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17th Jan, 2022

Rebecca Jenkins ahead of GE: 'We need to lift Redditch out of poverty'

Ross Crawford 25th Nov, 2019 Updated: 25th Nov, 2019

FOR Rebecca Jenkins it all adds up – if the wealthiest pay a bit more in income tax it will be to the benefit of everyone.

“Our manifesto is fully costed and speaks to the majority of people in Redditch,” said the town’s Labour candidate in the forthcoming General Election on December 12.

“It will see major investment in people, jobs, health services and education and is genuinely for the many, not the few.”

And she adds that increasing the minimum wage to £10 will benefit many families locally.

“Redditch has some of the lowest take home pay in the region,” she said.

“£10 an hour will help lift many families out of poverty and out of rent arrears and by putting money into people’s pockets it will be money they will spend and boost the local economy.

“And if a business can’t afford to pay a decent wage to its workers then it is not a viable business.”

Labour is promising an end to university tuition and a ‘fully funded NHS’ paid for, said Ms Jenkins, by an increase in taxation on those earning more than £80,000 a year.

“We have produced a tax calculator (https://calculate.forlabour.com/) where people can tap in their salary and it says how our tax plans will affect them,” she said.

“It’s all about looking at the bigger picture – for instance if people have to go private for medical health care because of NHS waiting times, how much is that going to cost them?

“With us you get a fully funded NHS for a few pennies on the tax of the top earners.”

She acknowledged that their plans included an increase in corporation tax but the rate would still be lower than many other leading economies, including the US, Germany and France.

“Are companies going to up sticks and leave our country because of corporation tax? They need to invest in their people so they have decent places to live, a healthy workforce and in a country where their children will be properly educated,” said Ms Jenkins who herself works as a teacher.

Funding would also be channeled into adult social care relieving pressure on front line health services.

“Ten years ago we had a maternity service in Redditch, ten years ago we had a paediatric services – where have they gone?” she asked.

On the issue of Brexit she says party leader Jeremy Corbyn and shadow Brexit secretary Keir Starmer have been talking to the EU since the 2016 on a possible deal.

“We will have the makings of a deal within three months and it will be a deal to bring people together to vote on,” she said.

“This General Election is about more than Brexit while the Tories think it is nothing but Brexit. For us it’s about giving transparency to the people and letting them decide.”

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