The Chancellor’s austerity plan is a miserable failure for Wigan’s families, says local MP

Changes to tax credits and child benefit, announced in the Chancellor’s Autumn Statement, will contribute to some working families being £3,000 worse off a year by 2015, Lisa Nandy MP warned today.

The Government’s own figures revealed that:

·the Coalition’s austerity measures have hit the poorest 30% almost three times as hard as the richest 30% ·60% of the recent, real-terms cuts to benefits and tax credits will affect people who are in work

·81 per cent of the tax, tax credit, and benefit changes in the Autumn Statement will come from women

·The Chancellor has been forced to borrow £212 billion more than he planned because he has failed to get the economy moving.

Lisa said: ‘It’s now official. Families with children, women and people on low and middle incomes are paying the highest price for the Chancellor’s disastrous economic strategy.

‘This Chancellor’s stealth cuts have made the biggest squeeze in living standards since the 1920s even longer and deeper, especially for those with children. A small cut to fuel duty and a rise in the personal allowance does not compensate for the swingeing cuts to child benefit and tax credits that many Wigan families rely on.

‘Meanwhile women have been hit three times as hard as men, by a Cabinet that has three times as many men as women.

‘While pay continues to fall in real terms, this Chancellor is planning to take thousands of pounds away from working families. This will squeeze household finances further still, making it difficult to pay the bills and stop people spending money locally to help our economy grow.

‘This austerity plan is a miserable failure.’

December 10, 2012 By : Category : News 0 Comment


Labour’s MP for Wigan, is calling on the Chancellor to cancel the government’s new year 3p per litre petrol tax rise that will hit local people hard when it comes into force on 1st January 2013.

Lisa Nandy slammed the Conservative-led Government for being out of touch with local people and the rising cost of living caused by the government’s failing economic policies.

As well as helping people on low and middle incomes, stopping the petrol tax rise would also help businesses and the flatlining economy.

Lisa said: “At a time when the cost of living is rising, our recovery is fragile and this out of touch government is giving 8,000 millionaires an average tax cut of over £107,000, it cannot be right to hit middle and low income families and small businesses with another tax rise.

“The price of petrol is now more than £1.36 a litre, a massive rise of 15p since the Tories came to power. People in Wigan are really feeling the squeeze from the government’s VAT rise – which has added 3p to the price of a litre of petrol – and deep cuts to things like tax credits. So delaying January’s fuel duty rise, at least until April, would provide some much-needed financial relief.

“It’s really disappointing that Tory and Lib Dem MPs voted in the House of Commons against our plan to stop the new year fuel duty hike. But I will keep urging the government to change their minds and not hit local families and businesses so hard at this very difficult time for our economy.”

Lisa is calling on the government to pay for this move by clamping down on identified tax avoidance loopholes. For example, there is a growing problem with some employment agencies forcing workers to become employees of an umbrella company. They then falsely inflate the worker’s travel and food expense claims, reducing tax and national insurance, and pocket the avoided tax as profits.

HM Revenue and Customs has forecast that these schemes cost the exchequer £650m a year but more recent estimates have put it as high as £1 billion a year. Delaying the fuel duty rise until April 2013 would cost around £350m.

December 5, 2012 By : Category : News 0 Comment


New research reveals that around 18% households in Wigan could be entitled to help with their energy costs and local MP Lisa is encouraging people to call a free helpline to find out about the assistance available. Nationally, more than one in ten UK households are eligible for help.

The Home Heat Helpline (0800 33 66 99) is a free, impartial and confidential service that connects people and families on low incomes and those in poor health with support which is worth an average of £160. The help available includes grants for insulation, new boilers, discount and rebate schemes.

Lisa said: “Many people don’t realise what support is available. Anyone in Wigan who is concerned about staying warm should call the Home Heat Helpline and seek advice. I would also ask people to look out for neighbours, friends or relatives who may be in difficulty and make sure that they are aware of the Home Heat Helpline.”

People can call the Home Heat Helpline and speak to one of the friendly advisers who will provide advice on reducing energy bills. You can also access the service online by visiting where a new Energy Checker will help to show if you are entitled to help.

Christine McGourty from the Home Heat Helpline also advises people to think about what they can do around the home to reduce their energy consumption: “As the weather gets colder and households turn on their heating, now is the ideal time to remind people that lots of help is available to keep warm, and that the Home Heat Helpline is there to assist them. We’re urging anyone on a low income, older people, families with young children and those with long-term health conditions to call the Home Heat Helpline to claim the free help they are entitled to in reducing their bills.”

