Archive for Living standards

‘Tory Budget that will do nothing to raise the living standards of Teesside families’

Labour MP Tom Blenkinsop has today (19th March 2014) criticised the latest Budget delivered by Tory Chancellor, George Osborne, for its ‘complete failure to raise the living standards of hardworking families here in Teesside’.

Commenting Tom said:
“Today George Osborne delivered his penultimate Budget before the General Election in May next year. George Osborne and David Cameron can claim everything is going well but that’s totally out of touch when thousands of working people on Teesside on middle and lower incomes are not feeling any recovery at all.

“The North East features just once in the Budget whilst Teesside, and places within, don’t even get a look in. The Chancellor is completely out of touch when it comes to the lives of Teesside families.

“David Cameron and George Osborne stand up only for a privileged few – not hardworking families. We need a Budget that tackles the cost-of-living crisis which has left working people £1,600 a year worse off under the Tories. In my constituency alone, wages are being squeezed by £116.93 per week.

“George Osborne wants to take credit for increasing the personal allowance, but hopes people forget his 24 Tory tax rises including the increase in VAT. While millionaires have been given a huge tax cut the truth is millions of hard-working people have seen their taxes go up. It’s the same old Tory con – giving with one hand while taking away much more with the other.”

Tom backs fight back campaign against payday lenders

Local Labour MP, Tom Blenkinsop, has today (9th August 2013) pledged his support for the month long campaign by Citizens Advice to “not to let predatory lenders get away with treating them unfairly” and to “fight back” if they’ve been mistreated by a lender, by making a free complaint to the financial ombudsman.

The charity says customers should take their complaints to the free Financial Ombudsman Service. Citizens Advice analysed 665 payday loan cases reported to it in the first six months of this year and found that in 76% of them, borrowers had grounds to go to the ombudsman.

The Ombudsman Service, which resolves disputes between consumers and financial bodies when a complaint has been unsuccessfully resolved by the firm involved, can order firms to put the situation right if it agrees with the customer’s complaint. This means a borrower could get a refund or compensation.

Tom said:
“Official forecasts show that working people will have lost an average of £6,660 after five years of the Tories so turning to payday loan companies may well become the only option for people struggling with the unprecedented squeeze on living standards.

“This is an extremely important campaign that Citizens Advice has organised. Whilst ideally you would do everything possible to avoid using payday loan companies that charge extortionate interest rates, for many people they have no choice and this is their last resort. It is important that people have as much knowledge as possible when entering into such arrangements and it is vital that they are aware of what is and is not acceptable for payday loan companies to do.

“Moreover, I will continue to campaign for and promote the use of more ethical ways to get a loan. But more importantly the Government has several ways it can tackle the squeeze on living standards by implementing a lower 10p starting rate of tax; or through better regulating payday loan companies by capping the cost of credit.”

Tory Governments

Tom Blenkinsop, Labour MP for Middlesbrough South and East Cleveland, today (7th August 2012) revealed the full scale of the cost of living crisis facing families in our area under David Cameron.

An analysis of figures from the Office for National Statistics shows that David Cameron has been in Downing Street for 36 months of falling real wages – more than any Prime Minister on record.

Working people in the North East are an average of £1,201 a year worse off in real terms since David Cameron entered Downing Street.

Analysis of Office for Budget Responsibility forecasts by the House of Commons Library shows that, after inflation, wages are forecast to be £1,520 lower in 2015 than in 2010. That means that working people will, on average, have lost a total of £6,660 in real terms while David Cameron has been Prime Minister.

Tom said:
“David Cameron will go down in history as a disastrous Prime Minister for people’s living standards. He’s totally out of touch with what is happening to people on Teesside. His economic policies have failed and the result is that families are massively out of pocket.

“By 2015, official forecasts show that working people will have lost an average of £6,660 after five years of the Tories. Yet millionaires have got a huge tax cut from this Government. Far from ‘never having it so good’, many working people have never had it so bad. Prices have risen faster than wages in 36 out of the 37 months that David Cameron has been in Downing Street. This is the worst performance of any Prime Minister on record.

“Labour would help families right now with a lower 10p starting rate of tax – which would benefit 957,000 people in our area; by tackling soaring energy bills and protecting tax credits for working families by reversing David Cameron’s millionaire’s tax cut.”