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@MichaelDugherMP

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If you would like to get in touch about a campaign, please contact the constituency office on 01226 743 483 or e-mail Michael on Michael.dugher.mp@parlimanet.uk.   

The Daily Politics

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Latest news

Scrap the Bedroom Tax by Christmas

Michael has voted today to call on this Tory-led Government to scrap the Bedroom Tax by Christmas.

The call for action was unfortunately defeated by the Government through the support of the Lib Dems and follows a parliamentary question tabled by Michael which revealed almost 1,500 have been hit by the tax in Barnsley East alone. Each of these people have been forced to find, on average an extra £700 a year. In the wider region, over 16,500 people in South Yorkshire have been affected by the Bedroom Tax.

The policy is cruel and unfair and has failed A government report published in the summer found that just 6 per cent of people hit by the Bedroom Tax were moving and that the policy had led to 60 per cent of people falling behind with their rent.

Commenting, Michael said, “This Christmas nearly 1,500 people in Barnsley East alone will struggle to make ends meet, many relying on food banks to survive because of the Bedroom Tax David Cameron and Nick Clegg’s government introduced in April 2013. The Bedroom Tax is wasting people’s money, time and talents.

“We need to scrap this cruel, unfair and failing tax once and for all. It should be scrapped immediately.”

 

Michael votes against Government pension changes that could put firefighters’ lives at risk

15 December 2014

Michael has today opposed Government changes to firefighters’ pension regulations which could put firefighters’ lives at risk.

The regulations put forward by the Government are built on the assumption of a dangerously low aerobic fitness standard. The Williams Review, which the Government itself commissioned, states that the aerobic fitness measure the Government is basing their plans on means “the risk of sudden catastrophic cardiac events increases… with a risk of sudden death particularly while undergoing high levels of physical exertion”. This flawed fitness standard would put firefighters needlessly at risk and fail to protect the public.  

If a more robust fitness standard is implemented it would mean that the assumptions on which the Government’s pension regulations are based would no longer be valid. The result would be that a number of firefighters who try to maintain fitness would be unable to meet these operational standards into their late 50s through no fault of their own.

Michael signed the ‘prayer against’ the regulations, which secured today’s full Parliamentary debate in order to hold the Government to account and oppose them. At least 270 MPs have put their names to the ‘prayer’. Unfortunately the vote was lost by 313 votes to 261.

Commenting, Michael said, “The Government’s Firefighters’ pension regulations are not fit for purpose. They are based on an assumption about a dangerously low fitness standard, which would put public safety and the lives of firefighters at risk.

“The Tories can’t build a better future for working people because they stand up only for a privileged few. Firefighters risk their lives to save ours and they deserve better than this.”

 

Michael visits five more schools to announce winners of his Christmas Card Competition 2014

14 December 2014

Michael visited five more schools on Friday to announce and hand out prizes to the school winners of his constituency-wide competition to find a Christmas card design.

All the school winners and runners up were awarded certificates and prizes of book vouchers for taking part.

It was revealed last week that Millie Cawthorn, age 10, who goes to Birdwell Primary School, was the overall winner of the competition. Her design is now on the front of hundreds of Christmas cards.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Worsbrough Common Primary School: Aneisha Hall (above left) and Eve Hatfield (above right). Lily Caddick also won a prize.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Saint Michael and All Angels Catholic Primary School: Elysia Thorpe (above left) and Lucas Wanless (above right), who was the school winner. Immageon Taylor also won a prize.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Hoyland Common Primary School: Heidi Almond (above left) and Madison Clare (above right) – the school winner. Izzy Sinclair also won a prize.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Birkwood Primary School. From left to right (above): Cllr Charlie Wraith, Michael Dugher MP, Hannah Ferguson, Rhea Goose (the school winner) and Aimee Donohoe.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Kings Oak Primary Learning Centre. From left to right (above): Libby Davies; Alaska Pancott (Winner); Michael Dugher MP; Irin Tasnuva; and Joshua Hyde.

 

 

Michael delivers Christmas Greetings to postal workers

12 December 2014

Michael visited Royal Mail’s Wombwell Delivery Office today, to see for himself how dedicated postal workers sort and deliver the post at their busiest time of year and he was introduced to the postal workers who are working hard sorting and delivering mail in the run-up to Christmas.

Commenting, Michael said, "It was great to meet postmen and women at Wombwell today and see just how much effort they put into delivering the mail for people locally.

"Our postal workers do such an important job at this time of year to deliver Christmas cheer for many people and families in our area and I would like to thank them for their efforts and wish them all the best over the busy festive period."

 

Huge Personal Independence Payment assessments backlog leaves over 500 people in Barnsley in limbo

12 December 2014

As reported in today's Barnsley Chronicle, Michael has called on for action to urgently deal with a huge backlog for Personal Independence Payment assessments affecting 560 people in Barnsley East.

According to the latest DWP figures and independent House of Commons analysis, Personal Independence Payments introduced last year to replace Disability Living Allowance is beset by delays and rising costs.

529,000 people applied for PIP, but only 206,000 received a decision about whether they qualified for help – leaving 323,000 people in limbo across the country.

Commenting, Michael said, “It’s absolutely disgraceful that more than 500 people in Barnsley East are still waiting for a Personal Independence Payment assessment. These delays being experienced by disabled people in Barnsley and across the country are causing great anxiety and stress.

"I have raised this issue with the Secretary of State before, David Cameron must step in and sort out this backlog which is leaving disabled people waiting months and months for an assessment.”

 

Thousands of bus routes axed as bosses cash in with massive pay rises

10 December 2014

As reported in the Sunday Mirror and the Sunday Times, Michael has highlighted new figures that reveal that since 2010, over 1,300 routes in England have been cut and fares have risen by 25 per cent – an increase five times faster than wage growth.

At the same time, the big bus companies have been cutting crucial routes that people rely on to maximise their own profits.  The new figures also show that top executives are cashing in on bumper bonuses.

Quoted in the articles, Michael said:

“There are so few operators that it seems like a bus cartel running local busses in this country, with bus barons giving themselves massive bonuses while cutting crucial routes and hitting passengers with fare increases of 25 per cent since 2010. 

“Buses are the lifelines of our cities, counties, towns and villages. They reduce congestion, get people to work, drive economic growth and keep communities alive. 

“Like the energy firms, the bus market is broken.   Labour will introduce a new policy for local bus services.  We will act fast and legislate to give cities and county regions greater control over local bus services.  This will mean that they will be able to determine routes, set fares and integrate bus services. 

“We want to hand regions that want it the power to regulate their bus services so that local people and local businesses get the public transport system they need and expect.”

 

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