This is the campaign page of the Bridport and District Labour Party. These campaigns are at the heart of the Labour movement, and are supported by us.
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The Tories’ cynical and rushed changes to voter registration could mean that up to a million people fall off the electoral register. We can’t sit by and watch a million people lose the right to vote; no one wants to see fewer people vote in elections. The Government should be doing all it can to encourage people to vote – not pushing through changes that make it less likely that they will take part.
Tax credits: six reasons why we oppose the cuts
1. The cuts to tax credits will hit more than three million families in work
2. On average, each of these families will lose £1,300 next year
3. For these families, it’s effectively a penalty for working
4. The government has claimed that their so-called ‘National Living Wage’ (lower than that calculated by the Living Wage Foundation) will compensate for the cut. The independent Institute for Fiscal Studies has said that this is “arithmetically impossible”
5. As a result of the cut, child poverty will increase. The Resolution Foundation has found that all the tax and benefit changes in the Government’s Summer Budget will push 200,000 children into poverty next year
6. David Cameron never mentioned these plans before his election campaign despite having lots of opportunity to do so. In fact, before the election, he promised not to cut child tax credits and made no mention of any other changes, yet these cuts were announced in his first Budget after the election.
This branch is in favour of unilateral nuclear disarmament and opposed to the renewal of Trident. We regret the issue was not debated at Conference this year; although we are greatly encouraged by the success of Scottish Labour’s Conference resolution (full text below).
We are broadly supportive of this motion as a model for a national UK Labour debate; however we recognise there will inevitably be divergent views, so we hope in the near future to host an all-member West Dorset constituency party meeting and debate on this issue.
Conference recognises that the question of Britain’s nuclear weapons system is a moral issue and a strategic one concerning Britain’s place in the world and the international environment we wish to see. Such weapons would, if used, constitute a moral threat to humanity’s survival; they are massively expensive; senior military figures have described them as ‘militarily useless’ and said that they should be scrapped; and our possession of them encourages other countries to seek similar arsenal.
As a signatory to the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty, Britain should, therefore, give a lead in discharging its obligations by not seeking a replacement for Trident and abandoning plans to spend billions on a new generation of nuclear weapons. This is more relevant than ever at a time of so-called austerity and it cannot be right to spend large sums on weapons of mass destruction when essential services are facing cuts.
However, conference also recognises the genuine and understandable concerns of workers engaged in Trident related work regarding their security of employment and believes that we need a policy that would see the jobs and skills of those workers preserved.
Conference believes that money saved by ending our nuclear weapons system could be used to sustain a process of defence diversification vital to our manufacturing future, as well as freeing resources for investment in other socially useful forms of public spending.
Conference therefore calls for the establishment of Defence Diversification Agencies at Scottish and UK levels, with a focus on ensuring a just transition for communities whose livelihoods are based in the defence sector and that: jobs, engineering and scientific skills are not lost; Britain’s defence equipment needs are met from domestic producers; there is proper forward planning of the defence budget; and that it is used to protect jobs and promote the smooth transition of manufacturing to alternative production.
Conference believes that; prior to any decision to cancel Trident, firm commitments must be made to trade unions representing defence workers on the retention of defence workers’ jobs and recognises that until they receive firm commitments to this end trade unions will continue to support the continuity of employment of their members.