Anti-austerity champion Peter Hain has launched a stinging attack on Chancellor George Osborne as figures reveal Britain is struggling through the slowest economic recovery on record.
Data compiled by the Trade Union Congress shows that the British economy has typically grown in size by 16.1% in the first five years after recession – however under George Osborne that number has struggled to reach 8.8%.
This news compounds the Tories economic woes as in January it was revealed that over one quarter of Wales’ working age population is economically inactive.
The Neath MP said, “We have to recognise the utter folly promoted by George Osborne and his Tory austerity addicts. Britain desperately needs growth and their cuts jeopardise the country’s economic security.”
Mr Hain continued: “Between 2010 & 2012 the government made a number of disastrous decisions which seriously harmed the public investment led recovery the last Labour government had started.”
“As the TUC’s research shows, the strongest recovery on record occurred after the Great Depression, when massive public investment helped create jobs, tax receipts and growth.”
In the last quarter of 2014 Britain’s economy grew by just half of a percentage point, much lower than estimates from the Office of Budget Responsibility and City of London had expected, while Britain’s growth prospects for 2015 have also been revised down to just 2.4% in total, after the OBR had initially confidently predicted growth of 3%.
Fears are growing of another recession in Britain as economic indicators are suggesting a general slowdown. Employment in Wales fell by 40,000 over the year from January 2014.
“A vote for a Tory is a vote for economic lunacy in the upcoming election”, said Mr Hain, as he urged Welsh voters to defy the neo-liberal orthodoxy that drastic cuts would balance the British economy.
A graph by the TUC details the average growth of the British economy in the five years after a recession.
Former Secretary of State for Northern Ireland Peter Hain has described the on the run scheme as “indispensable to the historic peace process we achieved in 2007.”
Writing in Progress Mr Hain said; “I was part of a government in which I am proud to have served as secretary of state for Northern Ireland that had the lead responsibility along with colleagues in the Irish government to negotiate and deliver a political settlement following, not decades but centuries, of division and, at times deadly, conflict.”
Echoing former Prime Minister Tony Blair who gave evidence to the Northern Ireland select committee on Tuesday, Mr Hain continued: “It [the peace process] often involved taking difficult decisions in real time, but what I am absolutely certain of is that at all times those were decisions taken honourably and within the law.”
“And we can unpick and pick at aspects of that process as much as we like.”
“But if we analyse them in isolation as if the world is other than it was then, I am not sure where that will take us.”
You can read the full article here
Published by Progress, 13 January 2015
Peter Hain MP has joined Ed Miliband’s calls for scrapping the House of Lords in favour of a democratically elected Senate.
Speaking from his Neath constituency, the former Secretary of State for Wales said: “the Lords are an archaic anomaly which fuels disillusionment with British politics. It exists purely on a democratic deficit which has been allowed to evolve unchecked for centuries.”
“Wales has just 24 peers in the Lords, compared to 266 from London and the South East of England. London alone has more peers than East Midlands, West Midlands, Wales, Northern Ireland, the North East and Yorkshire and the Humber added together. We cannot allow this to continue.”
Since the Scottish Referendum on the 18th of September, Labour has been the only party to call for a full-scale constitutional convention in the United Kingdom to redress the imbalances of its historical system of government.
“I believe this is a once in a century opportunity to make our system of government fit for everyone, the fact is that people are fed up with an out-of-touch political class and the growing sense that Westminster is failing us all.”
Local MP Peter Hain has vowed to fight to keep the Cross Community Centre in Pontardawe open as consultation is underway over its future and residents look to voice their concerns in a public meeting on Monday 3rd November.
Speaking before the meeting Mr Hain said, ‘In 1995 I was involved in the fight to retain the Cross Community Centre and I will fight to retain it again. I am well acquainted with the Cross having held many meetings there, it is one of my regular venues for my monthly surgeries for the last 24 years and I know full well the vital role it plays in the community.
‘Neath Port Talbot are in a difficult position because of the savage cuts emanating from Westminster and travelling down the M4. With £50million already taken from their budget, a further £19million to come next year and even more cuts in the following years it is prudent that they look at all their services to find a way forward.’
Neath Port Talbot CBC are currently consulting over their twelve community centres to assess the potential future operation of each centre with the consultation ending on 3rd December.
The public meeting will be taking place on Monday 3rd November, 6:30pm at the Cross Community Centre, Pontardawe
Peter Hain MP has attacked the government for failing to address poverty in South Wales as he pledged his support for the fourth food bank to open in the Neath constituency in Glynneath.
“I am fully behind the community members in Glynneath who are examples of the stunning charity I know is typical of Neath residents. Nevertheless, it is a scandal that we are having to resort to food-banks in Neath,” he added.
“In 2010 I and my Labour colleagues on the County Borough Council warned everyone how austerity would affect our towns and villages, now we are seeing the devastation wrought.”
“People in Neath earn on average £50 less per week than throughout Great Britain, over £2500 less annually, without financial support from the government in the form of tax credits the lowest earners in the constituency are at constant risk of abject poverty.”
The food bank in Glynneath is the third to open in eighteen months in the constituency and is community based project similar to those in Neath, Ystalyfera and Pontardawe.
“It is yet another example of the increasing emphasis of communities having to self-fund activities because the State is refusing to support them,” said Mr Hain.
The former Welsh Secretary went on to say: “It is outrageous that people are having to choose between putting food on the table for their families and paying essential bills just because the Westminster Government has turned its back on hardship, withdrawing vital support whilst giving tax cuts to the rich.”