Having had the privilege of serving as the MP for the last 5 years, I know just how, during these tough times, Labour policies have helped Newport East.
Over 580 businesses locally have had help to defer their tax, hundreds of young people have been helped into work by the Future Jobs Fund and the car scrappage scheme has helped our steel industry. These are policies the Tories opposed, preferring to let the recession run its course, which would have caused more hardship in our community.
There is a big choice at this election.
A Labour Government committed to stepping in and helping Newport East, or a Tory Government determined to slash public spending and attack services locally.
On the doorstep voters tell me they remember what the Tories were like last time they were in Government, and they don’t want them again - they know a vote for any of the minor parties just lets the Tories in.
In Newport East, we know what a disaster the Tories would be. Just look at what’s happened on Newport Council where, backed by the Lib Dems, they have voted to close Ladyhill Day Centre, closed Lliswerry Leisure Centre and threatened council jobs.
If elected, I promise to support policies that help our area, including: * Building on our support for families including extended maternity and paternity leave, by guaranteeing tax credits and extending them for parents of 1 & 2 year olds - which the Tories and Lib Dems want to cut for those on modest incomes.
* Restoring the earnings link for pensioners and protecting benefits like pension credit, free bus passes and the winter fuel payments.
* Backing business to create up to 50,000 new jobs in Wales. We will encourage our economy to grow, as we are well placed to focus on green energy jobs, and new employment in the digital economy.
* Giving the Police the resources to do their jobs. There are 186 more police officers in Gwent since Labour came to power and neighbourhood teams in every community.
* Crime is down but we are committed to protect frontline policing unlike the Lib Dems who voted against measures to tackle anti-social behaviour and have promised ‘savage cuts’.
* Putting Newport East first by campaigning on issues that matter to you, including the Severn bridge tolls, flood defences and help for local businesses.