Letters: Ian Gourlay, March 10, 2015

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I would like to share what people of King’s Lynn are telling me on national issues .

Firstly, the cost of living. It is hugely welcome that the price of petrol, some utilities, and even food prices have begun to stabilise, but time and again local residents have told me just how hard it is to make ends meet.

Low wage work, insecure employment contracts, zero hours job offers, exploitative agency contractors, absence of trade unions, and the systematic undermining of pay through mass foreign hirings.

This is the new employment landscape which is making it more and more difficult to build a career, get a mortgage, save for the future, or have that sense of security which allows families to prosper.

Jobs are growing in King’s Lynn but it is the type of work which we need to improve.

There are broader political answers to this – such as raising the minimum wage, offering tax breaks for companies to pay the living wage, clamping down on agency exploitation – but we also need to make sure we build up King’s Lynn into a high-skilled town.

Too many families in Lynn are having to rely on multiple jobs at low wages topped up by benefits. We need policies on education, training, inward investment and regeneration to tackle that.

After the cost of living, the second big doorstep issue is the NHS and the challenges that face QEH.

There are too many tales of cancelled operations, over-long waits, having to travel to Norwich or Cambridge to see specialists.

Residents are appreciative of the humane and professional care they receive, but there are concerns about the pressures on GP surgeries and the long delays in seeing GPs .

Ian Gourlay

Secretary North West

Norfolk Labour Party