Friday, 31 October 2008

Tories have no coherent answers on the economy

George Osborne has again shown today that the Tories do not have a coherent answer to the global financial turmoil.

The Tories remain totally confused on borrowing: first calling for borrowing to fall, then for it to rise, now George Osborne says he wants a limit but cannot say what that limit would be.

Only two weeks ago, Osborne pledged not to interfere in the Bank of England's independence in setting interest rates, now he's calling for a cut.

And today, while Labour is reducing taxes by £120 for 22 million basic rate tax payers and freezing fuel duty, George Osborne is the one who is proposing an immediate 5p per litre increase in fuel duty - a damaging tax rise at a difficult time for families and small businesses.

Because of his willingness to create headlines on the hoof, Osborne has called it wrong at every turn - opposing Labour's decisive action on Northern Rock, on Bradford and Bingley, on regulating the mortgage market.

His speech today was a chance to correct some more of his mistakes - such as the £8 billion miscalculation in the Tory health policy - but Osborne has got it wrong again.


Tory Confusion on borrowing

"So we will rein in Government borrowing", David Cameron, speech to Conservative Party Conference, 1 October 2008

"No sensible set of fiscal rules would suggest reducing borrowing at this point of the cycle", Philip Hammond, Shadow Chief Secretary to the Treasury, Hansard, 07 October 2008

"Borrowing goes up. That is inevitable and you have to allow that to happen. Those automatic stabilisers as Keynes called them, those have to operate. But the question should you then go on another spending splurge over and above that, I think that would be a mistake", David Cameron, Today Programme, 20 October 2008

"Increasing borrowing is not a strategy for dealing with the recession", Philip Hammond, BBC News, 27 October 2008. Then in the same interview he said, "To increase borrowing to deal with an economic downturn - that's a perfectly sensible thing to do."

Confusion on interest rates

"I take the view, as someone who hopes to be the next Chancellor, that you shouldn't speculate on interest rate decisions... and leave that to an independent central bank", George Osborne, Today on Radio 4, 8 October 2008

"...with interest rates still at 4.5 per cent, there is plenty of scope to stimulate demand with lower rates", George Osborne, Daily Telegraph, 29 October 2008

Confusion on fuel duty

George Osborne still can't admit the Tories would hit families and business today with an increase in fuel duty. In a BBC Breakfast interview this morning, George Osborne was pressed on the issue of his plans to increase fuel duty and had no answers:

Charlie Stayt (interviewer): You'll know very well that what people love to hear from people in your position is specifics. What would you actually do about a specific ... now help me with the fuel surcharge issue. Am I right in thinking that the Tories had a policy that you suggested when the price of petrol goes up you should reduce the levy on it and when it goes down as it has now, you would add to people's bills. Is that right now, if you were in power, would you be adding more to people's petrol bills?

George Osborne: Well when the price of oil surged the government didn't help people and for months people have been struggling with those higher petrol prices at the pumps and we suggested, you know you need to work out the exact details of how the scheme operates and we would introduce it having consulted on it, you know, first Conservative budget. But what we've said is that when the oil price surges you shouldn't be making things worse by putting up the taxes on families.

CS: But help me with the other end of it. If the prices come down would you or would you not ...

GO: Well of course ...

CS: ... put extra money on it so it costs people more?

GO: Well of course you've got to remember what's happening now. The prices are coming down from the very high point where we would have been able to cut duty as it went up, so that's, you know, that's a very key point to bear in mind.

CS: So you would?

GO: Well, from...

CS: People would pay more money for their petrol if the Tories were in charge now?

GO: As it happens, the sterling, the price in pound, for oil today is same as the forecast in the Budget when we talked about this policy. So what we're saying is governments should be there to help people by getting money into their pockets when the price of the goods they're buying like petrol is going up. We should be helping people now by freezing their council tax, we should be helping people who run a small business by cutting their payroll taxes and giving them a VAT holiday, so these are very specific tax measures and there is a big contrast in British politics because Gordon Brown or Alistair Darling when they sit on this sofa what they say is we need big spending splurges, more big government programmes in the hope it's going to trickle down to people at the bottom of the tree. I don't think it works. What people want is a gov ernment that's in control of the public finances and then is able to offer targeted tax help.

George Osborne and Charlie Stayt, BBC Breakfast, 31 October 2008

Thursday, 30 October 2008

Help with housing difficulties

I know the global banking problems are putting real pressure on some households in Crewe and Nantwich. The Government has recently announced a new £1 billion housing package offering new measures to help people struggling with their mortgages and support for first time buyers and new rules for banks to help people stay in their homes.

