Liz Kendall MP said:
“This election isn't about politicians. It’s about you. Your jobs and careers; your rights and dignity at work; your homes, communities and local services; your kids and your hopes for a better future.
“Without progress on all these issues, families will continue to struggle and we’ll struggle as a country too. And to make progress, we’ve got to back enterprise and wealth creation in every part of Britain. We need thriving businesses that create good jobs, pay a decent wage and compete with the best in the world. We passionately want businesses to expand, thrive and invest in our future. And we want them to pay their taxes, too.
“Not just because it is deeply unfair that when most people work all the hours and pay every penny they owe, some companies get away with daylight robbery. But because businesses depend on the things our taxes pay for.
“They need great schools, colleges and universities that teach people the right skills. They need good infrastructure - roads and railways and world-class science research. And they don’t need to pay over the odds for healthcare like companies do in so many other countries – but not with our NHS.
“A fair tax system that pays for good public services isn’t a drain on British business, it’s essential to their success – as all good companies know.
“But we must also do more to value the most crucial part of any business. You. The women and men who work day in, day out, who are the heart of every business, the backbone of our economy and Britain’s best asset.
“The Tories think the way the country succeeds is when we cut taxes for the rich while squeezing the least well off. They say we have to reduce workers’ rights so business can increase their profits. It’s a view of society where for some to succeed, others must suffer. Where for the economy to grow, we can’t invest in our people.
“But that just isn’t true. It leads to division and resentment, and it doesn't even work. Because as you’ve shown again and again, as the last Labour government proved, and as we’ve learned ever since the founding of the welfare state, Britain does best when every Briton can do well.”
Welcoming Liz Kendall’s speech, John Hannett said:
“When this Government talks about an economic recovery, we know that the fall in unemployment is due to more people taking short-hours or zero-hours jobs. Whilst this might mean that unemployment statistics look better, it is not the basis for a fair economy allowing people to look after themselves and their families.
“The future under Labour will be a better with increased prosperity, a fairer economy, and a more secure NHS and public services. The Labour Party is committed to fixing the problems in our society.
“Don’t let anyone tell you that a Labour Government wouldn’t make a difference to the lives of working people, or that the parties are all the same. There is a real alternative to the policies of this Tory-led Government, and that is electing a Labour Government on May.”
Notes for editors:
Usdaw (Union of Shop, Distributive and Allied Workers)
is the UK's fourth biggest and the fastest growing trade union with over 433,000 members. Membership has increased by more than 17% in the last five years and by nearly a third in the last decade. Most Usdaw members work in the retail sector, but the Union also has many members in transport, distribution, food manufacturing, chemicals and other trades.
Full text of Liz Kendall's speech: http://www.newstatesman.com/politics/2015/02/liz-kendalls-speech-usdaw-conference-full-text-0
For Usdaw press releases visit: www.usdaw.org.uk/news and you can follow us on Twitter @UsdawUnion