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Cost of living crisis: City MP votes to save Portsmouth families £200 on their energy bills

Stephen Morgan MP voted for Labour’s plan in the House of Commons today that would save families in Portsmouth at least £200 on their energy bills.

Funded by a one-off windfall tax on North Sea Oil and Gas and higher than expected tax receipts, Labour would bring in fully costed plans now to reduce the expected price rise in April – saving most households around £200 or more, but targeted extra support to squeezed middle, pensioners and the lowest earners, receiving up to £600 off bills and preventing the increase in energy bills currently expected.

It comes following the Portsmouth MP’s campaign launch last week, calling on the government to immediately remove VAT from domestic energy bills to help protect working people, as the cost-of-living crisis deepens across Portsmouth and the country.

Labour say a VAT cut on domestic energy bills – which would change the charge from 5% to zero – could have come into place as early 1st November. The tax break would be designed to support struggling families through the winter months and would be automatically deducted from their bills.

The Official Opposition also proposed in its plan that was presented to Parliament today to increase the Warm Homes Discount budget to £4bn, an additional £3.5bn, sufficient to provide a £400 Warm Home Discount to the 9.3m households who would be eligible to receive it (around a third of all households in Great Britain), as well as covering the extra administration costs (estimated at £19 per household).

The Portsmouth MP has underlined that over 10,000 working age families in his constituency of Portsmouth South – nearly half of which with children – will be affected by the government’s cut to Universal Credit, according to the Joseph Rowntree Foundation.

According to analysis from Citizens Advice, 10 per cent of families in the UK – equivalent to 3.2 million households – could be facing a financial crisis this winter.

National polling by the charity has also shown that one in five people have already cut back on their food shop (19%), or used less heating (20%) to save money, demonstrating how recent changes have left many households in a vulnerable position.

Labour has said the VAT cut would offer a helping hand when people need it most, and alongside not cancelling the Universal Credit uplift, and not hitting working people and businesses with a new jobs tax, this VAT reduction is part of the party’s plan to tackle the cost-of-living crisis.

The Member of Parliament for Portsmouth South, Stephen Morgan, commented:

“Energy bills, the weekly shop and taxes on the lowest earners are all up, but government is failing to support for Portsmouth families and keep them secure this winter.

“That’s why Labour would give families in Portsmouth security by taking fully funded measures to save most households around £200 or more, targeting extra support on top of that for the squeezed middle, pensioners and lowest earners.

“I will continue to take action in Parliament and hold Ministers to account to provide those most at risk this winter with the help they need.”

Anyone can sign up to support Stephen’s campaign and his call on Government to scrap VAT on energy bills. To do so, visit: https://www.stephenmorgan.org.uk/sign-up-scrapping-vat-on-energy-bills/

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Cost of living crisis: Portsmouth MP launches local campaign for urgent VAT cut on energy bills to protect working families  

Stephen Morgan MP has launched a campaign today calling on the government to immediately remove VAT from domestic energy bills to help protect working people, as the cost-of-living crisis deepens across Portsmouth and the country.

Labour say a VAT cut on domestic energy bills – which would change the charge from 5% to zero – could have come into place as early 1st November. The tax break would be designed to support struggling families through the winter months and would be automatically deducted from their bills.

The cut would be funded for by the higher-than-expected VAT receipts accrued since the start of the financial year.

It comes as energy bills continue to soar, prices for everyday items are still rising steeply and national insurance and council tax hikes are set to impact working people in the months ahead.

The Portsmouth MP has underlined that over 10,000 working age families in his constituency of Portsmouth South – nearly half of which with children – will be affected by the government’s cut to Universal Credit, according to the Joseph Rowntree Foundation.

According to analysis from Citizens Advice, 10 per cent of families in the UK – equivalent to 3.2 million households – could be facing a financial crisis this winter.

National polling by the charity has also shown that one in five people have already cut back on their food shop (19%), or used less heating (20%) to save money, demonstrating how recent changes have left many households in a vulnerable position.

Labour has said the VAT cut would offer a helping hand when people need it most, and alongside not cancelling the Universal Credit uplift, and not hitting working people and businesses with a new jobs tax, this VAT reduction is part of the party’s plan to tackle the cost-of-living crisis.

The Member of Parliament for Portsmouth South, Stephen Morgan, commented:

“This government is lurching from one crisis to the next, leaving Portsmouth families by the wayside and offering little support to help them get through this winter as everyone feels the pinch.

“Energy bills, inflation and taxes on the lowest earners are all up, but support for working families is far below what is required to keep them secure this winter.

“That’s why I’m launching this local campaign, calling on the government to urgently cut VAT on energy bills to protect working families in Portsmouth, which Labour has been calling for some time now.

“I will continue to hold Ministers to account to provide those most at risk this winter with the help they need, as Ministers continue to struggle with getting to grips with the cost-of-living crisis.”

