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Bethnal Green and Bow MP Rushanara Ali says Labour will not shirk tough choices

PUBLISHED: 10:57 21 January 2015 | UPDATED: 10:57 21 January 2015

Archant

Times remain incredibly tough for people in East London. Families are £1,600 a year worse off since 2010. Child poverty is spiralling. People’s pay has fallen nine per cent on George Osborne and David Cameron’s watch.

In my role on the Treasury Select Committee, I challenged the chancellor. Independent experts had labelled his planned cuts ‘extreme’ and ‘colossal’ – sending some Tories scurrying for cover. Did he stand by his plans to slash public spending back to levels not seen since the 1930s? Yes, he said.

Tory plans would threaten the future of our NHS, with A&E departments already at breaking point. They will intensify the strain on housing and other vital services. It means less devoted to combating anti-social behaviour.

If elected, a Labour government would not shirk tough choices. Balancing the books by 2020 would be amongst our top priorities. Yet Tory plans make deeper, more wounding cuts – and quicker than necessary. Undeterred by the rapid rise of foodbanks, the Tories want to shrink the state further still. It’s ‘slash and burn’ from the Tories against a tough but manageable plan from Labour with fairness at its heart.

Fairness is finding savings across all departments, reversing the millionaires’ tax cut. It’s scrapping fuel allowances for the wealthiest pensioners, but abolishing the hated bedroom tax. It’s reviewing every pound we spend in order to raise an extra £2.5 billion for our NHS. A choice for Labour makes the difference. Saving our NHS. Raising the minimum wage. Building a million new houses.

The choice is ours to make. More from Rushanara Ali

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