvasses. The doorstep app allows volunteers who are doorknocking to feed information back in real-time to Labour's campaign systems saving time.

The technology was released this week and was immediately taken out on the doors for Saturday's weekly canvass in Peverell.

Jeremy Goslin, Labour's candidate in Peverell ward in 2016 and one of the local Labour campaign co-ordinators said:

The new doorstep app makes it quicker and easier for volunteers to make the most of doorstep canvassing. Plymouth Labour is known for being innovative. We were one of the first parties in the country to tweet and make YouTube videos and now we can lay claim to being one of the first to use the new doorstep app too. We really are in the midst of the white heat of technology!

Luke Pollard, who stood for Labour in the General Election in Plymouth Sutton and Devonport added: 

This app is brilliant. Less time doing paperwork after a canvass means more time on the doors listening to people's concerns and talking about Labour's policies and candidates. Hats off to the developers who made this great bit of kit.

Plymouth Labour first to use latest doorstep technology

Plymouth Labour has become one of the first parties in the country to use the latest doorstep campaigning technology on canvasses. The doorstep app allows volunteers who are doorknocking to...

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Today was Budget day. Plymouth Labour's Luke Pollard who stood as our candidate in Plymouth Sutton and Devonport at the 2015 General Election looks at the Budget and what it means for the South West.

Philip Hammond’s first Budget continues the Tory austerity and cuts. Instead of focusing on the crisis in the NHS, falling wages, the four million children living in poverty or the growing food bank queues, the Tories delivered a triumph of spin over substance.

This Budget was supposed to be business as usual and for once I agree with the Tories because there was no new announcement on funding for our train line, no change in the far south west getting pitifully low per head education funding and no real help for the NHS crisis that is affecting our hospitals.

THE TORY JOB TAX

I remember in the General Election seeing direct mail, leaflets and online adverts from the Conservatives talking up the impact of “Labour’s job tax”. This was the Tories attempt to say that if Labour had won in 2015 they would have put up National Insurance – nonsense, but that didn’t matter, the mud stuck. They called it a jobs tax and told floating voters in Plymouth that it would hit them hard. Today we learn it was not Labour that is planning to put up National Insurance but the Tories. Hiking National Insurance for the self-employed not only hits them hard but also breaks one of the Conservative’s Manifesto pledges (see image below).

I’ve just read Oliver Colvile’s comments on today’s Budget. No mention of the broken election promise. No mention of how hiking NI will hit the 12,000 self-employed people in Plymouth hiking national insurance from 1% to 11%. That’s not a tax correction that’s a shameless tax grab from the pockets of some of the hardest workers in the city. No apology, no explanation, you wonder if he has even noticed?

NHS IN CRISIS

Under the Tories our NHS is underfunded and understaffed. Around 3.9 million people are on waiting lists. 1.8 million people wait for four hours of more in A&E. One in four patients have to wait a week or more to see their GP with many waiting much longer. Social care is in crisis. The response of our local Tory MPs is to dial up the soundbites and media interviews but go weak on delivery. The NHS and social care is in crisis. It doesn’t need a sticking plaster it needs proper funding. £2bn extra for the NHS sounds good – but when you split over three years and over the entire country it doesn’t go far. The problem here is when the Tories have taken so much out of social care, giving a little bit back and claiming that as a big success won’t wash. It isn’t extra money, it is just less of a cut. But that’s still a cut.

FAILING TO DELIVER FOR THE SOUTH WEST

One of the most over-used phrases when it comes to Budget reactions is “the devil is in the detail” but it is. If you look carefully, the Tories have shrunk the value of the National Living Wage from £9 per hour by 2020 to £8.75. They’ve also planned to borrow even more because of Brexit. The much vaunted £60bn war chest for Brexit isn’t setting aside a surplus, as there isn’t one, nor is it using any reserves, as we don’t have any. It is extra borrowing. This Government has borrowed more money in 7 years than Labour did in 13.

 

In 2017 there are two budgets. I do hope the Autumn Budget will deliver more for the south west than this one has. And let me be clear about what I want to see: proper extra funding for the NHS and social care, funding for a new train line and a reversal of the Tory plans for business rate reform that will see taxes hiked for the high street when big supermarkets will end up paying less. - Luke Pollard

 

 

 This is a cross-posting of Luke's original blog form here.

Tories break election promise as National Insurance is hiked in Budget

Today was Budget day. Plymouth Labour's Luke Pollard who stood as our candidate in Plymouth Sutton and Devonport at the 2015 General Election looks at the Budget and what it...

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