People who come here will not be able to claim benefits for at least two years and we will introduce fair rules making it illegal for employers to undercut wages by exploiting workers
There is nothing in Labour’s principles or values that supports unlimited immigration and our pledge to control it is right for our economy and our society. Strong borders, with a funded increase in border staff, can help restore confidence in our country’s ability to know who is here and who has left. It is a basic this government has failed on and it increases people’s anxiety about change they feel is out of control.
While free movement of labour across the world’s biggest market offers many opportunities for business and workers, it also requires responsibility – so that no one is undercut or underpaid. So Labour will increase the minimum wage. We will crack down on exploitation by extending the gangmaster laws. It is the low paid and the low skilled who suffer when employers exploit newcomers: no one in the Labour party can support a race to the bottom on pay, or terms and conditions. Our British sense of fair play demands we prevent agencies from only recruiting from abroad, which deprives British workers of the chance to work. Our welfare state was intended to not only support the vulnerable but ensure a principle of contribution, which is why we want to ensure people work for two years in the United Kingdom before they claim benefits.
These kinds of changes can only be achieved because we, as an open, outward-looking, party will engage with our European partners, so that the European Union works for working people. The risks of a Tory-led government in terms of isolation and reducing our influence on this and many other areas of the EU would be disastrous for working people.
Polly Billington is parliamentary candidate for Thurrock
All articles from the Election 2015 Doorstep Guide are available here
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