I wanted to make sure local people knew about the help and advice that is available.

What support can I get?

1. Help for home owners in difficulty

- Your mortgage company should first be able to discuss options for changing the terms of your mortgage if you’ve got arrears.

- If you still can’t meet your mortgage payments your local housing association can give you an equity loans or buy a share of your home to help cut your mortgage payments.

- If you do find yourself facing repossession your local council or housing association may be able to buy your home and rent it back to you.

- But the Government has also introduced new rules which mean courts expect lenders to work with you on alternatives and ensure judges are aware repossessions should be a last resort.

- If you’re out of work or getting Pension Credit you can get support with paying your mortgage interest.

- Also depending on how much money you have coming in, your age, health and the size of your family, you may also be eligible to claim Council Tax Benefit. This is a rebate or reduction on the current rate of Council Tax you pay. You can apply for Council Tax Benefit at any time by making sure that your local council is aware of your personal circumstances.

2. Help for first time buyers

- If you’re finding it hard to get on the property ladder you can get interest free loans worth 30% of the house price.
- You can get a one-year Stamp Duty holiday for all houses costing under £175,000 meaning that 50% of all house purchases will be exempt.

3. Support for social rented homes

- Labour is also bringing forward £400 million of Government spending to deliver up to 5,500 new social rented homes, at good prices, over the next eighteen months.

Where do I go for help?

Difficulty paying your Mortgage You can get specialist housing focused debt advice about how to cope from a range of sources:

Citizens Advice Bureau (CAB)

National Debtline 0808 808 4000

Community Legal Advice (CLA) 0845 345 4345

If you are worried your house may be repossessed you can contact your local Council or housing association about the support that is available.

Crewe and Nantwich Borough Council 01270 537777

Wulvern Housing 0800 169 7351

You may be able to get help to pay your council tax - to find out if you would qualify for a reduction, simply call: 0800 99 1234

You may also be able to get support with paying your mortgage interest if you are out of work or getting Pension Credit. For more information contact Jobcentre Plus

Re mortgaging Advice

If you’re coming up to remortgage you can get help and advice on how to get the best deal. This is available through the FSA’s Moneymadeclear website.

Help from David
As Labour's local Parliamentary Spokesman I'm more than happy to help wherever I can so please do not hesitate to contact me on 07798 696 603 or by e-mail

Wednesday, 29 October 2008

Letter to the Chronicle

Dear Sir

I welcome the invitation by Ken Veitch (Letters, 29 October) to elaborate on my opinion that Edward Timpson MP is not standing up for the people of Crewe and Nantwich.

Mr Timpson’s unique and privileged position allows him to use Parliament to run campaigns and question the Government on any issue he chooses. But he also has the responsibility of representing the views and concerns of constituents.

Yet in the six months he has been an MP, Mr Timpson has made few contributions in Parliament and has failed to speak on important issues from the constituency like job losses at Bentley and Focus DIY; the future of Crewe railway station; Nantwich’s First Responders Service, amongst others.

Further, in the two weeks that I have been selected as Labour's Prospective Parliamentary Candidate I have already been approached by two constituents who wrote to the MP and didn’t get a response.

Now we know that Mr Timpson is a very busy man. Not only is he our MP, but he continued to practise as a barrister after he was elected and he is a paid legal advisor for Timpson Limited. Perhaps his other jobs are getting in the way of him standing up in Parliament for the people of Crewe and Nantwich?

Mr Veitch also asked for my views on a few issues. With regard to Iraq and Afghanistan, I fully support the tremendous work that our armed services are doing in very difficult circumstances. I hope that the forthcoming Remembrance Sunday will be an opportunity for us to send a message of support to the men and women who are serving in those two conflicts as well as remembering the millions of brave people who lost their lives in many wars and conflicts over the years.

With regard to Trident, I have never been a supporter of unilateral nuclear disarmament, favouring the multilateral approach. To decide not to renew our nuclear defence system now would leave us, in the future, without a nuclear deterrent that is fit for purpose. That would be an act of unilateral disarmament, which I would oppose.

I am always happy to give a straight answer to a straight question. Rest assured, if I have the honour of being elected the MP for Crewe and Nantwich I will be a full-time MP and give the job of standing up for the people of Crewe and Nantwich my undivided attention.

