The Labour party fights for social and economic justice for everyone. This means that it cares for the interests of all people who receive wages, earn an income as self-employed workers, and receive pensions or State benefits. It does not support inequality of any kind. The UK is a very unequal society - the richest 10% of households hold 45% of all wealth. The poorest 50%, by contrast, own just 8.7%. The Labour Party considers this to be unfair. Current Government policies seek to protect and advance the interests of the rich at the expense of everyone else. This is why the Labour Party opposed the 2016 Budget and has publically criticised the tax avoidance strategies of multinational companies and wealthy individuals, including politicians.
A recent Devon County Council report shows that North Devon is a relatively poor area of the county, with Ilfracombe Central and Barnstaple Central being in the most deprived 10% of all areas in England. Much of the area ‘is dominated by small/micro businesses, most of which are operating in low value-added sectors and paying low wages. From this starting point, accelerated economic growth is a real challenge.’ The Labour party nationally is committed to helping small businesses develop and grow, to improve the pay and conditions for people who work in them. This is a challenging issue in North Devon, where County Council policies seem focussed on reallocating social and economic resources to the Exeter area, when the opposite is needed. For example, it takes 2 hours to travel by train from Exeter to London, whereas it takes approximately 4 hours from Barnstaple.