Chuka Umunna, Labour’s Shadow Business Secretary, was in Beeston yesterday to launch Labour’s A Better Plan for the East Midlands.
Visiting SMS Electronics in the town, Chuka toured the factory before making a speech and taking questions from employees.
Labour’s recently published ‘A better plan for Britain’s prosperity’ sets out Labour’s approach to building properity in the 21st century Britain and how the plan will benefit the East Midlands.
The plan includes:
- Commitment to cut and freeze business rates for 128,000 small businesses in the East Midlands.
- Give the 1,618 businesses in the East Midlands that export to the EU the certainty that we will stay in a reformed EU.
- Increase the national minimum wage to £8 before 2020, boosting wages for 116,200 low paid jobs in the East Midlands.
- Make a swift decision on airport capacity in the East Midlands following the Davies review.
- Introduce a new, lower 10 pence starting rate of tax benefitting 1,770,000 people in the East Midlands on middle and lower incomes.
- Ban exploitative zero-hours contracts to ensure that workers who work regular hours get a regular contract.
As well as launching the plan, Chuka also used the visit to highlight the ‘Future Jobs of Britain’ tour, where he is visiting workplaces across the country to talk about how we can more Brtiain’s economy forward and create more high-skilled, high-paid jobs of the future.
Figures released from the House of Commons library show that between 2012/13 and 2013/14 the number of young people (under 25) starting apprenticeships in the East Midlands fell by 700, and by 8.720 for all age groups.
The next Labour government will act to safeguard apprenticeship quality by ensuring new standards so that all apprenticeships last a minimum of two years and include a day a week for off the job training.
Commenting, Shadow Business Secretary Chuka Umunna MP said:
“It was fantastic to visit the East Midlands and the cutting-edge manufacturer SMS Electronics, where I spoke with the firm’s management and employees about Labour’s plans for more high-skilled, better paid jobs like those at SMS, boosting job security and growth in the region.
“Labour is determined to build a Britain where everyone can achieve their aspirations, but under the Tories working people in the East Midlands have been left £1,500 worse off. Where the Tory-led government has failed, Labour’s better plan will create thousands of new high-quality apprenticeship opportunities and devolve £30 billion of budgets to local areas to boost growth.
“Across the East Midlands there are more than 1,600 businesses which export to the EU. By pushing Britain towards Europe’s exit door, the Tories are risking vital jobs and investment across the region.”