Yours faithfully
David Williams
Labour PPC for Crewe and Nantwich

Saturday, 25 October 2008

David addresses the CWU Rally in Crewe

David and his family attended the rally today. There were over 500 supporters braving the wet and windy weather, a great turnout given the conditions. In his address to the rally David said:

"Good afternoon. This is an excellent turnout and we deserve much better weather than this!

"I am here wearing two hats. First as the Political Officer for the Union of Shop, Distributive and Allied workers and I bring fraternal greetings from Usdaw.

"Second as Labour's newly selected Prospective Parliamentary Candidate for Crewe and Nantwich. And I can assure you that you the sorting office staff and the CWU have the full support of Crewe and Nantwich Constituency Labour Party.

"I believe that history will judge the Chief Executive of Royal Mail, Adam Crosier, in the same way as we currently regard Doctor Beeching.

"Both took a narrow view of costs and efficiency and neither put any value on people and communities.

"There is no doubt that the proposal to close the Crewe Sorting Office is bad for people, particularly the staff at Weston Road. And it is bad for the community, particularly the economy of Crewe and Nantwich.

"For that reason I am supporting the CWU in whatever action they deem necessary to bring Royal Mail to the table and negotiate properly on a national plan for sorting offices. Because at the moment, they are picking off sorting office by sorting office, which is not an appropriate or fair way for the management to behave.

"This week you may have heard talk about privatising parts of the Post Office, by a certain Cabinet Minister. Something that I have campaigned against with the CWU.

"We were at Warwick and, as a joint trade union team, we secured the policy of a publicly owned Post Office for Labour's manifesto at the last election and the next.

"It is Labour Party policy and remains Labour Party Policy. I can assure you that I will oppose any attempt to privatise the Post Office, whether it comes from my own Government or any other Party."

Friday, 24 October 2008

Planning to win back Crewe & Nantwich

Join Labour - Join the fight for Britain’s future.
A well attended meeting of Crewe and Nantwich Constituency Labour Party tonight heard from new Prospective Parliamentary Candidate David Williams about plans to win back the seat for Labour.

If you want to be a part of the campaign to make a gain for labour at the next general election please click on the button above to join Labour.

Thursday, 23 October 2008

Help with rising energy costs

I know many people in crewe and Nantwich are worried about gas and electricity prices as a result of the big increases in world oil prices. The price of oil is starting to come down and I’m calling on energy companies to pass on the cuts to customers. But I wanted to make sure people are aware about the help and support that is available this winter.

What support can I get?

The Government has recently announced a new £1 billion package of measures to help families on low and modest incomes permanently cut their energy bills.
- Help for families to make savings of up to £300 a year on their energy bills.
- 50% off loft and cavity wall insulation for every household.
- Free Insulation for pensioners.

But simple measures like switching to the right tariff or getting home insulation can help get household bills down. You can:
- Contact your energy company to check if you are entitled to be on their lower tariffs for those on low incomes.
- Shop around between suppliers to get the best deal for your circumstances

Where do I go for Help?

WARM FRONT - 0800 316 2805
If you are on a low income or pensioner households on benefits you should contact Warm Front who offer up to £2,700 for central heating, insulation and other energy saving measures.

ENERGY SAVING TRUST - 0800 512 012
You can contact the Energy Saving Trust for free, independent and local energy saving advice, including how to access deals on discounted or free insulation as you may be eligible to get cut-price deals which could help save hundreds of pounds on your fuel bills.

CONSUMER DIRECT - 08454 040506
This is a Government funded advice service. They can give you advice on resolving complaints you may have with your energy company and help with debt management.

HOME HEAT HELPLINE - 0800 33 66 99
They can put you in touch with the right people at your energy supplier who can arrange reduced tariffs if you’re on a low income or other services such as free insulation. Home Heat can also check if you may be entitled to other help and refer you to Warm Front if you qualify.

Crewe and Nantwich Borough Council 01270 537777
The Borough Council may also offer local help with local schemes to help reduce your household bills.

If you are a pensioner you are also eligible for additional help including direct cash support:
- You can get a Winter Fuel Payments of £200 for households with someone aged 60 or over, or £300 if 80 or over.
- Also this autumn you’ll get an additional one-off payment of £100 if you’re aged 80or over and £50 if you’re 60 or over, to be paid alongside your normal Winter Fuel Payment.
- You may also automatically receive a Cold weather payment of £25 a week if the average temperature where you live is recorded as, or forecast to be, zero. degrees Celsius or below over seven consecutive days during the period from 1 November to 31 March.