There are also some other simple steps people can take in reducing their energy. For example:

· turning your thermostat down by 1°C could cut your heating bills by up to 10 per cent and save you around £100 a year.

· turn radiators down in rooms which you only use occasionally.

· switch your lights off when you’re not using them.

· turn appliances like TVs and phone chargers off at the wall rather than leaving them on standby when they’re not being used.

· replace normal light bulbs with energy efficient ones.

· regularly defrost your freezer to make sure it’s operating at full efficiency.

· draw curtains over windows at night to provide insulation for the room.

· move furniture away from radiators and heaters to allow heat to circulate around the room.

For more information contact the Home Heat Helpline: 0800 33 66 99 or

December 3, 2012 By : Category : News 0 Comment

Lisa calls for plan to build 7,300 homes in Northwest

Wigan MP Lisa Nandy, is calling on the government to back a plan to build thousands of new affordable homes to boost the economy and create thousands of new jobs.

Labour says the government should use the £3 billion expected to be raised from the forthcoming auction of the 4G mobile phone spectrum to:

  •  fund the building of 100,000 new affordable homes across the country including 7,300 in the Northwest
  • and back people aspiring to own their own homes by introducing a two-year stamp-duty holiday for first time buyers purchasing properties worth up to £250,000.

Lisa said: “With our economy flat-lining over the last year and unemployment in Wigan too high, we need urgent action to kick-start the economy and create desperately needed new jobs.

“The government should use the funds raised from the 4G auction to put something back into the economy, build thousands of much-needed affordable homes and help first-time buyers. It would also help create thousands of new jobs and apprenticeships in the construction industry and the supply chain too.

“Around 7,300 new affordable homes – to buy and to rent – could be built in the Northwest with Labour’s plan. The National Housing Federation says this could create up to 11,100 jobs in construction and 44,400 in the wider supply chain.

“It has been backed by the Confederation of British Industry and it’s time this Conservative-led government stopped being so complacent about the state of the economy and backed it too.”

November 24, 2012 By : Category : News 0 Comment

Local MP Lisa backs GO 20 campaign for safer walking and cycling in Road Safety Week

Wigan MP Lisa is backing a national campaign launched this week appealing to drivers and authorities to GO 20, to bring about a 2012 legacy of safe walking and cycling for everyone.

Brake, the road safety charity, alongside a GO 20 coalition, is appealing to drivers to slow down to 20mph around homes, schools and shops. The coalition is also calling for 20mph limits to become the norm across built-up areas, so children and adults can walk and cycle for their health and enjoyment, and for cheap and sustainable travel, without being or feeling endangered.

The GO 20 campaign is being launched at the start of the UK’s annual Road Safety Week 19-25 November 201), coordinated by Brake. Lisa is joining thousands of community groups, schools and organisations across the UK getting involved to promote road safety and call for safer streets.

Every day in the UK, 19 adults and seven children are mowed down and killed or seriously hurt when on foot or bike. In 2011 pedestrian and cyclist deaths and serious injuries saw a significant increase.

The GO 20 coalition (Brake, Living Streets, Sustrans, Campaign to Protect Rural England, the National Heart Forum and 20’s Plenty for Us) is highlighting that slower speeds in towns, cities and villages can help deliver a post-2012 legacy of active communities, and prevent devastating pedestrian and cyclist casualties.

Many authorities are already recognising the benefits of slower speeds by implementing 20 limits across towns and cities. GO 20 calls for: more authorities to do this; the government to work towards 20mph limits being the norm in communities; and drivers to pledge to GO 20 around homes, schools and shops, even where the current default limit of 30mph remains.

Lisa said: “I want my constituency to be as healthy, happy, and friendly as possible for everyone who lives here, and slowing down to 20mph around schools, shops, and homes will help us to achieve that. It will also help us to prevent devastating casualties on our roads, which cause terrible suffering to the families affected. That’s why I’m getting behind the GO 20 campaign and showing my support for Road Safety Week. My constituents deserve as many opportunities as possible to get active outside, and to not be endangered while they’re on foot and bicycle. I am pleased to work alongside Brake to make that a reality.”

November 22, 2012 By : Category : News 0 Comment

Lisa champions energy efficiency awareness in the home

Wigan’s Lisa today promised to support the national “Hole in the Roof” campaign by pledging to make an energy efficiency change in their home.

“Hole in the Roof” is an innovative campaign designed to raise the awareness of energy efficiency and encourages people to take action by giving them practical advice on the best ways to reduce their heating costs.

