Friday, 7 March 2014

Women are at the sharp end of the Cost of Living crisis

Things have never been so tough for women and their families. But David Cameron and Nick Clegg just don’t get it. When it comes to women, it’s out of sight out of mind for this out of touch government.

Many women are struggling in low wage, temporary and insecure work with one in four earning less than the living wage.

Women are at the sharp end of the cost of living crisis. They know what it means to have to make the family finances stretch that little bit further, or to have to choose between their career and family because the cost of childcare is just too high. For women across the UK this is no recovery at all.

But instead of supporting women David Cameron and Nick Clegg have tuned their voices out. They’ve shut women out of the top table of politics and lost touch with the reality of their lives.

My colleague Naushabah Khan - Labour's PPC in Rochester and Strood has been championing the causes of women in Medway from the PinUpPayBack campaign to talks with students at Academies on breaking the glass ceiling. Many sensible women are also angry about the closure and relocation of the library in Strood and it is ostensibly mum's that have been campaigning for better Key Stage Two results. On these issues the Tories are out of touch; instead of improving and dealing with local problems we have a reckless MP that is obsessing over one issue at the expense of all others. Rochester is being let down.

This Saturday is International Women’s Day and I’m proud that Labour stands up for the issues that affect women in Medway

Labour will make work pay for women by giving a tax rebate to firms that sign up to become living wage employers in the first year of the next Parliament. We will strengthen the minimum wage and tackle the abuse of zero-hours contracts and agency workers – the jobs where women are particularly affected.

Too many women have to choose between family and work because of the cost of childcare - which has risen by 30 per cent since 2010. So Labour will give every working family 25 hours of free childcare for their three and four year olds – an increase of ten hours a week.

The Tories and Lib Dems are out of touch with the issues facing women – only Labour can be trusted to help women and their families.

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