Meeting with workers in the Aerospace and Ship-building industry
25p in every pound currently goes to Defence jobs in the USA.
We need to keep our Defence jobs local, here in Filton & Bradley Stoke, not off-shored or out-sourced.
The Ministry of Defence (MoD) was expected to cut £8 billion from it's budgets in 5 years, it is unlikely to reach this target, and a lack of a cohesive industrial strategy, means that investment in local jobs and in new technology can be sporadic.
Within the MoD there are also issues with out-sourcing, which results in a lack of security for staff and a risk to national security.
Army recruitment numbers have been missed, with a shortage of 2,210 personnel. This is despite an expensive out-sourced contract with Capita to deliver an increase on recruitment. New research shows that an Army Private’s starting salary is also nearly £1200 lower than in 2010.
The MoD is also looking at outsourcing valuable Veterans services, putting them at risk. And nationally, the Tories have voted against strengthen the Military Covenant, to protect our Veterans when accessing housing, jobs after service or health services.
As well as outsourcing, part of the MoD has been pseudo-privatised as an external trading arm. The intention was to enable Defence Equipment & Support to trade effectively on the market, but there is still an over-reliance on external contracts, for instance tens of millions was spent with PWC on a new performance management system which does not deliver for staff.
In Filton and Bradley Stoke, staff can often arrive at work as early at 6am so they can secure a parking space and a desk, with the move to flexible working. Sometimes, staff will park in nearby streets, which can cause issues for residents. This internal policy is affecting staff and residents. We need better public transport options, or a staff bus, to enable staff to get to work without having to worry, and sustainable working conditions. We need an MP who will fight for strategic regional transport funding to help to address some of these issues.
Brexit & Defence
Whether you voted leave or remain, Johnson’s deal is a bad deal for this constituency.
It is bad for our jobs and manufacturing, it pushes the Northern Ireland border question down the line, and opens us up to years and years of negotiation of trade deals.
Johnson has ruled out our NHS from any future trade deal with the USA, but he hasn't ruled out defence jobs, which could be on the table. We need to protect jobs and keep them in the UK and Filton and Bradley Stoke.
As your MP I will work hard to ensure that investment in jobs at MoD, and in local companies in the Defence Industries, like Rolls Royce or Airbus, are protected from a harmful bad deal or no deal Brexit.
Labour will give people a final say on Brexit, between a deal which better protects jobs and the environment, and remain, which would protect existing trade relationships. If elected, I will listen to workers and residents in my constituency when they express their concerns, and fight for the best option to protect jobs and keep them in the region.
Labour's 5 pledges to support the Armed Forces
This year on Armed Forces day Labour launched Five Pledges to support the Armed Forces.
These pledges are:
Fair Pay – scrap the public sector pay cap, which has seen a 5.8% real terms pay cut for the starting salary of an Army Private
Decent housing for forces and their families – end the growing reliance on the private rented sector
A voice for service men and women – consult on creating a representative body, similar to the Police Federation
End privatisation – root and branch review of outsourcing and a clear presumption in favour of public delivery of public contracts
Support for forces children – better access to schools with dedicated local authorities’ admissions strategy for the particular challenge of frequent school moves