A strong economic foundation

A better plan for a better future – Five parliamentary candidates present Labour’s five pledges to Britain

Balance the books and cut the deficit every year while securing the future of the NHS. None of our manifesto commitments require additional borrowing

A strong economy – and a fair one – underpins everything a successful government can achieve. And it is a goal the government has catastrophically failed to meet.

It promised to balance the books and eliminate the budget deficit by 2015, and it has not even halved it. It has borrowed £250bn more than promised, and borrowed more since 2010 than every Labour government in history, combined.

Labour will stick to tough spending restrictions. It is not going to be easy, but with our pledges on increasing the minimum wage, introducing the living wage, and having stronger regulation of private rents, we will make sure that hard work pays for the people doing the work, rather than for those exploiting them.

We will bring down the benefits bill, such as housing benefit, which has seen another 478,000 claimants since 2009-10. We will do that not by slashing support for the most vulnerable but by ensuring quality jobs and decent affordable housing.

Our promise of a jobs guarantee, combined with quality decent apprenticeships, will get young people back into meaningful work and ensure more people earning good wages, increasing tax revenues and reducing the need for working tax credits to top up derisory wages.

The strongest and richest countries are those with the highest average wages. A fair economy is also a strong economy: inequality drags the whole nation down, while the country with the highest wages wins – every time.

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Chris Matheson is parliamentary candidate for City of Chester

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All articles from the Election 2015 Doorstep Guide are available here

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