Anyone can sign up to support this campaign and Stephen’s call on Government to scrap VAT on energy bills. To do so, visit: https://www.stephenmorgan.org.uk/sign-up-scrapping-vat-on-energy-bills/

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Portsmouth MP slams government as new figures reveal gender pay gap in South East won’t close until 2046

Stephen Morgan MP has slammed the government as new analysis reveals the gender pay gap in the South East won’t close until 2046.
The analysis to mark Equal Pay Day shows progress on the gender pay gap has stalled significantly under the Conservative government, with ten million women across the UK now projected to work until retirement without seeing equal pay – up from 8.5 million a year ago.
A regional breakdown of the figures shows that the gender pay gap in the South East won’t close for another 25 years. It means an 18-year-old woman entering employment in the region today will have to wait until she turns 43 before the gender pay gap closes.
Reacting to the figures, Labour’s Shadow Women and Equalities Secretary Anneliese Dodds MP has accused the Conservatives of “failing an entire generation of women in the South East.”
While progress to close the gender pay gap has gone into reverse under the Conservatives, Labour has pledged urgent action to close it by:

  • Modernising equal pay legislation to allow for equal pay comparisons across employers where men and women are carrying out comparable work.
  • Enforcing the requirement to report and eliminate pay gaps, with employers required to devise and implement plans to eradicate these inequalities.
  • Ensuring outsourced workers are included in employers’ gender pay gap reporting and pay ratio reporting.
  • Introducing mandatory ethnicity pay gap reporting for firms with more than 250 staff, to mirror gender pay gap reporting rules.

The figures come as women continue to struggle with the hugely unequal impact of the Covid-19 pandemic. The gender pay gap increased by 13% between April 2020 and April 2021, when women were more likely to be furloughed, more likely to lose income to home-school, and more likely to work in sectors that are expected to see the slowest economic recovery from the crisis.
In the eight years of Labour Government between 2002 and 2010, the gender pay gap narrowed by just over 7%.
The member of Parliament for Portsmouth South, Stephen Morgan, said:

“Women in Portsmouth and across the region will find it absurd that the gender pay gap isn’t projected to close in their area until 2046.
“The Conservative Government should be taking action to close the gender pay gap. Instead, it’s standing by while progress has gone into reverse, with women in Portsmouth facing a 25 year-wait just to be paid what a man does for the same work.
“It’s clear that the Conservatives are failing an entire generation of women in Portsmouth. Labour would take urgent action to close the gender pay gap by giving women the ability to compare their salaries with men doing the same job in a different firm, and forcing employers to bring forward plans to eradicate pay gaps.”

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Small Business Saturday: City MP calls for nominations of best local businesses

Stephen Morgan MP has called for nominations for the best local shops and traders as Britain prepares to mark Small Business Saturday on December 4th, 2021.

The Portsmouth MP is calling for nominations in his constituency in three different categories:

  • Greenest Local Business
  • Friendliest Local Business
  • Overall Best Business

Small Business Saturday UK is a grassroots, non-commercial campaign, which highlights small business success and encourages consumers to ‘shop local’ and support small businesses in their communities.

On Small Business Saturday, customers across the U.K. go out and support all types of small businesses, online, in offices and in stores. Many small businesses take part in the day by hosting events and offering discounts.

£1.1 billion was spent with small businesses across the UK during last year’s Small Business Saturday, with 15.4 million people turning out to support small businesses.

The awards build on last year’s largely successful initiative by the Portsmouth South representative that saw hundreds of constituents nominating local shops and traders across Southsea, Milton, Fratton and Eastney.

The City MP has been a long-time supporter of Portsmouth’s local businesses.

In May, the Portsmouth representative launched his ‘Pride in Portsmouth’ campaign that encouraged local people to support small businesses as the economy unlocked. Since being elected, he has been lobbying government through a range of parliamentary questions, raising concerns in Parliament and calling on Government to better support Portsmouth’s businesses.

Member of Parliament for Portsmouth South, Stephen Morgan MP, said:

“Local businesses are the lifeblood of our city, but the past 18 months has been an incredibly difficult period for many of them.

“That’s why I’m calling on local people to help me showcase the best of our city and highlight independent businesses that go above and beyond in serving communities across our constituency.

“I look forward to receiving nominations from our community and encourage everyone to show support to local traders and shops as we approach this year’s Small Business Saturday and beyond.”

Nominations for Stephen’s Support Local awards can be made here. The deadline for nominations is December 1.
All nominations will then be considered and winners from each category will be selected and awarded with a certificate for Small Business Saturday.

Greenest Local Business nominations could be for those that have a ‘zero-waste’ policy, while nominations for Friendliest Local Business could be those that have gone the extra mile or offered that personal touch. For Overall Best Business, nominations should be for businesses that have gone above and beyond in serving the constituency this year.

All entries must be based in Portsmouth South (Fratton, Milton, Southsea, Old Portsmouth, Eastney, Landport, Buckland or Portsea).