Time Labour took blame

IN response to Clr Kevin Bennett (Lab – Fairfield and Howley), Guardian, December 19, he says his disappointment rests firmly with the leadership of the Labour group in Warrington and not his party.

I think he should be disappointed with the Labour party because under Ed Miliband’s leadership it is nothing more than a negative opposition party constantly seeking the popularist vote with headline grabbing statements but no policies to back it up.

While the living wage of £7.45 per hour is a positive aspiration and Clr Kevin Bennett is to be commended on his persistence in trying to table the question and representing the residents in his ward of Fairfield and Howley, many of whom are paid less than the living wage, these are constituents of Warrington North MP, Labour’s Helen Jones.

Back in Febuary 2013 Mrs Jones welcomed Warrington Borough Council’s plans to look at introducing the living wage, as some 848 staff at the council receive basic pay level. While she attacks the coalition in Westminster over the issue she says nothing in Warrington to support Clr Bennett on it.

As Clr Bennett is trying to fight the corner of his residents the Labour group leadership in Warrington agreed the council executives pay rise, some of whom are already on salaries of £100k, a move welcomed by Nick Bent, parliamentary spokesman for Warrington South.

Clr Bennett says his reason for the question was to make everyone aware of the coalition Government’s despicable record of attacking the most vulnerable in our society, yet under 13 years of Labour the richest in our society and the top earners were only paying 40 per cent tax and not closing tax loopholes.

Clr Bennett goes on to say that his first priority is to represent his residents as honestly as he can and to the best of his ability. My advice to him is, in these times of austerity when high numbers of families in Warrington are turning to pay day lending companies and food banks for survival, the Labour party needs to own up and take its fair share of creating this economic inbalance.

TONY FOX Stockton Heath

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