GALLERY: Shadow chancellor Ed Balls says Stevenage is ‘leading the way’ in creating skilled jobs for future generations
- Credit: Archant
Ed Balls said Stevenage is leading the way in providing skilled jobs for future generations when he visited a children’s centre on Monday.
The shadow chancellor went to the Bridge Road Children’s Centre with Stevenage Borough Council leader Sharon Taylor to see how it supports young families and their children.
The centre, which takes children aged up to four, also helps unemployed parents access training courses to get them back into work.
Mr Balls, MP for Morley and Outwood, said: “This is one of the best children’s centres in Stevenage and we need to make sure we keep investing in them. Fifteen years ago there were no centres and some councils have been cutting them to save money but they do such an important job and support those who need it most.
“What we have seen this morning are the kids of the future and there need to be jobs for them.
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“I was amazed by the Rosetta spaceship and its philae probe that landed on a comet a few weeks ago. Around a third of that was built in Stevenage and there is a fantastic engineering and space industry in the town.
“Stevenage is leading the way by providing a lot of apprenticeships and opportunity for both graduates and school leavers the chance to get into get skilled jobs which is vitally important.”
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Mr Balls also talked about addressing the cost of living crisis where many families are worse off now than before the recession because of price rises and low or zero percent wage increases.
He said that a Labour government would raise the national minimum wage, introduce a mansion tax for homes worth more than £2 million and increase income tax for people earning more than £150,000 a year.
He added that the NHS is currently going backwards and, while a there would still be cuts to be made after the next election, a Labour government would keep investing in it.
When asked about plans to turn sections of the A1(M) between Junction 6 for Welwyn and Junction 8 for Stevenage into three lanes, Mr Balls said he was in favour of the coalition government’s proposals but said that Labour would have “invested sooner”.