News

30.11.16_Channel_4_long_shot.jpg

Watch Helen's debate on the Bank stress test with fellow Treasury Select Committee member Jacob Rees-Mogg MP on Channel 4.

 

Channel 4 Bank Stress Test debate with Helen Goodman MP

Watch Helen's debate on the Bank stress test with fellow Treasury Select Committee member Jacob Rees-Mogg MP on Channel 4.  

2.12.16_SmallBizSat_Ultimate_Flowers.jpg

It was a pleasure to meet Caroline, the owner of Ultimate Flowers on Cockton Hill Road in Bishop Auckland. We had a chat about ways in which councils and government can do more to support local businesses. Caroline had a lovely range of flowers and wreaths so I couldn't miss the opportunity to buy this year's Christmas wreath. 

Caroline has a great website as well at Ultimateflowers.net.

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.

Locally small businesses can receive support from South Durham Enterprise Agency which supports new & existing businesses, provides management training & development as well as supporting voluntary, community & social enterprise.

For further support small businesses can contact the Federation of Small Businesses which has a North East branch.

#SmallBizSatUK #shoplocal

Helen supports Ultimate Flowers on Small Business Saturday

It was a pleasure to meet Caroline, the owner of Ultimate Flowers on Cockton Hill Road in Bishop Auckland. We had a chat about ways in which councils and government...

27.11.16_Sunday_Politics_NEC.jpg

Yesterday I was on the regional segment of the Sunday Politics Show to give my response to the Autumn Statement and its impact on the North East Economy.

You can watch the show here (the regional part starts at 37:58).

Helen appears on Sunday Politics North East & Cumbria

Yesterday I was on the regional segment of the Sunday Politics Show to give my response to the Autumn Statement and its impact on the North East Economy. You can...

28.11.16_Digital_Economy_Bill.jpg

In this week’s debate on the Digital Economy Bill Helen spoke out on behalf of people with hearing loss who would face possible interference from radio frequencies unless stronger duties are placed on Ofcom.

Helen spoke in support of Clause 26 which is designed to protect from frequency interference those with hearing loss who have hearing aids, radio aids, cochlear implants and other hearing technologies. Ofcom is about to sell spectrum, and there is a concern that the part of the spectrum that it is going to sell is so close to the wavelength used by such technologies that interference will be caused. Clause 26 places a duty on Ofcom to carry out tests in advance of the sale of the radio frequencies to ensure that any interference is identified and made public.

Helen asked the Minister to consider the concerns which had been raised with her by the National Deaf Children’s Society about the ongoing dispute about how the tests should be done, how the results should be interpreted and what action will be taken if the tests indicate interference. That action could take two forms: either Ofcom should not grant a wireless telegraphy licence unless action is taken to remove the risk of interference; or a fund should be established to cover the cost of replacing medical and hearing technology affected by interference. That is important for the 10 million people who suffer from hearing loss and the 45,000 deaf children in this country, and it will enable Ofcom to fulfil its duties under the Equality Act 2010.

Helen referred to her husband’s experience as a hearing aid user and the difficulty already experienced in hearing other people in a noisy environment and expressed her concern about the additional impact that mobile phones in the room could then have.

Calling the Minister’s response “inadequate” Helen went on to say:

“Interference will be a problem for children who use radio aids in the classroom to help them to hear what their teachers are saying. Unlike grown-ups, they cannot easily guess what a person is saying, because they are hearing things for the first time. The tests done in 2014 found that someone with a mobile phone using the relevant frequency could interfere with a hearing aid 4 metres away. The National Deaf Children’s Society are right to press the government for assurances that deaf people are not disadvantaged by the sale of spectrum. I urge the Minister to be flexible and to look at the matter again.”

You can access Helen’s full speech on Hansard.

Helen calls on government to protect hearing from radio interference

In this week’s debate on the Digital Economy Bill Helen spoke out on behalf of people with hearing loss who would face possible interference from radio frequencies unless stronger duties...

Watch Helen's response to the Autumn Statement on Bloomberg here.

