9:33am Wednesday 5th May 2010
We’re just a day away from the biggest election in decades and right across Yorkshire, people are desperate for change. They’re fed up of the way the big issues which affect them simply haven’t been tackled after thirteen years of Labour government. We’ve got mass unemployment, the poorest getting poorer, violent crime and immigration has been too high. We need to change all this – and that’s exactly what a strong Conservative government would do.
Bradford has a fantastic record in building a strong multi-racial society. And I’m pleased that Conservative candidates like Zahid Iqbal in Bradford West and Kris Hopkins in Keighley & Ilkley have put community cohesion at the top of their agenda. But a key part of building a stronger society is about controlling immigration. Our plans to put an annual limit on immigration will bring the level down.
Next, we need to get Bradford working. It’s a tragedy that so many people are being locked out of the jobs market here. We must help them by inviting charities and social enterprises to give them the tailored, personal support that they need. What’s more, we must train future generations so we can build a more competitive economy. That’s why we’re supporting the development of a new generation of Technical Schools across Britain – and we want to see one right here in Bradford.
Above all, we need to give people in Bradford more power and control. Part of that is about offering people in Bradford the chance to vote for an elected mayor.
With these changes, I believe we can put Bradford back on the political map.
The choice that we make tomorrow will have a profound impact on every family, school, and business in the county.
With Labour, you have a government that will never take risks with the economic recovery and is committed to improving our schools, NHS and police.
The Conservatives are offering Bradford a reckless gamble. They want to cut support to the economy now and put the recovery at risk. Labour will protect the frontline services that people in Bradford cherish. We now have 30 Sure Start centres which have become a crucial community resource for 38,000 families. We are committed to educational excellence for every child, that’s why we will guarantee one-to-one tuition for primary school children who fall behind in Bradford.
We will create the right conditions for Bradford to attract the high-skilled jobs of the future, creating an apprenticeship or work opportunity for all those aged 18 to 24 who are out of work for more than six months.
Our Child Tax Credits are benefiting 36,500 families in Bradford and the Child Trust Fund is helping 30,000 families build a nest egg for their child’s future.
Both the Tories and the Lib Dems would cut back Child Tax Credits and Child Trust Funds for families on modest and middle incomes.
Labour is taking tough measures to reduce crime and we will allow people to see that justice is being done through the Community.
I’ve enjoyed the television debates and they have energised the campaign. But this election is not a TV game show. It is an election to decide your future security and your future jobs.
We are a day away from the most exciting election in a generation. An election in which, unlike in any I can remember, anything is possible. Across Britain more and more people are starting to believe that something new – something better – can happen. You don’t have to settle for more of the same from the two old parties, who’ve been passing power between them for 65 years. You have a right to expect more, and to get more – fairness for you, your neighbourhood and your country.
And that’s what the Liberal Democrats will deliver. Under our plans you won’t pay a penny of income tax on the first £10,000 you earn. That’s £700 a year back for most taxpayers, and no tax at all for millions of pensioners and the very low paid. We’ll fund that tax cut by closing the huge loopholes that benefit the very wealthy. On top of that tax switch, we can afford to invest in schools and jobs, too, by making cuts elsewhere in government. We’ve put aside nearly £44 million extra to give to Bradford schools every year so they can cut class sizes and provide more one-to-one tuition. And Vince Cable and I have identified £3.1bn to create up to 100,000 jobs in new, green industries, like renewable energy and low carbon construction. By scrapping Labour’s ID cards, we’ll put more than 100 more police officers on local streets.
If those are the changes you want to see in Bradford, tomorrow is your chance to vote for them.
This election is our chance to make it happen. Don’t let anyone tell you things can’t be different this time. With the Liberal Democrats, they can, and they will.
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