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26 May 2017

NEWS THIS WEEK – from Diane Abbott, MP for Hackney North & Stoke Newington

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25 Jan 2017
The Government has been forced by the Supreme Court to accept the sovereignty of Parliament as they Pursue a Tory Brexit to turn Britain into a Tax Haven

Monday’s judgment from the Supreme Court that Parliament must give its approval to trigger the process of leaving the EU forced the Government to accept the sovereignty of Parliament.
Now, as Jeremy Corbyn put it, “Labour will seek to amend the Article 50 Bill to prevent the Conservatives using Brexit to turn Britain into a bargain basement tax haven off the coast of Europe.”
This is a real threat from the Tories, with Philip Hammond again threatening in Davos this that a Tory Brexit could mean turning the UK into a Tax Haven. Philip Hammond has to answer how, if he wants to further slash corporation tax rates, our country fund our NHS and social care that are in crisis after six years of Tory Austerity.
Despite the Prime Minister’s pretence at having a plan, the truth is that she is making it up as she goes along.
Labour is demanding a plan from the Government to ensure it is accountable to Parliament throughout the negotiations and a meaningful vote on the final deal the Government proposes.

Crime figures confirm Theresa May’s record as Home Secretary as one of failure

Crime figures released last week confirmed Theresa May’s record as Home Secretary as one of failure.
Instead of preparing the police for crime in the 21st century, the Tories slashed their budgets by a quarter, with the loss of over 19,000 police officers and 6,000 community support officers.
Now further deep cuts in funding threaten even more losses to frontline officer numbers, just as we are beginning to see the true scale of crime.
As I said in my press release as Shadow Home Secretary, “Working people deserve better than Tory failure – only Labour will stand up for safer communities and for the victims of crime.”

NHS crisis is one that’s been made in Downing Street

Theresa May needs to wake up to the crisis in our NHS– that was the clear message from Labour campaigning here in Hackney North and Stoke Newington on Saturday, and our members on the streets and doorsteps across the country as part of Labour’s national campaign day.
Day after day experts and health professionals calling for the Government to take action, and more statistics showing how the crisis is deepening.
The latest NHS weekly performance data shows that there were 52 temporary diverts from one A&E to another in the week ending 15 January 2017. The level of diverts is higher than in previous years and almost double the level from early January last year.
So far this winter (since 1 December) there have been 249 diverts put in place, compared with 123 in the same period last year.
Labour is calling for urgent investment in social care and a commitment to put the NHS on a long term sustainable footing in the March Budget to avoid a winter like this again.

Social care - councils up & down the country are in a desperate situation and the Tories are in denial

News reports last week highlighted Surrey County Council’s decision to hold a referendum on a proposal to put council tax up by 15% 
In response, Teresa Pearce, Shadow Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government, said: “This Government’s continuing failure to address the crisis in social care funding has left councils up and down the country in a desperate situation.”
Despite repeated warnings from experts across the sector in social care, the Government continues to offer no fresh ideas and not a penny in extra funding to stem the crisis facing elderly, disabled and vulnerable people this winter.
Forcing councils to rely on council tax income to fund statutory services, such as social care, is simply unsustainable and unrealistic. Council tax will not plug the growing funding gap in the long-term, and it will create a postcode lottery in services, leaving the poorest councils struggling to get by.

Refugees – The Government needs to live up to its moral and legal obligation to help people fleeing persecution and war

There were numerous reports this week that plans by councils to settle refugees have stalled without Government resources.
Many councils across the country are willing to step up and take their share of refugees. But they cannot provide the housing and services these incredibly vulnerable people need without adequate support from the Home Office.
In response, I issued a Press Release as Shadow Home Secretary saying “This Tory Government needs to live up to its moral and legal obligation to help people fleeing persecution and war.”

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