Lisa Nandy MP: ​Labour’s first steps for change if we win general election

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​Last week Keir Starmer outlined the first steps a Labour government would take to change the country for the better should we win the next general election.

​I know from my inbox, postbag and from knocking on doors in Wigan that people are ready for a change in national government.

Whether it be pensioners struggling to make ends meet, families impacted by the cost-of-living crisis or people stuck waiting for hospital appointments it’s clear that the current state of things is unacceptable.

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The first step for change must be to deliver economic stability with tough spending rules, so we can grow our economy and keep taxes, inflation and mortgages as low as possible.

Wigan MP Lisa NandyWigan MP Lisa Nandy
Wigan MP Lisa Nandy

Step two focuses on cutting NHS waiting times. Latest figures show there were 54,481 patients waiting for non-urgent elective operations or treatment in Wrightington, Wigan and Leigh NHS Trust, a rise of over 7,000 from the previous year. 3,681 of those patients had been waiting for over a year.

Nationally, eight million people are on the NHS waiting list. Labour will cut NHS waiting times by delivering 40,000 more appointments each week, during evenings and weekends, paid for by cracking down on tax avoidance and non-dom tax loopholes.

Step three will be the creation of a new Border Security Command with hundreds of new specialist investigators and the use of counter-terror powers to tackle the vile criminal boat gangs.

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The numbers of asylum seekers risking death on perilous journeys across the channel in small boats has surged under the Tories and the backlog of asylum seekers waiting in hotels has reached record levels.

Step four will be establishing Great British Energy a publicly-owned clean power company, to cut bills for good and boost energy security, paid for by a windfall tax on oil and gas giants.

We will help create thousands of new jobs in clean energy so that young people in places like Wigan can power us through the next generation just like their parents and grandparents powered us through the last.

Step five is to crack down on antisocial behaviour which can make people’s lives a misery.

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The Government has hollowed out neighbourhood policing leaving our communities without the response they deserve.

The number of Police Community Support Officers (PCSOs) across the North West has collapsed by 47% since 2010.

Labour will put 13,000 neighbourhood police and PCSO’s back on the beat paid for by ending wasteful contracts, introduce tough new penalties for offenders and create a new network of youth hubs supporting young people at risk of being drawn into crime.

Step six will see us recruit 6,500 new teachers in key subjects to prepare children for life, work and the future, paid for by ending tax breaks for private schools.

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Pupils in Wigan were affected more than most by the pandemic disruption so we must do all we can to ensure they have access to the best possible education.

There’s no quick fix to the mess the Tories have made of this country but Labour has the ambition to move us forward and like all ambition that starts with first steps.

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