With almost a year until the General Election, we need a programme of work in Parliament to tackle issues such as the cost of living, protecting and improving the NHS, ending low pay and helping local businesses to grow so that they can create more jobs.
However, the recent Queen's Speech contained few Government measures to tackle these important issues. Labour has proposed a series of Bills that we feel should be brought forward in Parliament.
To tackle the scandal of low pay we needed a Make Work Pay Bill that would reward hard work with a higher minimum wage. An Immigration Bill would stop wages being undercut, by enforcing the minimum wage and banning recruitment agencies that only use people hired overseas.
Energy bills have increased by £300 since 2010 and many people in Salford struggle to manage rising energy bills. Labour would bring forward a Consumers Bill to freeze energy prices until 2017 and to reform the energy market.
Labour will defend and improve the NHS. We would bring forward an NHS Bill to put a stop to privatisation of NHS services. The NHS Bill would also improve access to GPs, as Labour has pledged to bring back the guarantee of a GP appointment within 48 hours. I have had real concerns on this issue since a survey revealed that thousands of patients in Salford cannot get a GP appointment within 48 hours and one in seven patients have to wait for more than a week.
Labour would bring in a Banking Bill to ensure that regional banks and a British Investment Bank were there to back our local businesses, and allow them to grow.
A Labour Communities Bill would give local people a say over the number of payday lenders and betting shops on the high street. A Housing Bill would help to increase the supply of homes, end rip-off letting fees and to make three year tenancies the norm.
A Labour Government would tackle these issues facing our country, with a plan of action to make a difference to the lives of people in Salford.