The advice on the website is tailored to be both practical and affordable. It also highlights what savings can be made from various technologies and measures, all simply explained on an interactive website.

With energy prices on the increase, the campaign highlights many basic improvements that can be made in the home, such as fitting draft excluders, insulation or boosting performance of radiators.

“Hole in the Roof” is supported by leading environmentalist, Tony Juniper; BBC’s DIY SOS Charlie Luxton; financial expert, Jasmine Birtles and the Director-General of Saga, Dr Ros Altmann.

Lisa said:  “I am supporting the Hole in the Roof campaign and pledge to make a change in my home because I know it will reduce my heating bills and also reduce greenhouse gas emissions too. In doing so, I hope to encourage my constituents to look at ways the “Hole in the Roof” campaign can help them save money this winter.”

“The campaign website is a great way to access straightforward information in a fun and interactive way.The cartoon-style website has a two dimensional house where consumers can click on various parts of a home to see what improvements are possible and practical. It will also provide advice from experts on the financial and environmental benefits. The ‘Pledge a Change’ is open to everyone who wants to take action and it is very simple to do. You need to visit the website.”

Mr Roger Webb, Director of the Heating and Hotwater Industry Council, said: “It is great news that Lisa has backed this campaign. As a leader within their community Lisa is setting an example that hopefully others will follow. Championing practical advice to reduce energy bills this winter is exactly the sort of political leadership people look for as the cold weather sets in.”

November 21, 2012 By : Category : News 0 Comment

‘Some in this together’

Wigan MP Lisa Nandy has condemned David Cameron’s claim ‘that we’re all in this together’ after new research showed that the brunt of Coalition Government cuts is falling on areas with the highest deprivation.

Data compiled by Newcastle City Council shows alarming divides in council funding. Local Councils in northern, urban cities and London boroughs, predominately run by Labour, have seen their budgets slashed by almost ten times the amount taken from mostly Tory administered areas.

Wigan Council, which has seen a 159% increase in youth unemployment in the last year and suffers high levels of deprivation and child poverty, has been hammered with cuts equal to £108 per head whilst Tory-controlled areas have endured substantially less in cuts – some as little as £27 per head.

Lisa said: “This explodes the myth that we are all in this together. The Tory-led Government and their Coalition partners have ensured that the least able to defend themselves – the working poor, vulnerable, elderly and young in our country’s most deprived areas – are going to take the biggest hit for the failures of their disastrous economic strategy.”

November 19, 2012 By : Category : News 0 Comment

England and Australian Rugby League Captains lead training session in Parliament

Former England and Great Britain Captain Jamie Peacock, and Former Australian Captain Darren Lockyer led a special training session for members of the Political Animals Rugby League Club in the Houses of Parliament in the build-up to the Rugby League World Cup 2013.In front of Big Ben, the international legends offered their expertise to MPs and Peers who play rugby league for the club created specifically to allow politicians to experience the sport on the field and be better informed when speaking about the game in Parliament.


Of those taking part one was Wigan MP Lisa Nandy who said after the session “for someone who has the privilege of representing sport in Parliament, having the legends that are Jamie Peacock and Darren Lockyer deliver a session in front of Big Ben is brilliant.

“It is great to have two such ambassadors for the game supporting the RLWC2013 and the opportunity for the Political Animals to train with them right in the heart of Westminster was not only a special opportunity but a great chance to promote the tournament and the sport of rugby league to Parliamentarians.

“I hope that following this we can continue to talk to our colleagues about the tournament and how important it is as the first major sporting event in the UK after the Olympics and one of the cornerstones of the UK’s golden decade of sport.After putting the MPs through their paces, Peacock said “we’re fortunate to have such a great bunch of politicians who are happy to pull on some shorts and play rugby league. As professional players, Darren and I know what it’s like to take to the field, and it’s important that MPs know that feeling too if they are to talk up the game in Parliament. As well as sharing the benefits of our experience with the ball, Darren and I used the opportunity to speak about RLWC13 next year and what it means for communities and constituencies throughout the UK.Lockyer, who is in the UK to promote RLWC13, said “I’m going up and down the UK to meet those who are going to benefit from the Rugby League World Cup 2013, but the players we met today have a very important role in promoting the tournament to their peers in Parliament and throughout the country. RLWC2013 is the first major international sports tournament after the Olympic Games and it is vital to have political support.

“Good on those who came out to throw the ball around today; they are exactly what we need to talk up our game.”

