More from Joe Watts at the Labour Party conference
06:30 03 October 2012
Archant Norfolk Photographic Â© 2011
Sundays: A senior Labour MP has suggested repealing laws allowing Sunday trading in order to give hard-working families their weekends back. Shadow cabinet member Owen Smith said commercial pressures had eroded traditional time off and created a “homogenous” working week. Mr Smith told a fringe event at the Labour Party’s conference in Manchester that people’s free time should be given a “greater value” and market pressure to increase working hours should be resisted.
Benefits: The government should re-think its plans to set one national benefits cap, shadow work and pensions secretary Liam Byrne has said. He argued it would make “much more sense to have a different cap in different parts of the country”. Speaking ahead of Labour leader Ed Miliband’s party conference speech in Manchester yesterday, the shadow minister called for an independent panel of experts to examine the issue to ensure “no matter where you live, you are better off in work”.
police: Shadow home secretary Yvette Cooper will pledge that if Labour police and crime commissioners are elected in November they will limit the private sector’s involvement in policing. She will accuse the government of undertaking a “rush” to privatise police which could endanger crime fighting efforts in the future. Ms Cooper will say: “Tory Ministers want huge swathes of policing handed over to private companies. Nothing ruled out. Contract tenders which include neighbourhood patrols, detective investigations and more. “Pushing forces to sign up to massive contracts with a single organisation where value for money is at risk: Have they learned nothing from the Olympics?”
Economic Crime: The Labour party will today propose introducing an Economic Crime Bill to Parliament in order to ensure fat cat bankers who fiddle figures are adequately punished. Shadow home secretary Yvette Cooper will talk about the Libor scandal in her speech in which Barclay’s bank was accused of trying to fix a key interest rate. She will say: “Look at the LIBOR scandal that emerged this summer. It is a multibillion pound fraud. People were fiddling figures to get rich, while small businesses paid the price. “Yet no one has been arrested. The experts say it can’t even be treated as a crime offence. The police and the Serious Fraud Office (SFO) don’t even seem to know where to start. “In the United States they have seen 800 prosecutions for serious fraud since 2011. Here in the UK the SFO pursued just 20.”