by BARRY GARDINER
Labour candidate for Brent North
ALL of us wish we could decide our own future. Next week you can.So, what will it be?
Are you a young couple keen to start a family and get on the housing ladder?
After a decade where SureStart Centres have been closed and house prices have spiralled out of reach, we need to build genuinely affordable homes and provide free childcare for all
two to fouryearolds.
Perhaps you are retired from work, but are struggling on a reduced pension and worried
how you are going to afford social care?
You need the security of knowing that your dignity is secure and your personal care
needs will be met for free. If you are a WASPI woman, whose pension rights were snatched
away at the last minute, you need to know that you will be compensated for the pension you always thought you had paid for.
Maybe you are in work but just can’t make ends meet? You hate the indignity of food
banks even though you are glad that somebody seems to care, even if it isn’t this government!
A proper living wage would mean a lot to you.
Every parent is the same – we all worry about our children’s future. We want them to
have schools that are properly funded and class sizes that are not too big. We want them
to finish their studies without £50,000 of debt hanging round their necks. And, of course,
we worry if climate change is going to change everything.
But the past 10 years have seen our schools starved of cash and our young adults saddled
with unsustainable student debt. All the while this government is missing even its own
climate change targets.
We need real change to liberate our young people and give them hope about the skills and new jobs and apprenticeships that a Green Industrial Revolution will bring.
Over the past 10 years our government has spent just three per cent of GDP on renew
ing the infrastructure of our country. That is lower than France, Italy, Canada, Denmark, the US, Japan, New Zealand, Australia, Sweden, Norway and the entire OECD average. It’s no wonder our productivity is so poor.
We need to bring our investment in the public asset stock – our railways, broadband, hos
pitals – back into line with other developed nations. That is the way we will grow our econo
my and be able to afford the public services we want for our families.
So next week, cast a vote for yourself. Look beyond the cynical spin and the media scare
stories from those pundits who think they can manipulate people into voting against their own best interest.
You – and only you – should decide what your future is going to be. You – and only you –
should decide which policies are going to meet your needs, fulfil your aspirations and
shape the future for you and your family.
You want to do well in life. Labour wants to help you. It is what our manifesto is all about.