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Articles about ‘Welfare’

The Government’s PIP Fiasco Goes On

Even though more than 12 months have now passed since the Personal Independence Payment (PIP) was rolled out by the Government to replace the Disability Living Allowance (DLA), many people are still waiting for a decision on their claim to receive it.

Given the importance of this payment, and the positive impact it can have on the lives of some of the most vulnerable people in society, I can only describe the Government’s new system as utterly shambolic.

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What difference would a Labour Government make?

I was recently asked by the Fabian Society to answer a simple question – why does it matter? What difference would a Labour Government make?

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I’m backing the Bill to tackle pay day loans

I’m throwing my weight behind a Private Member’s Bill that seeks to challenge the unscrupulous practices of high-cost credit companies offering pay day loans.  The High Cost Credit Bill will come before Parliament on Friday 12 July.  It is sponsored by one of my oldest friends Paul Blomfield MP, and I hope to be there to give my support.

The bill seeks to end some of the worst practices of pay day lenders and help provide better protection for those borrowers struggling to repay their debts.  In particular, it will require better affordability checks from lenders, limit the number of times a loan can be rolled over, stop excessive charges for borrowers unable to repay, require earlier signposting to free and impartial advice about debt, and curb advertising for loan companies. Read more

Birmingham protest against the bedroom tax

On Saturday (15 May) I joined over 250 protestors outside Birmingham Council House to campaign against the bedroom tax. People receiving housing benefit, who live in council or housing association homes with a spare bedroom, face a choice between paying £600 more a year or moving home.

But as I know all to well from my constituents, there often just isn’t a choice. The truth is there aren’t enough smaller homes for families to move to – at least not at a price that people can afford. The real issue is the government’s failure to solve the housing crisis.

Labour would bring forward infrastructure spending in houses – to build more homes, create jobs now and strengthen our economy for the future. My message to David Cameron and the government is clear – stop taxing bedrooms, and build more homes.

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A National Scandal… and Northfield’s Response

Today I am leading a ‘food drive’ for the Northfield Lifeline Food Bank after it was burgled last month. We will be raising awareness and stocking food as the news hits home that half a million people had to rely on food banks in the past year.

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