23.11.16_Autumn_Statement.jpg

Helen responds to the Autumn Statement

Watch Helen's response to the Autumn Statement on Bloomberg here.

3.11.16_Morrisons_Living_wage_Debate.jpg


Helen took the opportunity during Living Wage Week to raise her concerns about the "ugly and exploitative" nature in which companies have implemented the National Living Wage.

A supermarket worker in Helen's constituency is just £1.64 a week better off despite the introduction of the National Living Wage in April - whilst at the same time - a family shareholder spent £3.24million on a house in Teesdale - paying almost a quarter of a million over the asking price.

To pay for the rise in the basic hourly rate Sunday workers have lost their Sunday premium of time and a half and their paid breaks are now unpaid.

You can watch Helen's speech here

Helen’s speech is part of a series of interventions during the course of Living Wage Week 2016.

Labour believes in a full & proper wage for a working day and that’s why we are committing to introducing a statutory REAL Living Wage.

Failed Tory austerity has produced a low-wage, low-investment, high-debt economy in which productivity is stagnating and Labour will end the scourge of low pay by creating a new, independent Living Wage Review Body to recommend an annual real Living Wage rate based on what people need. Independent research has estimated that this is likely to mean a figure in excess of £10 per hour in 2020.

Under the next Labour government, everyone will earn enough to live on.

 

 3.11.16_Morrisons_Living_wage_Debate2.jpg

 

3.11.16_Morrisons_Living_wage_Debate2.jpg

"This paints a picture of modern capitalism which is ugly and exploitative"

Helen took the opportunity during Living Wage Week to raise her concerns about the "ugly and exploitative" nature in which companies have implemented the National Living Wage. A supermarket worker...

"When my constituents in County Durham voted to leave the EU, they were concerned by the future of manufacturing as well as what they see as uncontrolled immigration.

The prime minister has clearly got their message, but unfortunately her understanding does not add up to a negotiating strategy for Brexit. That is why MPs who campaigned for both sides of the referendum are pressuring the government to be more open. It’s why on Wednesday I initiated a debate on the customs union.

In September the Treasury select committee met their counterparts in Berlin and Rome to learn what deal might be possible. Over and over again we heard the same thing – no precedents must be set. So while the UK’s demand to control immigration is likely to be met by a refusal to let us continue this full membership of the single market, less has been said about the customs union – and this may prove to be more important.

The customs union was set up in 1968; it’s what we joined in 1973 and reaffirmed in the 1975 referendum. It’s what most people call the common market and it’s pretty popular. The customs union levies a common external tariff on imports to the EU, but within it goods move freely and the commission negotiates external trade deals. If we leave the customs union, when we export into the EU market we may have to pay tariffs and will have to show where all the components in our products come from.

It’s designed to stop third countries from cheating.

Britain’s last television manufacturer is in my constituency and uses many components from China. If we leave the EU they’ll have to show what proportion of the final product is British and how much is Chinese, so that each part is charged the right customs duty.

The tariffs vary – many are around 5 to 10 per cent, but the OECD estimates that meeting the bureaucratic rules of origin can add 24 per cent to costs. Norway is in the single market, but outside the customs union. Some Norwegian exporters have found that complying with the rules of origin is so costly it’s cheaper to pay the tariffs.

For the UK this would be catastrophic – 70 per cent of our goods exports are manufactured. After 40 years in the EU, we have highly integrated supply chains. Parts move back and forth across the EU. This is the Nissan problem and why ministers jumped quickly to address it. But rather than do a factory-by-factory deal, they need to prioritise staying inside the customs union. Some 3 million jobs are at stake.

Leaving the customs union means we can’t negotiate trade deals covering goods with third countries like India and Australia. Hard Brexiteers like Liam Fox, who claimed that we’re now in a “post-geography trading world”, are pinning their hopes on these. I believe he is wildly over-optimistic.

Can deals with third countries produce more exports than what we have now? Half of our goods are exported into the EU and this will not be replaced quickly or easily, with slowing world trade growth and the difficulty of striking new deals.

