Jeremy Corbyn, leader of Britain’s opposition Labour Party, delivers a speech at a campaign event in Birmingham.
By Jeremy Corbyn
MORE than 100 years ago, the first MP from Britain’s Asian community served in Parliament for a multi-ethnic constituency.
Succeeding generations have continued that tradition by contributing economically, culturally and politically to our society.
That is why I am very proud to present our manifesto as one that celebrates the contributions of British Asians and speaks to the needs of your communities.
Theresa May and the Conservatives have spent the last seven years holding our communities
Their policies in government have turned back the clock, with our diverse Asian communities being denied opportunities to flourish and succeed.
People continue to be treated unfairly due to their gender, ethnicity, faith, sexuality, gender
identity or disability. The rise in hate crimes, including antisemitic and Islamophobic attacks as well as those against non-Abrahamic faith communities, underscores how far we still have to go.
As the sixth largest economy in the world we should aspire to be a world leader, showing how
responsible and forward-thinking entrepreneurs can grow their businesses and support their workers so they in turn contribute to the shared prosperity we will all benefit from.
The Conservatives have failed small business owners, their recent business rate revaluation caused business rate hikes in some parts of the country, they also sought to penalise self-employed people by raising national insurance contributions in an attempt to the squeeze incomes of thousands of small business owners.
“In post-Brexit Britain, only a Labour government will build meaningful ties with Asian countries based on respect and shared values.”
Conservative plans to clamp down on study or work visas will not only damage innovation in our universities, centres of excellence and small businesses, but also threaten the survival of our world famous restaurants.
And from talking to so many, not just in my own constituency, but from communities from
Bradford to Southampton, I am aware we need to address many other concerns such as the need for guidance on food labelling to have due regard to faith and cultural requirements.
Many people from British Asian communities who traditionally provide unpaid care for older,
disabled and ill relatives will be deeply alarmed by the Conservatives’ hostile plans, slapping a “dementia tax” on those who need social care by making them pay for it using their homes.
It is my belief that without the incredible contribution of our diverse and talented Asian communities, our United Kingdom would not be the great place it is today.
In post-Brexit Britain, only a Labour government will build meaningful ties with Asian countries based on respect and shared values.
That’s why we oppose the Conservatives’ proposal to impose immigration targets for foreign professionals and students outside of the EU. Unlike the Conservatives, we do not scapegoat migrants nor blame them for economic failures.
Labour wants to see a rise in living standards across the board. We believe that honest business is business for good.
“It is my belief that without the incredible contribution of our diverse and talented Asian communities, our United Kingdom would not be the great place it is today.”
Labour will reward good employers by cutting red tape for small businesses and those that demonstrate good employment practices.
In order to provide the support many small businesses need, a Labour government will declare war on late payments by using government procurement to ensure that anyone bidding for a government contract pays their own suppliers within 30 days.
Labour will reinstate the lower small business corporation tax rate.
We will set up a national investment bank – as well as regional development banks, including our “Bank of the North”, to help unlock £500 billion to fund major capital projects and finance growth and good jobs.
Labour will fund our care services to meet the needs of the future, fully meeting the immediate funding needs and developing a National Care Service for the long term.
We will lift the burden of care from millions of older citizens and their families.
Labour will repair the damage done by the Conservatives, which has sown the seeds of division in our communities.
The next Labour government will unlock the potential of diverse Asian communities and create a society that delivers real equality of opportunity.
Having worked closely with Asian communities for more than 30 years, I know we share the same fundamental values; that hard work should reap rewards and that those who profess a faith deserve a safe place to practise and the respect that a free society like ours is lucky enough to enjoy.
On June 8, let’s choose these values. Let’s choose a society where everybody, regardless of background, faith or culture, is able to get on in life, have security at work and at home, be decently paid and live their lives and grows old with dignity.
A Britain that works for the many, not the few. Vote Labour on June 8.