Saturday, 28 March 2009

Ian McCartney MP

Crewe and Nantwich Labour Party welcomed former cabinet minister Ian McCartney to a fundraising dinner at the Crewe Arms on tonight.

David Williams, Labour's Parliamentary Candidate for Crewe and Nantwich, said:

"I was delighted to welcome Ian, particularly with this week being the 10th anniversary of the introduction of the National Minimum Wage. Ian was the Minister who took the Act through the House of Commons in the face of very intense Tory opposition. They did not want British workers to have basic pay protection and did everything they could frustrate Labour delivering our manifesto promise.

"I firmly believe that the minimum wage will be a lasting legacy of the Blair Government, in the same way that health and safety legislation introduced by Wilson's Government transformed British workplaces."

Rt Hon Ian McCartney MP told Labour Party members as he addressed a packed restaurant:

"We are living in unprecedented global economic circumstances and we have to ensure that working people are supported. They must not be left to sink or swim as the Tories did in the 1980s and 90s.

"No other world leader has ever made the efforts made by Gordon Brown to achieve global agreement on the economy, to defend working people and families, to invest in welfare and the creation of new employment.

"The Conservatives cannot be trusted and will take advantage of the global economic crisis to drive down wages. They will defend privilege, take no international action and cut public services. The Tories will cap increases in the National Minimum Wage and introduce exemptions that will make it meaningless.

"Only Labour is looking out for working people."

Pictured: Ian McCartney, David Williams and Cllr Mo Grant, Chair of Crewe and Nantwich Labour Party.

Rt Hon Ian McCartney MP

Tuesday, 24 March 2009

Tory priority is a tax cut for millionaires

David Williams challenges MP on inheritance tax plans

David Williams has today challenged his Tory opponent on whether he supports David Cameron's policy that does nothing for 96 per cent of families. At a time when the Tories have also called for cuts in police, Sure Start, housing and apprenticeships, this shows where their true instincts really lie.

David Williams, Labour’s Parliamentary Candidate for Crewe and Nantwich said:

"The Tories say they want to help ordinary families but their priority during the downturn is to give on average a £200,000 tax cut to 3,000 millionaires. It’s a policy that does nothing for 96 per cent of families in this country.

"They have confirmed that they will be campaigning in the next election on a manifesto which so far has only one definite pledge – an inheritance tax cut for millionaires.

"If the Conservatives meant what they said then they'd drop their tax cuts for the wealthiest estates and support the £145 tax cut that Labour are giving to basic rate taxpayers. My challenge to Mr Timpson is simple - at this tough time does he support an inheritance tax cut for millionaires that will do nothing to help the majority of people in Crewe and Nantwich?"

The vast majority of families in Crewe and Nantwich pay no inheritance tax. From 2010 the inheritance tax allowance will rise to £350,000 per person, or £700,000 for married couples. Below this amount families pay no inheritance tax at all.

Saturday, 21 March 2009


Tories Repeating Mistakes of Last Recession says Labour Candidate

David Williams has attacked Edward Timpson MP for uniting with the Lib Dems in opposition to Labour’s Welfare Reform Bill. The Bill will help parents on benefits to get back to work. But while David Williams supports the plans he says the opposition of the Tories meant they were repeating the mistakes they made in last recession.

David Williams, Labour’s Parliamentary Candidate for Crewe and Nantwich, said:

“No one should spend their lives living off the taxpayer and these new laws will see everyone on benefits expected to do something to prepare for a return to work. I challenge Mr Timpson to stand up for the people of Crewe and Nantwich and tell his leader that we want a fairer benefits system.

“There are over 1100 lone parents on benefits in Crewe and Nantwich who could be better off thanks to this extra help. The Tories bang on about people being trapped on benefits but when the opportunity came to do something about it they opposed Labour’s action.

“The Tories opposition to this Bill is bad news for people on benefits and for taxpayers in Crewe and Nantwich. The Tories would leave parents on benefits and do nothing to stop children growing up in poverty.”

Friday, 20 March 2009


David Williams has greeted plans for tighter regulation of bailiffs, announced by the Government today, as an important new protection for people in Crewe and Nantwich facing economic difficulties.

To safeguard the public from cowboy bailiffs Labour is introducing:

- an on-line certificated bailiff register allowing debtors to check bailiffs’ certification status;

- an extension to the certification process to ensure that all bailiffs provide a Criminal Records Bureau check with their application;

- minimum training requirements and competences for inclusion in the certification process.

These measures will contribute to the development of a more permanent solution of independent regulation in 2012. This will form the basis of a code which will govern the industry and require tougher checks on who can be a bailiff, as well as clearer guidelines on what they can and can’t do.

David Williams, Labour's Parliamentary Candidate for Crewe and Nantwich, said:

“People have a right to recover their debts, but no-one should have the right to threaten, bully or intimidate people just to collect cash they are owed.

