Following concerns about pay day loan companies exploiting the financial difficulties of serving personnel and veterans, raised by a number of military charities including the Royal British Legion, Gareth Thomas MP renewed his call for a Military Credit Union similar to the US's Navy Federal to be created in the UK.
Gareth Thomas MP, Shadow Europe Minister, led a debate on 8 April 2014 calling for an armed forces credit union to help military families who may be facing financial difficulty.
Mr Thomas said:
“An armed forces credit union could provide specialist financial products tailored to meet the needs of service families and importantly help them plan for a future civilian life.”
August 2014 Following concerns about pay day loan companies exploiting the financial difficulties of serving personnel and veterans, raised by a number of military charities including the Royal British Legion,...
Harrow NHS Campaign
Gareth Thomas MP is campaigning for a fair allocation of NHS funding for Harrow.
Gareth recently spoke in the House of Commons to raise concerns about the amount of NHS funding Harrow receives. The total funding shortfall for Harrow has been estimated at £23.4 million in each of the next two financial years - almost £50 million.
£25 million a year could pay for around 500 nurses or 200 A&E consultants or could help to extend the opening hours of walk-in centres in the borough such as the one on Alexander Avenue.
This forecast "funding gap" over two years just increases the financial pressure on the Borough and means Harrow may have fewer doctors and nurses to serve its patients, in a system that is already under stress.
For example North West London Hospital NHS Trust, which runs Northwick Park Hospital is one of the five worst Trusts for A&E waiting times in the country. All hospital trusts in England have been set the target of seeing 95% of A&E patients within four hours but in 2013/14 in North West London just 87% of patients were seen within four hours. With the downgrading of the A&E department at Ealing and Central Middlesex, pressures on Northwick Park Hospital will be even greater.
The trust has also been urgently looking at ways to tackle ‘unacceptable high levels of occupancy’ at the Hospital. Recently published board minutes by the Trust indicate that 123 beds are urgently required to address ‘the underlying capacity gap’ at the main hospital serving Harrow residents.
There is also a London wide NHS campaign. The London Labour NHS Campaign is working to uphold the values and principles that the British public expect, high quality healthcare that is available to all, free at the point of use, based on need and not the ability to pay.
Labour will campaign for a London-wide NHS with high quality local services and easy-to-reach specialist services, which are based on collaboration, not competition, co-ordination not fragmentation - with the NHS as the provider of choice, and decision-making led by the needs of patients not the market.
All Londoners will benefit from Labour’s policy of integration of the NHS, social care and public health into one service, with patients getting the needed care, with artificial barriers moved out of the way.
Harrow NHS Campaign Gareth Thomas MP is campaigning for a fair allocation of NHS funding for Harrow. Gareth recently spoke in the House of Commons to raise concerns about the...
Thousands of Police Officers could lose their jobs in the next decade
Analysis carried out by Gareth Thomas MP, based on figures compiled by the House of Commons Library, shows that thousands of UK Police Officers face losing their job over the next decade.
In London, the Metropolitan Police may have to cut between 1,300 and 5,200 Police Officers- out of a total 31,000- if the full cuts are introduced.
Gareth Thomas MP commissioned the study following the announcement that the Metropolitan Police must save £1.4billion over the next decade. A more detailed analysis can be read, here.
Back our Police
For some time now Gareth Thomas MP has been campaigning against falling police numbers in Harrow.
Harrow now has 358 police officers and 32 community police officers – a total of just 390, but in March 2010 Harrow had 403 police officers and 116 PCSOs - a total of 519. We have therefore seen a 25% cut in our local police force.
New figures also reveal that the Metropolitan Police has lost thousands of officers across London since May 2010. There are now 30,712 Police Officers in London despite the Mayor promising that he would maintain police numbers ‘at or around 32,000’. Indeed Deputy Mayor for Policing Stephen Greenhalgh said last year that it would be a “doomsday scenario” for policing if the figure dipped below 31,000.
Over the same period the Met has also lost 2,559 Police Community Support Officers – over 55% of the total.
According to Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary (HMIC) the Met Police is now the third least visible on the streets compared to other areas of the country.Gareth has been pressing the Home Office and the Mayor of London to produce a timeline for when Harrow will again have the same complement of police officers, including PCSOs, as we had back in March 2010.
You can read Gareth Thomas MP’s recent speech in Parliament on Harrow police numbers here.
Thousands of Police Officers could lose their jobs in the next decade Analysis carried out by Gareth Thomas MP, based on figures compiled by the House of Commons Library, shows that thousands...
