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If you want an example of who this Government stands up for, look no further than the events of the past two weeks. 

The contrast between two of the most recent issues in the news; tax avoidance and policies affecting young people, demonstrates that the Tories and the Lib Dems only stand up for the privileged few.

David Cameron has effectively waged war on the young people of this country while his Government turn a blind eye to tax avoidance because apparently “Everyone does it.

The subject of tax avoidance has made headlines in the wake of the HSBC scandal, where their Swiss banking arm helped wealthy customers dodge taxes and conceal millions of pounds worth of assets.

This was reported to HMRC in 2010, but Tory & Lib Dem Government has ruled out an inquiry into their handling of 3,000 suspected tax evaders.

Seven Tory donors held bank accounts at HSBC’s Swiss subsidiary, in case you were wondering.

The tax gap between what should have been collected and what is collected under this government is £34bn.

That’s £34,000,000,000.00

Cameron & Clegg

 

Meanwhile, Cameron announced a 10% cut in real terms for the education budget over the next parliament last week and has today set out a further assault on the younger generation, the poorest and most vulnerable with a cruel welfare policy.

If the Conservatives win the election in May, they will immediately introduce a law barring tens of thousands of jobless young people from claiming benefits from "day one" unless they carry out unpaid community work.

The policy, which would cost £20m to introduce, would require at least 30 hours of community service in addition to looking for a job, to be eligible to claim the Youth Allowance of £53.75.

Forcing young people to work for £1.91 an hour, in the communities that his ideological cuts are destroying, epitomises what this Tory & Lib Dem Government is all about.

What’s possibly more shocking than the heartless nature of this policy is that it will have “little to no positive impact” according to an evaluation by the Government’s own Department of Work and Pensions (DWP) in December.

Jonathan Portes, Director of the National Institute of Economic and Social Research, explains here how the scheme was piloted and proved to be hugely ineffective.

Once this policy is held up to any sort of scrutiny it becomes obvious what an ideological and damaging attitude this Government has towards getting young people into work. 

While letting the richest in society get away with tax avoidance, the Tories attacks young people’s future, slashing the education budget and further stigmatising policies that won’t work for people looking for jobs.

It is a truly horrifying sight of what Cameron’s ‘Big Society’ really looks like and a warning of what Britain can expect with five more years of this Government.

Thankfully, there is an alternative.

Unlike the Tories and Lib Dems, Labour are offering a vision of hope and fairness if it wins on May 7th.

Labour have pledged that young people who have been unemployed for a year would be offered a job or apprenticeship, paid for by a tax on bankers’ bonuses.

The  ‘Jobs Guarantee’ would also apply to adults aged 25 or over claiming Jobseeker’s Allowance for two years or more.

Over the weekend, at the Welsh Labour Conference, Miliband also pledged to “give parity of esteem between academic and vocational education.”

He added: “We will build on the success of Jobs Growth Wales, which has already created almost 17,000 jobs. These actions from the Welsh Government have meant Wales has seen a bigger fall in youth unemployment than nearly all other parts of the UK.”

 “With our Jobs Guarantee, funded by the bank bonus tax, across the whole of the United Kingdom, to get young people back to work, open up opportunities and transform the futures of young people across Britain.”

Miliband hit out at the Government’s stance on tax avoidance, saying: "In Britain today we risk having one rule for the rich and powerful and another for everybody else."

He claimed the current Government had "turned a blind eye to tax avoidance because it thinks that so long as a few at the top do well the country succeeds" and accused the coalition of "shrugging its shoulders" on the issue, leaving £34bn hole in the UK's finances.

Labour’s leader also promised that HMRC’s culture and practices dealing with "aggressive tax avoidance" would be properly scrutinised and the review would report back by July with recommendations for reforming the tax authority.

He also pledged to bring in fresh penalties for those who avoid tax, and to close loopholes in the law - which he said were used by hedge funds to avoid stamp duty and by large companies that move profits out of the UK to avoid corporation tax.

