Shadow Chancellor Ed Balls and Louise at award winning Cotswold Manufacturing in Thornaby to launch Labour's economic plan for the North East.
Labour has a better plan to build prosperity in the North East - and in doing so raise living standards for all and get the deficit down.
People across Britain want to see a country in which living standards are rising, the next generation is better off than the last, and where we are getting down the deficit – but the Tories’ plan is failing. Continuing with their plan would mean carrying on with an economy that only works for a handful of people at the top.
Working people are no longer confident that if they work hard they will be rewarded and are uncertain about whether their children will see a higher standard of living than them. Too many of our businesses feel they are forced to compete on a low skill, low wage business model that does not work for them, their employees or Britain.
Labour’s better plan will see a rise in the minimum wage, cuts and a freeze in business rates for SMEs and apprenticeships for every school leaver with the grades. We also have an ambitious programme to devolve billions in funding, handing the North East the economic power to shape our own future.
We won’t accept the Tories' plan to support a few people and firms at the top with tax cuts, and hope that wealth trickles down to everyone else. Labour’s plan backs small businesses and new entrepreneurs who will provide the growth and jobs of the future.
Labour's Better Plan for the North East
Labour will back small businesses and new entrepreneurs who will provide the growth and jobs of the future. The Tories won’t put small business first. Labour will:
- Cut business rates for small businesses
- Improve training and apprenticeships
- Promote competition in energy and banking to ensure market efficiency, lower bills and better access to finance
- Establish a British Investment Bank, and support a regional banking network to boost lending for SMEs
- Introduce a Small Business Administration to co-ordinate work across government to benefit smaller businesses
- Hand more economic power to the North East to shape our own future, with billions in devolved funding
For more information see: Backing Small Business
Labour will back our biggest exporters which need certainty to invest. The Tories are sleepwalking towards exit from the EU, risking jobs and growth at home. Labour will:
- Stay in a reformed EU and not take risks with our membership
- Ensure there will be no further transfer of powers to the European Union without the explicit consent of the British people.
- Support businesses in the UK to export through better access to finance, better skills including language skills and supported access to markets.
- Build a strong economic foundation with a tough and balanced approach to cutting the deficit
- Make long-term investment by implementing the Armitt Review recommendation for a National Infrastructure Commission
- Guarantee that Britain has the most competitive rate of corporation tax in the G7
- Promote long-termism by changing the rules on takeovers
See also: Tackling the deficit
Labour will take action to help make work pay and stop firms being undercut. Labour will:
- Ban exploitative zero hours contracts
- Raise the National Minimum Wage closer to average earnings — £8 an hour by 2020
- Offer tax breaks to employers who adopt the Living Wage
- Make it illegal to undercut wages by exploiting migrant workers
- Introduce a new, lower 10p starting rate of tax benefiting 24 million working people on middle and lower incomes, paid for by scrapping the unfair marriage tax allowance.
- Introduce a Compulsory Jobs Guarantee, paid for by a bank bonus tax, to provide a paid starter job for everyone young person unemployed for over a year which they will have to take up or lose benefits
Labour will back every sector of the economy by ensuring the public sector plays an active part in driving up productivity by:
- Recognising its role in supporting cutting-edge innovation and research
- Making strategic investment and procurement decisions
If you’re interested in reading more about our economic plan, you can here.
Labour MPs in the North East have launched 'Our Vision' for a strong region. You can read it here.