Labour's Plans for Childcare
Alison McGovern MP, Labour’s Shadow Minister for Children and Families, responding to the Aviva Family Finances Report finding that working parents are being hamstrung by childcare costs, said:
“Under David Cameron, childcare costs have rocketed by 30 per cent since 2010. Wages are down by £1,600 and the availability of childcare has plummeted. Labour’s plan for childcare will make work pay and boost the economy. We will increase free childcare for working parents with three and four year olds from 15 to 25 hours, making a real difference to hard-pressed parents. Our legal guarantee of a childcare place for parents of primary school children will also help mums and dads balance work and family life.”
Labour has a plan to give families the support they need. to do this, Labour has pledged to:
- Extend free childcare from 15 to 25 hours for working parents with three and four-year-olds paid for by an increase in the bank levy. This will benefit nearly half a million three and four-year-olds and their families and help parents overcome the barrier to getting back to work or working more hours.
- Labour will renew and reinvigorate Sure Start, reforming the way local services work together to shift from sticking-plaster services to radical early help, to provide good quality support to all families that need it.
Childcare costs nearly half the average salary.
Recent analysis carried out by the Labour Party shows that childcare costs have reached almost half of the average salary in some areas of the country.
Data collected from local councils shows a steep increase in the cost of a 25 hour per week nursery place, particularly in London. Childminding costs have also sky rocketed. Overall, the cost of part time childcare has now increase by over £100 a week in three quarters of Local Authorities. To read the full article, click here.
The cost of childcare has become a major issue for parents across London.
Under the Tory-led Government, childcare costs have risen by a staggering 30 percent. There are also 35,000 fewer places and the Coalition Government have cut financial support to help parents pay for childcare. Some families have suffered a loss of £1500 a year.
In London the impact is especially severe. Childcare costs are also a major drag on the economy and on the ability of families to make work pay.
Labour’s pledge to extend free childcare provision from 15 to 25 hours for three and four year olds with parents in work will be a real boost for families struggling with the cost of living crisis. Worth £1500 per child per year this extension will boost employment, family finances and the exchequer.
Labour will introduce a primary childcare guarantee and give all parents of primary school children the guarantee of childcare availability through their school from 8am-6pm. Labour also pledges to expand free childcare for 3 & 4 year olds from 15 to 25 hours per week for working parents – an increase in childcare support worth over £1,500 per child. This package will be funded from an increased Bank Levy.
Labour's Plans for Childcare Alison McGovern MP, Labour’s Shadow Minister for Children and Families, responding to the Aviva Family Finances Report finding that working parents are being hamstrung by childcare...
Labour will freeze gas and electricity bills until 2017. Under this government, people have paid too much.
Labour will freeze gas and electricity bills until 2017. Under this government, people have paid too much. Calculate how much you would save under Labour here. To find out more...
There is currently a housing crisis in London, with house building at the lowest level ever since 1924, and the average rent rising at 10% a year. Home ownership in the capital is also falling. The average age of a first time buyer is now 38, and the average London rent is now more than half of the average London monthly income.
In addition, more than 55,000 Londoners have been hit by the Bedroom Tax, and Mayor Boris Johnson is missing his own targets for building new affordable homes.
Tackling the housing crisis is Labour’s number one priority in London. Labour councils would tackle London’s housing crisis by building more genuinely affordable homes and tackling rogue landlords and rip-off letting agencies.
Labour would also build more homes for London’s growing population and bring empty homes back into use. Alongside this, Labour will create jobs and apprenticeships in the building industry and will repeal the Bedroom Tax.
There is currently a housing crisis in London, with house building at the lowest level ever since 1924, and the average rent rising at 10% a year. Home ownership in...
Gareth Thomas MP is campaigning with London Labour to stop the Great Tory Train Robbery which is hitting millions of Londoners.
As The Evening Standard has revealed, under the Tory Mayor of London, commuter fares in London have become the highest in the world. Labour is calling on Boris Johnson to freeze fares at inflation to help to ease the cost of living crisis in the capital.
A few key points:
• The cost of a single bus journey has increased by 56% under Boris Johnson
• A Zone 1-6 travelcard is now £440 a year more expensive
• The plan to close ticket offices and cut staff will make commuting more difficult and less safe
• Boris Johnson is breaking his election manifesto promise to keep a ticket office open at every station
To read the standard coverage, click here.
Londoners who want their voice to be heard should sign our petition here.
Gareth Thomas MP is campaigning with London Labour to stop the Great Tory Train Robbery which is hitting millions of Londoners. As The Evening Standard has revealed, under the Tory...