November 11, 2012 By : Category : News 0 Comment

Local MP Acts to Save Compensation for 90% of Victims

Local MP Lisa Nandy voted to stop the Coalition Government’s cuts to compensation for over 90% of seriously injured victims of violent crime and for the dependants of murder victims.

The Criminal Injuries Compensation Scheme currently supports over 30,000 injured victims each year with relatively small payments which help to make up for lost pay whilst victims of crime are unable to work due to their injuries.

The Government’s proposed cuts would mean that compensation would not be available to victims who sustain injuries such as facial disfigurement, permanent speech impediment or multiple fractured ribs.  The victims of dog attacks would no longer receive any compensation, no matter how serious their injuries.

Even those most seriously injured would have their payments slashed, as compensation for loss of earnings will be limited to the rate of Statutory Sick Pay – just £85 a week. And any victim who has had a period out of work in the previous 3 years (around a third of the UK workforce) will not receive any compensation for loss of earnings.

These same cuts and conditions will apply to the dependants of murder victims, drastically reducing their compensation and financial security following the death of a loved one.

After the debate and vote in the House of Commons, Lisa said:

“The Government have sought to make these huge cuts to compensation for 90% of injured victims of crime by the back door, with no discussion by the full House of Commons.  Labour MPs called this debate as a final opportunity for MPs to demonstrate to Government Ministers the fundamental flaws in their program of cuts to Criminal Injuries Compensation.

“It was also a chance for MPs to stand up for the victims of crime and demonstrate to  the Government that there must be a better way to make cuts than to 90% of seriously injured victims of violent crime and to the dependants of murder victims – who have no other means of redress.”

“If the Government finally succeeds in passing these cruel and unnecessary cuts, in Wigan constituency alone, in the next 2 years over 100 seriously injured victims of crime would have their criminal injuries compensation either abolished or cut.

“I promise that I will continue to put the interests of victims first, but I am deeply disappointed that Conservative and Liberal Democrat MPs chose to ignore the plight facing so many seriously injured victims of crime, and failed to vote against these cruel and unnecessary cuts.”

The shopworkers’ union Usdaw have been campaigning against the cuts in compensation on behalf of many of their members who fall victim to violent robberies.  Usdaw General Secretary John Hannett welcomed Lisa’s support,

“Thousands of shopworkers and other innocent victims of violent criminals desperately need the relatively small amounts that the Criminal Injuries Compensation Scheme provides.  Most who suffer serious injuries need to take considerable time off work to recover.

“We believe that seriously injured victims of violent crime have suffered enough and should not have to face possible deprivation and debt as well.  The Government seem to want victims of crime to suffer financially as well as physically.

“Usdaw are very grateful for Lisa’s support.  We will continue to do all we can together to prevent these abhorrent cuts from being passed.”

November 9, 2012 By : Category : News 0 Comment

Child care system “failing vulnerable teenagers”

MPs have warned that England’s care system is in urgent need of review as it continually fails teenagers between the ages of 14 and 18.

A report by the Education Select Committee concluded that social workers are failing to recognise the signs of abuse and neglect in teens, leading to what it described as a “worrying picture” of the support available to young adults in care.

Although local authorities legally have a duty to protect all those under the age of 18, the committee said it feared that younger children were taking precedence over teens and that procedures need to be put in place to ensure that all under-18s are safeguarded effectively.

Politician Graham Stuart, who chaired the committee, said: “Care for older children is not good enough. They are let down too often, frequently ignored or not listened to, can be pushed out of care too young and insufficiently prepared and supported. This has to change.”

Recommendations from the committee included more education about the many forms of abuse, and encouragement for teenagers to report cases themselves.

After finding evidence that children are being left in dangerous situations for extended periods of time, the committee also highlighted the need for better training for social workers about the risks of neglect and abuse.

Many have praised the committee for highlighting issues that children in care are facing. Chief Executive of The Children’s Society, Matthew Reed, said:

“This is a very welcome and important report, which highlights that far too often children are treated as the problem … It is crucial children’s needs come first at all times — regardless of how old they are, where they come from or what circumstances they face.”

Labour spokeswoman for children and young people, Lisa Nandy, agreed that the report is important and that the government needs to take action.

She said: “Today’s report … shows that power relationships are still exploited and young people, particularly girls, are too often ignored or disbelieved when they report abuse. It underlines why the government is wrong to resist a public inquiry into recent allegations.”

                                                                     Article by Abbie Cavendish

November 7, 2012 By : Category : News 0 Comment