The Home Affairs select committee has been told a load of rubbish

Amber Rudd told the home affairs select committee that there were no targets for enforcing the removal of migrants. However, it has been shown that a document passed to her last year shows that she was well aware of them.  So she definitely knew of the targets that she now claims she will be abandoning the policy.

It’s now definitely too late for the Home Secretary to be ‘heartbroken’ as she claims! See this comment <Here>

Tory ruthless plan for hostile environment

Government knew for years that the Windrush generation hurt by “hostile environment” – Home Office letter dated May 2016 shows that ministers knew of immigration policy’s impacts.

A letter from a Home Office minister dated May 2016 and obtained by the Guardian newspaper shows that the government has known for years about the impact of its “hostile environment” policy on the Windrush generation.
A document from Amber Rudd, sent to Prime Minister May pledging to escalate the hostile environment was passed to the Guardian.  In it she set out her “ambitious” plan to increase removals and focus officials on “arresting, detaining and forcibly removing illegal migrants” while “ruthlessly” prioritising Home Office resources for the programme. Yet nobody has resigned! See article in <theguardian.com>

Solidarity and Equality

Mail to Members

Our Party was founded on the principles of solidarity and equality. We are proudly anti-racist, and at our best when we work together, uniting people in hope and against fear and division.

This week, Jewish leaders wrote to me to express their anger and upset about antisemitism in the Labour Party.

I want to assure you that prejudice against, and harassment of, Jewish people have no place whatsoever in our Party.

It’s important to develop a deeper understanding of what constitutes antisemitism.

Often it takes familiar forms, but newer forms of antisemitism have also appeared, sometimes woven into criticisms of the actions of Israeli governments.

Criticism of Israel, and support for the rights of the Palestinians, is entirely legitimate. Support for justice for the Palestinian people should provide no one with the excuse to insult, harass or encourage hatred of Jewish people.

And abuse and personal attacks of any kind, on social media or in person, are never acceptable.

I am committed to ensuring our Party is a welcoming and secure place for everyone. I offer all Jewish members my assurance that this applies equally to them. I want all of us to hear Jewish voices and listen.

If you are not Jewish, I want you to better understand the importance of this issue and what we can do together to ensure our Party remains true to our values.

Zero tolerance for antisemitism means what it says. We will not accept it.

We have to get this right, all of us. Because divided societies cannot achieve justice.

As we head into elections in May and look towards the next General Election whenever it might come, let’s take the lead in building a society free from prejudice. One that enables everyone to realise their full potential, and cares for all.

Thank you for supporting Labour.

Jeremy Corbyn
Leader of the Labour Party

Jo Cox stood for the best of Labour

Jo Cox was a unique Labour MP whose approach to politics, international development and her family marked her out as compassionate and clever. Her work in Westminster and life outside Parliament were cruelly cut short in an act of senseless barbarity in Birstall, West Yorkshire, 16 June 2016.

MPs, activists and the wider Labour movement are grieving today while the deepest pain is borne by her husband and their two children.

See tributes to Jo Cox in LabourList [Here]

Spring 2016 Budget – Typical Tory Budget

Typical Tory Budget

On Wednesday 16 March 2016, the Chancellor, George Osborne, delivered his eighth Budget. A budget that was a culmination of six years of his failures — Jeremy Corbyn let him know:
This budget failed on the deficit, failed on debt, failed on investment, failed on productivity, failed on his own welfare cap and failed to tackle inequality in the UK.

This budget has failed you – See Jeremy Corbyn reply in the Commons on Wednesday
[Here]

Nearly 801,000 workers are on zero hour contracts. The Chancellor announced £3.5 billion of additional public expenditure cuts, which would further reduce stimulus to the economy. George Osborne has paid for tax cuts for the wealthy by taking money from disabled people. Another £1.4 billion of welfare spending cuts will mainly fall on people with disabilities and further erode the purchasing power of many citizens.

Wednesday was a day of humiliations for the Government. George Osborne’s budget statement clearly demonstrated that the ‘long-term economic plan’ is disintegrating. Across the hall, the Government was decisively defeated in the House of Lords in three separate votes on the Trade Union Bill. On the Political funds, the Government had its heaviest loss, with Peers voting 320 to 172 to limit the measure to new members, and allow a 12-month transition period. The Government’s proposed ban on allowing electronic balloting for votes on strike action also suffered a crushing defeat, of 320-181. The Government is insisting on forcing the bill through, so we may be looking at another Tory rebellion.

Will George Osborne, Chancellor, publish his personal tax return ?

Tory Government puts the interests of multinational corporations at top of their priorities

The Government continues to say that the ONLY alternatives are spending cuts or tax increases. They always ignore the tax dodgers who never pay their whack – and they continue to put the interests of big business first over the British working people. Possibly if everyone paid their dues, there would be no need for any austerity.

