Banbury Constituency Labour Party

Labour is ready to face the tough challenges ahead – Shabana Mahmood MP

Shabana Mahmood, MP for Ladywood, Birmingham, said at Banbury CLP’s Supper Club on 20 February 2014 that an incoming Labour government would not shy away from the economic challenges faced by the country.

Shabana, who is Shadow Exchequer Secretary with responsibility for tax and growth policy, said that behind the macro economic growth figures lies a cost-of-living crisis for millions of families. She welcomed the improved economic data but said the so-called recovery is not investment led or export led, but relied too heavily on increased consumer spending. She added, “the ‘recovery’ was the slowest for a hundred years and the country needed a 1.5% growth per quarter until May 2015 to get us back to where we were before the downturn.”
She said Labour is still ahead in the polls and face a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to change the old economic model to a fairer, sustainable one. She said, “The next Parliament will be tough and that’s why I want Labour to be in power to shape the country’s future, with growth firmly based on better skilled and better paid jobs.”

In response to a question about how Labour would create skilled jobs, she listed the following:
– Creating the right mix between academic and vocational routes to the job market and have more movement between the two
– Gold standard vocational apprenticeships and an added focus on the 50% of people who don’t go to university, to ensure the whole job market is properly functioning
– More lifelong learning because young people today will have to retrain for jobs of the future
– Foster an understanding and expectation that people will have different jobs throughout their life times
– More investment in science and research and development, and a ten-year economic plan for investment and development

Shabana said that building more housing, including more genuinely affordable social housing, will be a key part of Labour’s manifesto. “We plan to build 200,000 houses a year up to 2020 and Shadow Chancellor Ed Balls has said that after balancing the current budget he will look at carving out a separate capital budget, through borrowing, to invest in house building.”

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