Contemporary motions 2015

Labour’s economic policy needs to secure growth and end austerity

Conference notes:

1. Osborne's instruction to government departments to draw up plans by autumn for 25% and 40% real-terms cuts.

2. NHS regulator Monitor’s August announcement that hospitals must only fill ‘essential’ vacancies, due to finance shortages.

3. The wide support expressed by Labour members and supporters throughout August for the anti-austerity agenda advocated by Jeremy Corbyn; in rallies across Britain and votes in the Leadership election.

4. Polling evidence (including YouGov, Populus, Ashcroft) that voters do not support continuing austerity.

5. Parties campaigning against austerity (SNP, Greens) increased their vote shares more than Labour at the May general election.

Conference believes:

1. Tory austerity policies; cutting financing of health, other services and benefits, with public sector real pay cuts; are political choice, not economic necessity – and should be opposed by Labour.

2. The planned £12bn welfare cuts (from total public spending of approximately £760bn) should be opposed by Labour in parliament.

3. Labour policies should defend and improve living standards, not impose further austerity on the majority.

4. To achieve this, Labour economic policy should focus on directing state investment to stimulate growth and create jobs. Labour should draw up real plans to increase investment and present a credible alternative framework to the Tories’ austerity.

5. Areas to prioritise investment should include: housing, infrastructure and green energy.

6. Improving government revenue due to economic growth, not cutting public spending and austerity, is the way to cut the deficit.

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The deadline for receipt of contemporary motions is Thursday 17 September 2015 at 12 noon.

The title has a maximum of 10 words and the motion a maximum of 250 words



Contemporary motions 2015

Housing

The YMCA’s report, ‘Uncertain Futures’, launched on 4 August 2015, states that the proposal in the budget to cut housing benefits for 18 to 21-year-olds could leave thousands of vulnerable young people homeless.

Conference notes that these young people are amongst the millions on low incomes, including many in work, who rely on housing benefit to secure a roof over their head and who will be severely impacted by proposals to cut benefits.

Conference also notes that, despite the increasingly severe housing crisis, the Tories propose to limit the availability of affordable rented housing by extending the ‘Right to Buy’ to Housing Association homes. The Tories’ budget proposals will undermine the finances of Housing Associations and their ability to build and develop genuinely affordable housing, as already evidenced by Genesis Housing Association’s announcement on 30 July that they will no longer build homes for affordable or social rent. The proposals will also undermine the finances of local councils forced to support them.

Conference believes that George Osborne’s plans will worsen the housing crisis. They will increase homelessness and the numbers forced into insecure, unregulated and poor quality private sector housing.

Conference therefore commits Labour to campaign:

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The deadline for receipt of contemporary motions is Thursday 17 September 2015 at 12 noon.

The title has a maximum of 10 words and the motion a maximum of 250 words



Contemporary motions 2015

NHS: Don’t let the Tories run it down

Conference notes the 3 August letter sent to NHS Trusts by health service regulator Monitor, declaring that current financial plans are ‘quite simply unaffordable’ and that Trusts should fill vacancies ‘only where essential’.

Conference views with even greater concern the 4 August report by the Chartered Institute for Public Finance (Cipfa).

Cipfa notes that government hopes of saving £22bn over the next 5 years are already ‘optimistic’ and take no account of David Cameron’s pledges to increase 7-day services and to introduce a ‘living wage’, let alone preventing the knock-on effects on the NHS of government’s failure to invest in social care and its 6.2% cuts this year to its grants to local authorities for public health.

Cipfa warns that drastic solutions now required may include a greater reliance on health insurance and/or direct payment by individual patients towards the cost of their healthcare.

Faced by the prospect of privatisation and charges, this Conference now affirms Labour’s commitment to campaign with patients, healthworkers and all other NHS supporters for:

  1. an NHS that is publicly owned, publicly (and adequately) funded and publicly accountable;

  2. reduced waiting-times for patients ;

  3. no service closures (or ‘reconfigurations’) without proper local consultation and consent;

  4. adequate numbers of properly remunerated staff;

  5. exclusion of the NHS from TTIP and other ‘free trade’ agreements.

It was Labour that fought to create the NHS; it is now up to Labour to fight to defend it.



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The deadline for receipt of contemporary motions is Thursday 17 September 2015 at 12 noon.

The title has a maximum of 10 words and the motion a maximum of 250 words





Contemporary motions 2015

The total elimination of nuclear weapons worldwide including Trident

On 6 August at the commemoration ceremony marking the 70th anniversary of the Hiroshima bombing, Shinzo Abe, the Prime Minister of Japan, announced that he would submit new resolutions to the United Nations General Assembly in Autumn this year and to the G7 Foreign Ministers’ Meeting to be held at Hiroshima next year, for real determination for the total elimination of nuclear weapons.

Conference notes that the estimated lifetime cost of the Trident nuclear weapons system is £100 billion; believes that this is wholly unjustified at a time of devastating cuts in public spending; believes that nuclear weapons do nothing for the security of Britain or the world; further believes that Trident replacement would breach Article V1 of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty.

Conference resolves to support the scrapping of Trident and any plans for its replacement. Conference urges all Labour MPs to vote against Trident replacement and calls on the Labour Party to prioritise practical plans to transition the highly-skilled work-force away from nuclear weapons production into more socially productive industries to protect jobs and skills and to help grow the British economy.

Conference calls on all Labour Party members, Labour Party units and affiliates to campaign against Trident and against plans for its replacement. Conference calls for support at the UN and G7 for the new resolutions from the Prime Minister of Japan for international agreement for the total elimination of nuclear weapons world-wide.

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Welfare

Conference notes that research published by the Guardian on 6 August shows that one in six jobseekers have been hit by benefit sanctions, contrary to official Government figures.

Conference also notes that, despite media propaganda about ‘scroungers’ and unacceptably high welfare bills, over half of welfare provision is made up of pensions and most of the rest is in-work benefits such as tax credits or child benefit. Very little welfare spending is on unemployment benefits.

Conference asks shadow spokespersons to make the positive case for welfare spending in their media appearances.

Conference resolves to campaign against negative propaganda about welfare claimants and acknowledge that all of us receive benefits at some point in our lives.

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The deadline for receipt of contemporary motions is Thursday 17 September 2015 at 12 noon.

The title has a maximum of 10 words and the motion a maximum of 250 words