The Chancellor doesn’t care about poverty

The Chancellor’s refusal to commit to ending social security freezes is a ‘travesty’ says Oldham West and Royton MP Jim McMahon. At Treasury Questions last week treasury ministers refused confirm that they will go ahead with lifting the social security freeze which was previously thought to be government policy.

Reacting to the news Jim McMahon MP said, “This is just another example of the Chancellor showing that he doesn’t care about poverty. The governments obsession with cuts have damaging effects in the real world for real people.”

“Here in Oldham West and Royton the social security system helps support over fifteen-thousand people, and I wish it didn’t have to. But it does and these people exist and, in some cases, require further support.”

“We know all about the rise in the number of foodbanks since the Tory government took over. We’ve heard the rhetoric about austerity being over. Now is the time to prove it by going ahead and ending the freeze as promised.”

Labour’s Shadow Chief Secretary to the Treasury said: “The Chancellor won’t confirm that his four year freeze to social security will be lifted next year, leaving the door open to further cuts to income for the poorest in our society.”

“14 million people are now in poverty in the UK, but all those struggling are an afterthought to this Tory government.”

“The Chancellor should immediately confirm that he will end the social security freeze in 2020, and set out his plans to fund this measure.”

Our towns need significant investment

OLDHAM West and Royton MP Jim McMahon has reacted to the findings of a report by EY and the Centre for Towns with regret. The joint report focuses on levels of Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) in our towns and cities, and it finds that ex-industrial towns like Oldham saw a 50% decrease in manufacturing FDI in 2018. Ex-industrial towns are disproportionately reliant on manufacturing projects, so a decline in the number of manufacturing projects attracted by the UK hits those towns harder.

Jim McMahon MP said, “This report shows that our towns need significant investment to balance the scales. Core cities across the UK continue to suck in foreign investment whilst investment in our towns continues to dry up. Despite the vast sums of money going into our cities there is little sign of this spilling over the borders into surrounding towns.”

He continued “The Core Cities programme has clearly been successful in attracting FDI to cities, whilst outlying towns and communities have seen investment flatline over the last twenty years. Trickle-down economics doesn’t work for people, it’s unrealistic to expect it to work for our towns and cities.”

“The report is entirely right in its four-point policy agenda for towns; bottom up decision-making through greater devolution, a reworking of the industrial and digital strategies to put place first, significant infrastructure investment by improving regional transport links and broadband, and an integrated towns strategy. Those four items are crucial, and they must be all be done together.”

“This is an issue we can deal with, if we devolve further and allow local people to make the decisions on industrial and digital strategies, if we invest in physical and digital infrastructure and we plan properly by incorporating economic, social and cultural aspects we can make our towns attractive. If people want to live, work and enjoy themselves in our towns they will thrive.”

Climate Emergency: Here’s the action

This Monday marked the start of two weeks of global action by the climate activist group Extinction Rebellion.  The action the group plans to undertake will be disruptive and it’ll be annoying for commuters and the free flow of traffic, but I feel it is right to mainstream this debate and unfortunately that only happens when people’s attention is attracted.

WhatsApp Image 2019-10-07 at 13.58.19

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Oldham and Universal Credit

Figures given to me by the House of Commons Library state that the percentage of claimants for Universal Credit in my constituency for August 2019 stands at 7.2% of our economically active population (16-64). This compares starkly nationally, with an average of 3.7% claiming Universal Credit, almost double.

 

I see this not as a failure of people in Oldham, I know our town is full to the brim of hardworking working-class people and that we are proud of what we do. However, I do see this as a failure of our Government (If we even still have one) to look after the needs of our regions and former industrial areas and its people.

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£25 Billion Shortfall in Local Government Funding

The report by the New Economics Foundation and the Trade Union Congress (TUC) has highlighted real and necessary concerns about funding for local services in the coming years, with a no deal Brexit and reforms meaning that funding for Local Government will reach a critical point, even surpassing the cuts from Austerity we have faced in recent years.


The report by the NEF highlights that around half of local-government funding came from central government in 2010, but by 2024-25 this will have been cut to zero, apart from a small amount of ring-fenced funding.

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