Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

MPs Call for U-Turn on Cutbacks

Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

MPs Call for U-Turn on Cutbacks

Article excerpt

Byline: Jonathan Walker Political editor

LABOUR MPs have urged Ed Miliband to abandon plans for further cuts and back a major programme of investment to create jobs.

A statement was issued by 15 Labour MPs, including a number from the North East, to mark the fact there are now fewer than 100 days to go until polling day.

Those signing it included Blaydon MP Dave Anderson, Wansbeck MP Ian Lavery, Gateshead MP Ian Mearns and Easington MP Grahame Morris.

The MPs, on the left of the party, criticise the consensus between all three major parties that further cuts are needed to reduce the deficit.

Instead, they argue that low interest rates make it possible to borrow money for a PS30bn investment project which could create a million jobs.

Alternatively, funding could be raised from the two banks which are already in public ownership, or by new taxes on the ultra-rich, they said.

The MPs also call on the Labour leader to pledge to take rail franchises back under public control, and to restore collective bargaining rights for workers. Mr Mearns said: "I meet so many people in my constituency who need things to change.

"From my perspective it's not good enough for us as a party to be going to the electorate in the General Election and saying 'vote for us because we are not as nasty as them.'" ."

He pointed out that the UK invested in a major programme of public works after the Second World War when it was almost bankrupt.

"It did increase debt in the short term but it got the country back on its feet," he said.

Mr Anderson said: "People at the sharp end have suffered too long for the crass behaviour of the socalled Masters of the Universe whose greed and self-interest turned this country upside down. …

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