The UK economy is in trouble as we well know – otherwise why the austerity – Government debt is increasing at about 3 per cent of GDP each year. To get that under control we need the corporations who avoid paying tax to pay what they are due not reach secret agreements with HMRC behind closed doors to pay trivial amounts of tax. The tax system probably needs complete overhaul, but that will not happen until we get a Labour Government. Until then the least we can push for is that the Government stops paying lip service to dealing with multinational corporations.

It is not just the UK that is losing out, but France and other EU countries that these corporations operate in. For example Netflix paid absolutely no UK corporation tax in 2014 despite being estimated to have around 4.5m UK subscribers. However, it did pay tax in Luxembourg, but at an equivalent rate of about 5 per cent. Vodafone made £1.97bn of profits in the year to March 31, 2015 but confirmed that it paid no UK corporation tax in 2014/15. Of the top 10 companies on the London Stock Exchange, six paid no UK corporation tax in the period covered by their latest annual accounts.

The EU has for far too long, been dragging it’s feet on this issue, but Labour MEPs together with other Socialist and Democrats in the European Parliament have been backing measures to combat corporate tax dodging. Needless to say the Tory MEPs have consistently voted against any measures of this type while paying lip service to the need for them.

The European Commission announced on 28 January 2016 proposals for new laws to tackle tax avoidance and evasion in the EU, which echo the recommendations of Labour MEP Anneliese Dodds’s recent report.

The plans include making more companies report, country-by-country, where they make their profits and where they pay their taxes. Other proposals include applying sanctions to tax havens and companies using them. The new legislation will mean EU countries will need to take a common approach to preventing tax avoidance and tackling tax havens. It’s no wonder that David Cameron wants the UK to be able to ignore EU directives, but still be a member of the EU.

John McDonnell said: “The mask has finally slipped. The Tories have been saying they want to clamp down on tax avoidance to the British people, but when they think our backs are turned they are telling their MEPs to oppose any measures to make it happen. The truth is they run a ‘don’t know, don’t care’ approach to tax avoidance.”

John McDonnell, Shadow Chancellor, has written to George Osborne, Chancellor, to ask him for full disclosure and transparency of the Treasury’s tax deal with Google. See the letter in full [Here]. John has published his own tax return in the Sunday Mirror and has called on George Osborne to follow suit.

EU referendum voting – British Embassy Press release

EU referendum – Press release from British Embassy in Paris.

The British Embassy in Paris has launched a seven-day countdown campaign and competition to raise awareness of Overseas Voter Registration Day (OVRD) on 4th February among expatriates in France.

The press release is available [Here]

Our most secretive Government

This Government is the most secretive in our lifetimes.

Now David Cameron is trying to unpick the Freedom of Information Act, stopping the public knowing what he is up to.  No government should limit access to information that should be freely available.  It’s an argument we can and must win. Get involved in the Labour Party campaign to save the Freedom of Information Act – [Click Here]

If you sign the form you probably need to give your last UK registered post code.

The Labour Party campaign briefing is available [Here]

Some Success!

It now looks like the rush to get fracking has been slowed down. On 26 January the UK government accepted Labour proposals to tighten environmental regulations.

Significant regions of UK shale gas deposits have now been ruled out for exploitation. These include national parks and areas where drinking water is collected. One successful amendment to the bill means that potential fracking sites would be monitored for 12 months before any exploration takes place.

The change to trespass laws, which allow fracking under peoples’ homes without their permission, remains in the Bill. The Bill now goes to the House of Lords where further changes may be made.

Ed – Why I want to be Prime Minister

Ed Miliband –

So here are the promises I’m making to you about the kind of Britain I will lead:

First, I will undo the damage the Tories have done to our country:

I will scrap the Bedroom Tax, which unfairly punishes the disabled and the vulnerable
I will scrap the Health and Social Care Act, which damages and undermines our NHS
I will scrap the gagging law, which limits our freedom of speech and right to campaign
I will reverse the Tories’ £3bn tax cut for millionaires, so we get the deficit down but do it fairly

Second, I will take on the powerful vested interests that hold millions back:

I will force energy companies to freeze gas and electricity bills until 2017
I will give power back to those who rent their homes, by scrapping letting fees and stabilising tenancy agreements
I will raise money from tobacco companies, tax avoiders, and a mansion tax to fund doctors, nurses, careworkers and midwives for our NHS
I will reform our banks so that they properly support small businesses
I will stop recruitment agencies hiring only from abroad

Third, I will start to rebuild a fairer, better Britain:

I will raise the minimum wage, to ensure that everyone that does a hard day’s work is properly rewarded
I will promote the living wage by giving tax breaks to companies that pay it
I will ban the damaging zero-hours contracts that exploit British workers
I will bring in a lower 10p income tax rate, cutting taxes for 24 million workers
I will support working parents with 25 hours of free childcare for three- and four-year-olds
I will help more young people get on the housing ladder by getting 200,000 homes built every year