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10 reasons to vote Labour on 7 May

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06 May 2015
Vote Labour graphic Five years ago this week I was honoured to be elected the Member of Parliament for Lewisham East, the area I have been proud to call my home for the past thirteen years. 

In my time in Parliament I hope I have been an honest, hardworking representative who has campaigned on the issues that matter most - decent jobs and decent wages, affordable housing and childcare, better public transport and the NHS. I hope that local residents can trust me with their vote again and I can continue to stand up for our part of South East London.

If you still haven't made up your mind as to who to vote for on 7 May I have listed below 10 reasons why I think you should vote Labour. You can also read my personal pledges for our area here.

If elected on 7 May, the next Labour Government will:

1) Create an economy that works for everyone - we will balance the books and cut the deficit every year with a surplus on the current budget and falling national debt as soon as possible in the next Parliament. Getting more people into better paid jobs will ensure our recovery is balanced, long-term and delivers rising living standards for the many.

2) Tackle the scandal of low pay by increasing the minimum wage to £8 an hour before 2020, introduce a low 10p starting rate of tax, ban exploitative zero hours contracts and incentivise employers to pay the living wage.

3) Recruit 20,000 more nurses, 8,000 more GPs, 3,000 more midwives and 5,000 new home care workers. We will join up services from home to hospital, guaranteeing GP appointments within 48 hours and cancer tests within one week.

4) Offer an apprenticeship to every school leaver who gets the grades, cap class sizes for 5, 6 and 7 year olds, provide 25 hours of free childcare a week for 3 and 4 year olds and cut university tuition fees from £9,000 to £6,000 a year.

5) Freeze energy bills until 2017 (so they can fall but not rise) and give the regulator the power to cut bills this winter.

6) Build at least 200,000 homes a year by 2020, give private renters a fairer deal by guaranteeing three year tenancies with a ceiling on rent rises, ban excessive letting fees for tenants and scrap the Bedroom Tax.

7) Introduce a strict cap on annual rail fare increases, allow public sector operators to take on rail lines, support long-term investment in roads and make cycling safer with national standards to reduce deaths and serious injuries.

8) Set a legally binding target to take the carbon out of our electricity supply by 2030, tackle air pollution, protect our public forests and create a million new green jobs.

9) Ensure our immigration system is firm but fair - people who come here won't be able to claim benefits for at least two years and we will make it illegal for employers to undercut wages by exploiting workers. We will ban agencies from recruiting only from abroad and require larger firms seeking to recruit migrants from outside of Europe to also offer an apprenticeship in the UK. 

10) Return Britain to a leadership role in a reformed European Union and protect jobs and investment by staying in the EU. We will cut and then freeze business rates for small business properties and establish a British Investment Bank to boost lending for SMEs.

The above isn't a full list of all our policies (you can read those in Labour's manifesto here) but I hope they summarise the issues people have contacted me about over the past few weeks.

I hope you can trust me and Labour with your vote on 7 May. If you need a lift to the polling station on Thursday, have any questions or want to help out in the last few hours of the campaign please call my HQ on 020 8461 0286.

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