The government like to talk about the economic recovery. This is not what people in Southend-on-Sea talk about. Instead the conversations I have are about how they are worried about their jobs, their wages and their children’s futures. Young people unable to afford to buy a house. Others have asked me why they are on zero hours contracts while some at the top seem to get away with paying zero tax.

We are seeing an increasingly unequal society; an unfair and unjust country that says ‘as long as those at the top are doing ok, our country is doing ok too’.

The Tories’ view is that low pay is the only way we can compete in the world and that insecurity is the way you make working people work harder. They believe that markets will always get the right outcome, even if that means powerful interests like energy companies and banks have all the power.

There is an alternative and the next Labour government will make it its mission to change our economy so it works for everyone and not just a privileged few at the top.

I believe that we can make a real difference in local people’s lives. With Ed Miliband as Prime Minister we will create an £8 minimum wage, ban exploitive zero hours contracts, freeze energy bills until 2017, cut business rates, create extra apprenticeships and build thousands more new homes every year.

Labour’s vision is one where everyone who works hard is rewarded and where broken markets are reformed. We want to ensure that the next generation does better than the last and that wages are protected.

Like every country round the world, Britain is susceptible to waves of change which create opportunities as well as challenges. The question is who is best to control these forces on behalf of everyday people. The answer is Labour.


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