"Regulation of bailiffs is an important part of protecting householders in disputes over debts and fines.

"Labour’s action will raise the level of professionalism among bailiffs by ensuring they are trained and know their legal limits. It will also ensure the public in Crewe and Nantwich is protected by having a properly regulated sector.”

Thursday, 19 March 2009

UK travellers facing hefty medical bills for treatment in Europe

David Williams has urged Crewe and Nantwich residents who are travelling in Europe to check the renewal date on their European Health Insurance Card (EHIC). The Department of Health has warned that 3.3 million will have expired by end of March. The warning comes as new figures show that only 292,089 people have renewed their EHIC to date, leaving more than 3 million people with an out-of-date card.

David Williams, Labour's Parliamentary Candidate for Crewe and Nantwich said:

"Anyone travelling with an expired EHIC is putting themselves at risk - they will not be covered for basic medical care. It is vital that UK residents holidaying in Europe carry their EHIC and take out adequate travel insurance to avoid having to pay out unnecessarily for medical costs that could be covered by a valid EHIC."

The EHIC, which replaced the E111 form in 2005, entitles people to reduced costs or free state-provided healthcare in most European countries should they fall ill or have an accident. The EHIC can be renewed online or over the phone and will be delivered within ten days; it can also be renewed up to six months in advance of expiry.

To renew or obtain an EHIC, click here or call 0845 606 2030. For further information call the EHIC enquiries line on 0845 605 0707.

David Williams welcomes victory for local blind people

Labour proposals mean weekly cash boost on way for blind people.

David Williams, Labour’s Parliamentary Candidate for Crewe and Nantwich, has welcomed more support for local blind people. Under the changes backed in the Welfare Reform Bill, 20,000 blind people nationally will be entitled to receive the higher rate mobility component of Disability Living Allowance.

The intention is to support visually impaired people with their additional mobility costs, allowing them greater freedom to get out and about either socially or to find work. At current rates this will mean an additional payment worth £29 a week to those who qualify (£1,508 per year).

David Williams said:

“I know many severely blind people have been waiting to hear this good news and will be very happy with the outcome. The Labour Government has been working closely with the RNIB to make this possible.

“It is shameful that the Tories have refused to say whether they would pay this money to blind people if they were to win an election.”

The Welfare Reform Bill has passed third reading stage today in the face of Tory opposition. The Bill will provide the additional powers to ensure that people make use of the help made available to them and maximise their employment prospects for the future.

Royal National Institute for the Blind

Tuesday, 17 March 2009

Real help for consumers

The Government today set out a package of real help to benefit consumers during the downturn:

Fair rules for debt enforcement – new measures will be introduced to provide clarity for debtors and certainty for creditors in advance of full independent regulation of the bailiff industry. Bailiffs’ powers of entry and force will not be extended and reforms to charging orders will not be introduced. There will be consultation which will set out the new rules and the way forward.

Credit cards – the Government will stop lenders from raising credit card borrowing limits where customer have not requested the increase, and it will end the practice of firms sending unsolicited credit card cheques. The Government will legislate at the earliest opportunity.

National Fraud Strategy – later this week the Government will set out the action it will take to tackle fraud which costs the UK £14 billion a year, and protect consumers from mass marketed frauds such as bogus lotteries, get rich quick schemes and investment scams.

Debt Relief Orders – from April, people on low incomes with limited debts who could not previously afford to go bankrupt will able to write off their debts and start again after a period of 12 months. This is not an easy option for people in debt – the insolvency will be a matter of public record and creditors will be able to apply to have the order revoked. But it will help those trapped in poverty.

The Money Guidance pathfinder - impartial sales-free advice on money issues will be available in the North West and North East of England from next month. It will help people stay in control of their finances, help them cope with income shocks and avoid the distress of problem debt.

Debt advice - the Government is currently reviewing the provision of debt advice to tackle any gap between capacity and demand and ensure we get the most out of the existing network of providers. This work will conclude before the summer. The Government invested £15.85 million in the debt advice sector at the last Pre-Budget Report in addition to the £130 million invested since 2006.

Mortgage advice - making £2.5m available for advice agencies to support the delivery of the new Homeowners Mortgage Support scheme.

St Patrick’s Day

Best wishes for a very happy and peaceful St Patrick’s Day. I know that today Britain’s Irish community will join with people in Ireland and all across the world in celebrating all that is best in Ireland’s past, present and future. The sheer size and number of parades and parties today, and the diversity of the participants, is testament to the role that Irish communities play in countries throughout the world. Whether in the arts, business, media, sport, politics, the voluntary sector or faith communities, Britain simply wouldn’t be Britain without the energy and excellence of the Irish contribution.