April 2014

HS2: 'I am not convinced the Crewe proposals are the best way to spend the money. The Stoke-on-Trent proposals would make so much more sense'

The transcript of Rob’s speech in Parliament during the Second Reading of the High-Speed Rail (London to West Midlands) Bill on Monday, April 28, 2014.

"Workers in Stoke-on-Trent should get fair wages to end the blight of poverty pay," says Rob

ROB has demanded fair wages for workers in Stoke-on-Trent following the release of figures showing many “suffer the blight of poverty pay”.

He spoke after the Trades Union Congress (TUC) published data indicating that in one area of the city more than a third of full-time workers and almost a half of part-time staff earn less than the £7.45 Living Wage.

"Zero-hours contracts are exploitative and should be banned," says Rob

“ZERO-HOURS contracts are exploitative and should be banned – except when requested by staff,” Rob has demanded.

The MP spoke after his party announced plans to improve workers’ rights by limiting the contracts if it wins power in next year’s General Election.

Rob urges Potteries students to become high-fliers - by attending a free event showcasing careers in the aerospace industry

ROB is urging students from the Potteries to become high-fliers – by attending a free event designed to showcase careers in the aerospace industry.

The MP hopes the youngsters will attend the 2014 Futures Day at Farnborough International Airshow, in Hampshire.

More money has been cut from youth services in the Potteries than almost anywhere else in the country, according to new figures highlighted by Rob

MORE money has been cut from youth services in the Potteries than almost anywhere else in the country, according to new figures highlighted by Rob.

In the past two years, Stoke-on-Trent City Council has reduced spending on services for teenagers by £5.3 million, or 71 per cent - the second biggest fall outside London.

UKIP's new £1.5 million poster campaign "is nasty, narrow-minded nonsense which exploits people's fears about tough economic times".

UKIP’S new £1.5 million poster campaign “is nasty, narrow-minded nonsense which exploits people’s fears about tough economic times”, says Rob.

The MP attacked the adverts after they began appearing on billboards ahead of next month’s European and local elections.

One of the posters says “26 million people in Europe are looking for work – and whose job are they after?” Alongside is a hand with a finger pointing at the reader.

Rob urges householders in the Potteries to join forces in a bid to slash their energy bills by hundreds of pounds

ROB is urging householders in the Potteries to join forces in a bid to slash their energy bills by hundreds of pounds.

The MP is encouraging them to sign up for ThisIsTheBigDeal.com, a campaign designed to harness customers’ collective buying power to secure cheaper gas and electricity.

"Complacent ministers are fostering an economic recovery for the few while letting the poor go hungry," says Rob

“COMPLACENT ministers are presiding over an economic recovery for the few while standing idly by as the poor go hungry,” Rob has fumed.

The Labour MP launched a withering attack on the Government as a charity released figures showing a 163 per cent explosion in the number of people helped by foodbanks.

The Trussell Trust, which attributed more than two-thirds of the 913,138 referrals to benefit delays and changes and low incomes, said the total was ‘just the tip of the iceberg of UK food poverty’.

Ministers could have scrapped the hated bedroom tax almost THREE times over with money they wasted by botching Royal Mail sell-off, says Rob

MUDDLING ministers could have scrapped the hated bedroom tax almost THREE times over with the money they wasted by botching the Royal Mail sell-off, Rob insists.

The MP argues the Tory-led Government missed out on over £1 billion by pricing shares in the public utility at 330p each – only for their value to increase by about 70 per cent by the beginning of this month.

If the Coalition had maximised the shares’ potential instead of flogging them off on the cheap, it could have paid the £470 million cost of repealing the bedroom tax and used almost £1 billion left over to avoid punishing the poor and disabled with swingeing cuts, he says.