Useful Numbers

Warmfront 0800 316 2805

Energy Saving Trust 0800 512 012

Consumer Direct 08454 040506

Home Heat Helpline 0800 33 66 99

Act on CO2 0800 512 012 – ideas and advice on making your home more energy efficient.

Consumer Council for Water 0845 039 2837 - takes up consumers’ complaints if they have tried and failed to resolve issues with their water and sewerage companies.

Help from David
As Labour's local Parliamentary Spokesman I'm more than happy to help wherever I can so please do not hesitate to contact me on 07798 696 603 or by e-mail

Wednesday, 22 October 2008

Monday, 20 October 2008

David will be attending the CWU rally on Saturday

The CWU and PCS trade unions have organised a joint rally in Crewe to protest at the proposed closures of the Sorting Office and the Tax Office. I will be supporting the event.

Supporters are asked to gather at 12.30pm, at the Crosville Club, Chester Street, Crewe, CW1 2LB. The march will start at 1pm and finish at the Municipal Buildings at 1.30pm, where there will be speakers.

Sunday, 19 October 2008

Well I jumped off a bridge...

...and lived to tell the tale.

It was great fun. First time I've done a "free" abseil, ie not against a wall or cliff. The last one was down the side of Rail House in Crewe, this time I was in picturesque Millers Dale in the Peak District.

The abseil was organised to raise money for the cancer charity Marie Curie.

It's not too late to sponsor me, to do so please click here.

For more pictures of my exploits please click here.

Friday, 17 October 2008

...and the members select David

The speeches are over, the questions have been answered and the members choice is David Williams.

David said, "It is a real honour for me to be selected as Labour's Prospective Parliamentary Candidate (PPC) for Crewe and Nantwich. I am delighted to have secured the endorsement of so many Labour Party members and activists from across the trade union movement.

"As Labour's PPC I will now be concentrating on talking to the voters, listening to their worries and concerns and ensuring that their voice is heard in the corridors of power."

Today is decision day

This evening the Party members will make a decision, the votes will be cast and Labour's Parliamentary Candidate will be selected to fight Crewe and Nantwich at the next general election.

Good luck to all candidates.

Wednesday, 15 October 2008

Keep Your Cool At Christmas

I was down in the House of Commons today, organising a campaign day for Usdaw as part of our Freedom from Fear Campaign.

The campaign seeks to prevent violence threats and abuse against shopworkers and make our shops and shopping areas safer for customers and staff.

This year's campaign is focussed on the pre-Christmas rush in shops and asking customers that, although we know they are stressed, to stay cool and help the shopworkers help them with the shopping.

At the Parliamentary event we asked MPs to match the behaviour to the customer and illustrated different customers with caricatures, which you can see in the background. The point is that it isn't just the hoodies that cause problems and shopworkers never know which customer is going to verbally abuse the.

We also released figures from a new survey showing that the number of incidents of verbal abuse has reduced, but still over half of shopworkers say they have been abused in the last twelve months. We feel that our campaigning is making a difference to the culture, but there is still a long way to go.

Pictured: David with Usdaw General Secretary John Hannett, Deputy General Secretary Paddy Lillis and shopworkers.

Please click here for more information on Usdaw’s campaigning.

Tuesday, 14 October 2008

Match the behaviour to the customer

Usdaw is asking MPs tomorrow to match the behaviour to the customer. These are true stories gathered in our surveys of shopworkers as part of Usdaw's Freedom from Fear Campaign.

Please click on the picture to have a go yourself.

For the answers please e-mail me at

Sunday, 12 October 2008

Alex Phillips endorses David

Gwyneth's former Parliamentary Assistant, Alex Phillips said, "I worked with David 15 years ago when he was the agent for Gwyneth. I knew then he would make a superb Member of Parliament, and I cannot think of a better representative for Crewe and Nantwich, as his connections to the area go back for many years."

Friday, 10 October 2008

Fight Back Friday 10th October

We were out in the top end of Underwood Lane tonight for Fight Back Friday. Cllr Mo Grant and Steve Pennell joined me for the door knocking session and we had a really good response. Only three people didn't want to sign the petition and everyone else was keen to ensure that Crewe Town has a strong voice through having its own council.

I also found a lot of strong support for Labour. It was a very enjoyable evening and I hope the next time I am on the doorstep I will be Labour's Prospective Parliamentary Candidate for Crewe & Nantwich.