After the events of past two weeks, the choice on May 7th has become even clearer.

Here in Cardiff, your vote matters more than ever. It promises to be an immensely tight battle between Labour and the Lib Dems.

We currently have a Lib Dem MP who, because of her voting record, may as well be a Tory. She has voted for a staggering 99.6% of their policies, including the Bedroom Tax.

On May 8th, we will either have a Tory Government - propped up by their Lib Dem cheerleaders again – or a Labour Government which would ensure fairness for the young, the old, the rich and the poor.

*** LATEST SHOCKING UPDATE ***

It turns out that the Tories not only turn a blind eye to tax avoidance, they actually go on TV and advocate it too.

Watch the Chancellor, George Osborne, on The Daily Politics doing just that.

Life under the Lib Dem & Tory Government: Betraying young people and ignoring tax avoidance

If you want an example of who this Government stands up for, look no further than the events of the past two weeks.  The contrast between two of the most...

lilian3.jpgI campaign for Jo because I feel that I have a responsibility to do all I can to create a fairer society, one that is built on a level playing field and in which where you started in life has no reflection on where you finish.

The Labour party is the only party which shares my values. Campaigning is my way of doing what I can to create that society. 

I think Jo will make an excellent MP for Cardiff Central. She is principled on the issues that matter, she works tirelessly and I genuinely believe that if elected she will have the best interests of Cardiff Central at heart as opposed to voting to make life harder for her constituents as the current Liberal Democrat MP has.

Jo is also a political outsider which is so important when people are currently massively disenfranchised with Westminster.

I love campaigning. Speaking to people on the doorstep never fails to surprise and interest me, and the atmosphere within the team is really friendly and welcoming.

Go for Jo 2015!

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Why I'm Campaigning for Jo - Lilian

I campaign for Jo because I feel that I have a responsibility to do all I can to create a fairer society, one that is built on a level playing...

Budget latest graphicThis week the Liberal Democrats have announced that they want to see 1 million more women in work by 2020. No one can argue that this is not a welcome and necessary ambition.

In light of this announcement, however, it’s important that the Liberal Democrats’ record on delivering for women whist they’ve been in Government for the past 5 years is put under the microscope. 

Many groups are agreed that the combination of austerity politics and welfare reform have hit women unfairly. In fact the Fawcett Society estimates that 74% of the savings being made through welfare reform are coming directly from women’s pockets. Coupled with an economic recovery built on poor quality and low paid employment, women are increasingly feeling the bite of the cost of living crisis.

The combination of these policies and the pressure on women to fill the gaps left as public services are cut indiscriminately, has seen the UK fall to 26th in the world for gender equality. This places us behind countries including Rwanda, Nicaragua and Slovenia. In 2006 the UK was ranked 9th. This fall cannot be tolerated.

Measures such as Shared Parental Leave and an extension to the right to request flexible working should be commended. However, they cannot be used as a smokescreen to hide the damage that the Lib Dems have been complicit in causing. It also cannot excuse inaction in tackling the underlying causes of gender inequality and addressing the ever increasing pressure on household incomes.

Whilst in Government the Lib Dems have failed to support a number of actions suggested by the Labour Party that would have greatly improved the situation for women and their families, including raising the National Minimum Wage to £8 an hour by 2020, introducing a tax rebate for firms that pay a living wage and extending free nursery places for 3 and 4 year olds to 20 hours per week.

While in coalition the Lib Dems have consistently supported measures that have contributed to this worsening picture of gender inequality in Britain. Making new promises to deliver for women if elected again are all well and good, but the Lib Dems must also explain why they have allowed women to be made to consistently pay for a recession which they had very little to do with causing.  

Lib Dems need to answer for their record in Government

This week the Liberal Democrats have announced that they want to see 1 million more women in work by 2020. No one can argue that this is not a welcome...

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