Oldham and beyond: Carl Morris’ blog

“The year ahead is going to be tough; it would have been if Labour had won the election. But it will be much, much tougher than it needs to be for many families in Thurrock as the Tory-dominated Government embarks on unprecedented level of untried cuts.

These are the wrong cuts at the wrong time, could jeopardise our fragile emergence from recession and could cause lasting damage to our economy.

Since the General Election the ConDems have been busy ditching all sorts of pre-election promises. Increasing VAT, Fuel Duty, trebling university Tuition Fees and scrapping Education Maintenance Allowance will have a negative effect on the living standards of many families on Thurrock.

Thanks to some clever footwork, the media obsession with the LibDems and the political naivety of LibDem Leader Nick Clegg, the Tories have so far escaped pretty much unscathed, leaving the LibDems to take the flack while getting on with their cuts with great enthusiasm.

On the subject of broken promises, prior to last Mays election, Thurrock Tories told us a Tory Government would scrap Dartford toll charges (a promise they knew they couldn’t keep); now with charges set to increase from £1.50 to a whopping £2.60, they can’t even guarantee the future of our hard won 90 per-cent local discount.

I’ve spent the last few weeks working in Oldham on an excellent by-election victory for Labour. Such was the extent of the victory, Labour polled more votes than in the 1997 General Election on a lower turnout. A good win but it’s just the first step on a long journey back for Labour.

2011 will be un-necessarily tough year for many in Thurrock and the country and the prospects for the future look equally bleak unless the Government changes course”.

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