Updates from Westminster - The Missing Million, Trade Union Bill & Scotland Bill

THE MISSING MILLION

Labour’s Missing Million campaign has now reached the home stretch. We have less than a week to go to get as many people as possible registered by the 20th November to ensure they get counted on the 1st December electoral register.

The new system of Individual Electoral Registration (IER) changes how you register to vote. In the past, it was possible for a family member or your university to register you to vote. But now, you need to take action to do it yourself. The problem is the Tories have rushed these changes through and have not properly informed voters.  As a result up to a million people may not have even realised and risk falling off the register.

We can’t sit by and watch this many people lose the right to vote. That’s why next week is crucial. We must do everything we can before the deadline to make sure that everyone who wants to vote in future elections can.

Young people and students are amongst the groups worst affected, alongside people in BAME communities, private renters or those in low-paid work.

On top of this, the number of people registered in December will be the basis for changes to parliamentary constituencies next year – meaning that areas where fewer people are registered to vote could lose representation.It's a cynical attempt by the Toriesto rig the system in their favour - we've got to do something about it.

It's actually really easy to register, just visit www.gov.uk/register-to-vote and in three minutes you will be done.

In these final days we are asking you to spread theword and tell as many people as you can. Even if this government want to play around with the boundaries, we've got to make sure that our democracy can be saved.  

TRADE UNION BILL

This week the Government’s draconian Trade Union Bill was met with strong Labour opposition, but ultimately passed the House of Commons at third reading. In the true spirit of solidarity, Labour MPs stood up for workers and trade unions across the UK and voted against the Bill but it passed with a majority of 34.

We know the Bill is undoubtedly a large-scale attack on the rights of ordinary working people, preventing workers from standing up to protect their jobs, pay and security.  We know millions will be affected – from teachers to bakers, office workers to nurses, engineers to shop assistants. However the Tories just don’t care.

When they should be addressing the big challenges we face - low pay, productivity and skills – they are instead introducing measures which will make it harder for working people to challenge unfairness like low pay or safety concerns.

This Bill ultimately proves that the Tories don’t stand up for working people.

Not only is it an attack on working people but it is also bad for business. It risks damaging industrial relations, and undermining constructive employment relations, resulting in more, not less industrial action. And it is also a deliberate attack by the Tories on the Labour Party. It deliberately threatens the Party’s funding from affiliated trade unions whilst leaving Tory funding sources untouched - breaking the well-established consensus on this issue.

The Bill will now be passed on to the House of Lords for consideration. Be assured Labour Peers will continue our opposition and put pressure on the government in the fight against this unjust Bill.


SCOTLAND BILL

The Scotland Bill completed its last hurdle in the House of Commons on Monday. Once passed into law it will make the Scottish Parliament the most powerful devolved Parliament in the world. Scotland now has considerable power over income tax and welfare and Labour have been the driving force behind these measures.

Thanks to Labour pressure, The Scottish Parliament can design its own social security provision, create new benefits in any devolved area and top up existing benefits like tax credits. There is no doubt that The Scottish Parliament now has a greatopportunity to make Scotland the fairest nation on earth.

The debate now needs to move on from what powers the Scottish Parliament has to how the Scottish parliament will use these new powers.

During Monday’s debate, Labour’s Shadow Secretary of State for Scotland, Ian Murray called for just that.

He told the SNP Government “to tell people across Scotland how they will use these powers. In particular, whether they will restore the money lost because of the Tory's tax credit cuts.”  Scottish Labour has already pledged to do this. Leader Kezia Dugdale has vowed to protect working families from Tory tax credit cuts to ensure they do not lose out.

Labour have laid out plans to protect tax credits because they have lifted hundreds of thousands of children out of poverty and let working families aspire to more than just making it to the end of the month. It is time the SNP Government told us whether they plan to do the same.



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  • Margaret Wills
    commented 2015-11-14 16:25:51 +0000
    The missing million will result in confusion and damage to the electoral system. The government’s cutting so short the time allowed for information to be publicised is dangerous as there is the risk that the normal process is damaged causing damage to the normal process which could risk all people’s right to vote.

    We look forward to working with Scottish Labour and the SNP government in a cohesive and friendy way together with other UK regions.
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