Thursday, 9 October 2008

Jon Colclough supports David

South Cheshire member Jon Colclough says, "In the midst of a turbulent financial and political era, David is the man with experience and the proven track record of fighting for the rights of hard-working families who are suffering the most in the current climate.

"What the local Labour Party needs is someone with the ability to connect with the local electorate and to work incredibly hard to win back the seat. But what the people of Crewe and Nantwich need is someone who understands their problems and challenges and is prepared to dedicate himself to their needs.

"I think that on both counts, David is the best man for the job and I am delighted to support him."

Wednesday, 8 October 2008

CWU Rally

I've just received a photo of me at the CWU rally at Labour Party Conference. This is me with CWU General Secretary Billy Hayes.

I marched under the banner of the Crewe Branch with members from the Weston Road Sorting Office. It was a tremendous event and they made a heck of a lot of noise. I know from friends inside the conference hall that the rally was heard.

During the Conference I took the opportunity to voice my concerns and support for keeping Crewe Sorting Office open to Postal Services Minister Pat McFadden. I'm sure it didn't make a scrap of difference, but you've got to say your piece.

It was very disappointing to read in today's Chronicle that it seems Royal Mail has already decided to close Crewe. I fully support the CWU at Weston Road and we must continue the fight. I will be at the rally on 25 October to give my support.

Tuesday, 7 October 2008

Fight Back Friday 10th October

The next fight back Friday will be returning to the Captain Webb public house. We are meeting there at 6.30pm and will be visiting residents in and around Underwood Lane. As usual all welcome, including other shortlisted candidates, who might like to make a first appearance on the on the last fight back Friday before the big hustings meeting.

Monday, 6 October 2008

Whatever the result I'm jumping off a bridge!

No matter what happens at the hustings meeting on 17 October, win or lose, I will be jumping off a bridge! Fortunately attached to two ropes.

I will be abseiling down the centre of an arch on the Miller's Dale bridge in the Peak District, which is over the River Wye. This is an 80 foot abseil of which 65 foot of that is free hanging.

I understand that they do have a way of stopping me from getting wet at the bottom.

I am doing it to raise money for Marie Curie Cancer Care.

They provide high quality nursing totally free, to give terminally ill people the choice of dying at home supported by their families.

Your local Marie Curie Hospice actively promotes quality of life for people with cancer and provides support for their families. The services are completely free to patients.

World class scientists at the Marie Curie Research Institute are investigating how cancer develops to find better ways of treating the disease in the future.

I am always keen to do fundraising for cancer charities after my father-in-law Peter Howarth died from cancer just over 4 years ago.

So this abseil is in Peter's memory a great friend and old comrade.

Please click here to sponsor David's abseil

Sunday, 5 October 2008

Adrian Knapper endorses David

After narrowly missing out at the shortlisting meeting, Adrian Knapper, Chair of the Nantwich Branch gives his full backing to David.

Adrian Knapper said, “During the selection process David Williams has demonstrated that he is a strong individual who can use his skills to win back the seat of Crewe & Nantwich for Labour.”

“Now that my name is out of the running for the selection process, I will be backing David Williams.”

David said, "I am absolutely delighted to have secured the support of Adrian, who is an experienced and respected Labour Party activist. If selected I would be delighted to have Adrian working as part of the team to win back Crewe and Nantwich for Labour."

Saturday, 4 October 2008

David makes the shortlist

I am absolutely delighted to have secured the overwhelming support of Crewe and Nantwich Labour Party's key activists today, having made a presentation on my suitability to be their candidate for the general election.

The General Management Committee gave me the honour of a place on their shortlist and the opportunity to demonstrate to the whole membership of the local Labour Party that I am the right person to win back Crewe and Nantwich.

Friday, 3 October 2008

Fight Back Friday

We were out on the racecourse estate in Coppenhall tonight, having met at the Captain Webb public house.

I was delighted to have Jon Colclough out for a second week on the run and to be joined by the local Cheshire East Councillor Terry Beard. Steve Pennell was, as ever, behind the camera.

We were collecting signatures on the petition for the Town Council. I thought the support was much stronger because the recent letters in the Chronicle from Steve Pennell, Peter Nurse and Peter Kent. They have helped significantly raise the profile of the campaign.

I spoke to Peggy Martin as well and she's filled another five sheets and is still determined to personally get 1,000 signatures.

I took the opportunity to chat to voters about Labour and current issues, whilst they were signing the petition. I'm sensing definite signs of recovery for our popularity. People are gaining confidence in the Prime Minister to deal with the current economic woes imported from America.