Latest Stories

Continuing our series on member profiles. Here, Gino tells us why he joined the party and why he's getting involved in the run up to the General Election 

Gino.png

Why did you join the Labour party?

I joined the party in the late 1990s, and have been a member ever since. I have always been inspired by the invaluable contributions successive Labour governments have brought about for the benefit of the many and not the few. But a party’s past achievements are not enough in themselves – an evolving vision for the future is what matters most. And I believe that the Labour party is best placed to take this country forward.

The world is changing fast and we need to keep up as a nation. Yet in growing our economy and strengthening our industrial and manufacturing sectors, we need to make sure that large parts of our society are not left behind. The huge current inequalities in our society show that we have a very long way to go, and in Ed Miliband I believe we have a leader who grasps the seriousness of this challenge.

Why is it important that we have a Labour government elected in May 2015?

We desperately need a government that is prepared to equip this nation for the long-term challenges that lie ahead. Since 2010 the Conservative-led Coalition has shown itself to be inward-looking in its vision, divisive in its language and aloof in its tone.

Having long ago run out of ideas, the government looks endlessly for scapegoats to divert attention away from its shortcomings; if it is not the poor, then it is the public sector, the EU or immigrants. This inward-looking mentality will only mean that the same mistakes of the past will reappear and that crucial issues that affect our everyday lives are left unresolved: from inadequate childcare provision and escalating public transport costs, to creeping privatisation of the NHS, and re-inflation of the housing bubble. This country deserves so much better than this.

The past five years have been about missed opportunities. We cannot afford for the next five to result in more of the same.

I am delighted that we have such a driven and engaged Labour candidate in Edward Robinson.

Meet the Members - Gino

Continuing our series on member profiles. Here, Gino tells us why he joined the party and why he's getting involved in the run up to the General Election 

Ed Miliband's debate with Myleene Klass this week shows we need to be even clearer on our mansion tax proposals - and how they would work in Broxbourne. Let's not forget that the proposals apply only to the 0.5% most expensive homes in the country

One

Labour's mansion tax will help to fund our NHS.  If Labour wins the election we will raise £2.5 billion a year, on top of the Tory spending plans we inherit, for an NHS Time to Care Fund. The mansion tax will contribute £1.2 billion towards this, helping to pay for thousands more doctors, nurses, midwives and homecare workers, and to guarantee that patients in England will wait no longer than one week for cancer tests and results by 2020.

Two

Labour's mansion tax will raise around £1.2 billion. That's not just Labour's estimate, it's what the Chief Secretary to the Treasury says.


Three

Labour's mansion tax will only apply to homes worth £2 million or more. The vast majority of houses, even in London, are worth far less than this – the tax will apply to fewer than 0.5 per cent of the homes in the country. And the £2 million threshold will rise in line with the average rise in prices of high-value properties over £2 million – so the number of properties paying the tax will not increase. If prime property prices continue rising then by the time the tax is introduced the starting point will be higher than £2 million.

Four

Labour's mansion tax will protect those who are asset-rich but cash-poor. People in high-value homes who do not have high incomes – those who do not pay the higher or top rate of tax, and earn less than £42,000 a year – will have the right to defer the mansion tax until their property changes hands.

Five

Labour's mansion tax will be progressive. Those owning properties worth £2-3 million will only pay an extra £250 a month through this new tax – the same as the average top band of council tax. We think that owners and investors in properties worth tens of millions of pounds should make a much bigger contribution. And we will look at asking overseas owners of second homes in the UK to make a larger contribution than people living in their only home. It can’t be right that the foreign buyer of a £140 million flat in Westminster earlier this year will pay just £26 a week in council tax – the same as the average-value property in that council area.

Six

Labour's mansion tax will use a simple banded system. Valuations will not be needed for most properties – it will be clear which band they fall into. The government's new tax on properties bought through companies relies on owners submitting a self-valuation to HMRC – so will the mansion tax.

Six things you should know about Labour's mansion tax

Ed Miliband's debate with Myleene Klass this week shows we need to be even clearer on our mansion tax proposals - and how they would work in Broxbourne. Let's not...

In a new series on the blog, we profile a few of Broxbourne Labour's members. Here, Kathy tells us why she joined the Labour Party 

Kathy.jpg

 

Tell us about yourself and what led you to join the Labour Party?

I come from South Africa but have lived in the UK longer than I lived there. I emigrated at a time when Nelson Mandela was still imprisoned on Robben Island and there didn’t seem to be any prospect that he would ever be released by the apartheid government.

I was lucky enough to live in Helen Suzman’s constituency – she was the only anti-apartheid Progressive Party MP in SA for decades. I used to campaign for her. One day when we were out canvassing, a householder pulled out a gun and pointed it the canvassers. I don’t think he was going to vote for Helen Suzman! Eventually things changed and apartheid was eradicated and democracy arrived in the country.

I am a doctor and I emigrated to the UK to get away from apartheid. I worked for the NHS until retiring last year. I married an Englishman who is a local GP. Soon after I arrived, Margaret Thatcher was elected, and suddenly our beloved NHS was under threat. That was when I realised I was a Labour supporter.

What would you do if you were Prime Minister for the day?

I would stop the NHS reforms in their tracks and undo as much of the harm as I could. Then I would tell the Americans what they can do with their TTIP (Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership) proposals, which are presently being discussed behind closed doors. This iniquitous agreement is going to give American Big Business free rein to buy up our NHS in a way that can never be reversed, and to threaten environmental and public health standards in the UK and the whole of EU, when the treaty is signed in 2015.

Why do you think it is important that Broxbourne has a strong Labour presence?

We need to show local people that there is a substantial Labour contingent in our area.  It would be so wonderful if our fantastic Labour parliamentary candidate, Ed Robinson, were to do well next year. Every Labour supporter in our area needs to get out and help him get as many votes as possible.

On a local level, I am so happy that our Labour councillor Malcolm Aitken was responsible for the recycling centre at Pindar Road finally being supported by the council and remaining open. 

Meet the Members - Kathy

In a new series on the blog, we profile a few of Broxbourne Labour's members. Here, Kathy tells us why she joined the Labour Party   

More Stories >

The Labour Party will place cookies on your computer to help us make this website better.

Please read this to review the updates about which cookies we use and what information we collect on our site.

To find out more about these cookies, see our privacy notice. Use of this site confirms your acceptance of these cookies.