Vote Labour for equality

Dear Grandad,

For me one of the most disappointing things about the MPs’ expenses scandal is the way it has obscured what I think could be one of Labour’s greatest achievements.

The Equality Bill was launched by the government in April this year and debated in Parliament on the 11th May. It includes measures on issues I know you will feel strongly about – like the banning of ‘gag clauses’ which prevent people discussing their wages, so workers can be confident that they’re being treated equally.

I’ve written before on my blog about how you were recently confronted with age discrimination. The Equality Bill unfortunately doesn’t include measures to scrap the National Default Retirement Age of 65, but Walsall MP David Winnick brought this up in the debate, Harriet Harman promised the NDRA will be reviewed in 2012.

Meanwhile the Bill does include other measures to prevent people being subject to discrimination because of their age – not only in employment but in healthcare and social care, and in services like insurance. You can read more about this here.

Another site I thought you might be interested in is Unions Together: it’s a campaigning coalition of all the 15 unions affiliated to the Labour Party. If you support the Equality Bill you can add a message of support here.

Labour’s record on equality is one of the biggest things that sets us apart from the Tories, and they haven’t changed as much as they like to pretend: they are opposing the Equality Bill and have called it ‘class war’ and ‘a rampant manifestation of socialism’. The Tories jeered their way through the debate on the 11th May and Theresa May argued that ‘marriage incentives’ would be a better route to equality.

I know it seems lately that there isn’t much difference between our MPs and the Tories; maybe it’s more important to think of the differences between our government and a Tory government. What do you think?

Love from

Grace

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