Higher living standards for working families

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

Freeze energy bills until 2017 and give the regulator the power to cut bills this winter, ban exploitative zero-hours contracts, raise the minimum wage to £8 and provide 25 hours’ free childcare a week

Ealing Central and Acton is a seat of extremes, from the plush detached houses of Ealing and Chiswick to the postwar towers of the South Acton estate. I believe that all of its diverse inhabitants deserve the opportunity to thrive and flourish.

We live in unprecedented, unpredictable, globalised and economically ‘interesting’ times. It used to be a given that the next generation always did better than the one before but this parliament has seen dwindling living standards as never experienced previously. While the coalition trumpets record employment levels, it is low-paid and insecure work that has fuelled the growth of in-work poverty affecting working families.

Ealing Central and Acton as a constituency has the third highest number of private renters in the country, so we will ban tenant fees, cap rent increases and offer the security of three-year tenancies for them. But ‘generation rent’ was meant to be a temporary state of affairs, not a way of life. For too many home-ownership is a distant dream, including many of my peers – and I am hurtling towards my mid-40s. We will build 200,000 homes a year.

As a mum myself many I meet on the school run survive on what most would consider good incomes but they are stretched by exorbitant childcare costs and an energy market that always works for companies but rarely for consumers.

We will ban exploitative zero-hours contracts and give employees rights to decent work. Raising the minimum wage is vital and long overdue, especially in London.

The people of Ealing, Acton and Chiswick deserve better.

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Rupa Huq is parliamentary candidate for Ealing Central and Acton

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All articles from the Election 2015 Doorstep Guide are available here

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