Opposition Day Debate on Living Standards
Labour is holding the first Opposition Day Debate on living standards.
It has become clear that David Cameron is out of touch and failing to turn things around for hard working families. Since 2010 wages have fallen in real terms in every region of th UK with the East Midlands seeing a fall of 6.5%.
Under the Tories the UK has had the slowest recovery for 100 years, with almost one million young people now out of work. This is at the same time as David Cameron has given a tax cut for millionaires by cutting the 50p rate of tax. Almost half of the people benefitting from the 50p tax cut work in either business services or finance.
If Labour were in government we would be taking action to implement a One Nation programme to boost people's living standards.
Labour would stop the cut to the 50p rate of income tax for those on the highest incomes to reverse cuts to tax credits.
In addition we would reintroduce the 10p rate of income tax paid for by a mansion tax on homes worth over £2million.
Rail Fares are currently rising by up to 9% a year after the Government gave private train operators back the ability to increase some fares by up to another 5% above the fare increase 'cap'.
* Apply strict caps on fare rises on every route and remove the right for train companies to vary regulated fares by up to 5% above the average change in regulated fares.
* Introduce a new legal right for passengers to the cheapest ticket for their journey.
Tackling The Energy Market- Currently families are facing record fuel bills at the same time as energy companies are enjoying huge profits. Since the election average energy bills are £300 a year higher.
* Abolish Ofgem and create a new watchdog with the authority to force energy companies to pass on price cuts when the cost of wholesale energy falls.
* Require the energy companies to pool the power they generate and to make it available to any retailer, to the open market and to put downward pressure on prices.
* Force energy companies to put all over -75s on their cheapest tariff which could help those benefitting save up to £200 a year.
Stand Up For Families Living In The Private Rented Sector - There are currently 3.8 million households in the private rented sector, this includes more than one million with children. Many people are being ripped off through hidden fees which are costing tenants £76m per year. To make things worse more than a third of all privately rented homes are not up to descent standards with more than 15% lacking minimal heat in the winter.
* Introduce a national register of landlords to allow local authorities to root out and strike off rogue landlords, including those who pack people into overcrowded accommodation.
* Tackle rip-off letting agents in order to put an end to the confusing and inconsistent fees and charges.
* Seek to give greater securtiy to families who rent and remove barriers that stand in the way of longer term tenancies.
Reform the pensions industry so it works for ordinary savers. Once retired, a pensioner can discover that up to almost half the value of their pension fund has been wiped out by hidden costs and charges.
* Tackle the worst offending pension schemes by capping their charges at a maximum of 1%.
* Also amend legislation and regulation to force all pension funds to offer the same simple and transparent charging structure so that customers know the price that they will be paying before they choose a particular scheme.
Curb pay day lenders. Some of the fastest growing businesses on the high street are pay day lenders, at times there are several opening on the same street. Some fo them charge interest rates of over 1000%.
* Take national action to cap the cost of credit.
* Give local communities new powers to limit payday lenders on their high streets.