No doubt Liam Fox is delighted to be back in the cabinet and no doubt he’s enjoying travelling the world, but protecting 3 million existing jobs is more important than satisfying his grandiloquent ambitions."

You can watch the Adjournment Debate here.

3.11.16_Times.jpg

Fox's ill-founded optimism will hurt british manufacturing - Helen writes for The Times

"When my constituents in County Durham voted to leave the EU, they were concerned by the future of manufacturing as well as what they see as uncontrolled immigration. The prime...

27.10.16_TSC_Concentrix.jpg

Helen grasped today's opportunity to tackle Jon Thompson, HMRC's Chief Executive and Permanent Secretary, over his department's decision to award the Tax Credits contract to Concentrix. 

Following Concentrix' disastrous handling of the Tax Credit verifications which resulted in almost 1 million awards being suspended Mr Thompson was called to explain his department's failings in front of the Treasury Select Committee. 

Helen had previously written to Jon Thompson and Treasury Minister Jane Ellison MP about the unfair and arbitrary way Concentrix has been administrating Tax Credits following many complaints from her constituents.

Following the session Helen said:

"This is yet another case which highlights the dangers in outsourcing government functions to third party organisations. This government has not yet learned its lesson. 

I am pleased to note that Mr Thompson confirmed that any Tax Credit claimants who have had their Tax Credits stopped unfairly by Concentrix can request a compensatory payment of up to £100 in addition to any money owed to them following their claim being reinstated. I would therefore urge any constituents who have been in this situation to contact the Tax Credits hotline and request a payment in recognition of the stress and possible debt that has resulted from Concentrix's actions. Anyone who is unsure if this applies to them is welcome to contact my constituency office on 01388 603075.

You can watch the exchange here and Helen's question about compensatory payments here.

 

27.10.16_TSC_Concentrix_full_room.jpg

Helen holds HMRC to account over Concentrix contract

Helen grasped today's opportunity to tackle Jon Thompson, HMRC's Chief Executive and Permanent Secretary, over his department's decision to award the Tax Credits contract to Concentrix.  Following Concentrix' disastrous handling...

25.10.16_TSC_HMRC_Hill_farmers.jpg

Following this morning's Treasury Select Committee Helen expressed her dismay at HMRC’s proposal to change the filing system for tax returns.

“HMRC’s proposal that SMEs should file tax returns online 4 times a year and be fined if they miss deadlines is a nightmare. The Federation of Small Businesses estimate that this will cost people £2,770 pa. This could put some hill farmers out of business. They seem totally unaware that millions of people are not online due to the government’s failed broadband rollout and their work means they are out of doors all day, not in a cosy office. I really despair - this Tory government seems no more tuned in to small businesses or rural communities than their predecessors.”

You can watch Helen in the Select Committee or by clicking on the image above. This session is part of an ongoing TSC inquiry into UK tax policy and you can find out more about the inquiry by visiting the Treasury Select Committee website here

Helen expressed her dismay at HMRC’s proposal to change the filing system for tax returns.

Following this morning's Treasury Select Committee Helen expressed her dismay at HMRC’s proposal to change the filing system for tax returns. “HMRC’s proposal that SMEs should file tax returns online...

collage.jpg

To mark  for  I visited a local solar farm as the guest of children from St John's School in Bishop Auckland.

"It was great to see such a forward looking green company on our doorstep. The solar farm makes enough electricity for 1200 homes. Unfortunately the former Chancellor George Osborne cut the feed-in tariff and the company is 1/3 of the size of last year. 

Thank you to Cafod for organising this morning's visit."

 

 

Helen visits local Solar Farm

To mark #speakup for #climateweek I visited a local solar farm as the guest of children from St John's School in Bishop Auckland. "It was great to see such a forward looking green company...

The Labour Party will place cookies on your computer to help us make this website better.

Please read this to review the updates about which cookies we use and what information we collect on our site.

To find out more about these cookies, see our privacy notice. Use of this site confirms your acceptance of these cookies.