LABOUR’S parliamentary candidate has made claims that Robert Halfon MP’s voting history in parliament suggests that he is against the people he represents in Harlow.
Upon visiting Harlow College recently, to speak to students before the general elections took place on May 3rd, Laura McAlpine came across as being passionate for her hometown, and as someone who genuinely cared for the people of Harlow.
McAlpine described herself as just a ‘regular woman’ from a working-class family and could therefore truly relate to her constituents.
McAlpine began her presentation by listing the problems in Harlow, such as homelessness and the damaging effects of the closure of Ocasio House – which once provided supported housing for 116 young people. She went on to claim how these events are a result of Tory cuts, where the vulnerable members of society would suffer most.
McAlpine, whose Grandmother Jean McAlpine was a Labour District Councillor for 20 years, made her beliefs known by saying she did not feel Robert Halfon represented the people of Harlow since he voted 49 times, since January 2011, for a reduction in spending on welfare benefits. However, the Harlow MP had almost always voted against corporation tax.
Speaking of her Tory opposition Laura said: ‘I don’t think he [Robert Halfon] represents the people in Harlow. You should represent someone that’s like you because they’re going to have your back, they’re going to understand where you’re coming from.
‘If you’re voting for somebody that isn’t where you’re from or doesn’t have financial struggles then how are they going to really be able to relate to your problems?’
She added: ‘Robert Halfon’s voting record says it all, I don’t really need to take him down on a personal level. He has voted 23 times against corporation tax but at the same time he’s voted 49 times to reduce spending on welfare.
‘I am on the side of the people in Harlow, I’m just a regular woman that’s grown up in Harlow and I’ll have everyone’s back.’
Robert Halfon MP responded: ‘It is absolutely true that I voted to cut business taxes because cutting them means that companies have more money to invest, grow and employ more Harlow residents.
‘As well as a tax cut for businesses, I’ve also voted to substantially cut taxes for lower earners. I voted for the introduction of the the National Living Wage which increased to £7.83 in April, meaning that since its introduction, the living wage will have boosted the income of the lowest paid by £2,000 a year.
‘On welfare benefits, this does not represent an accurate picture at all. Around £50 billion every year is being spent on benefits alone to support people with disabilities or health conditions, £7 billion more than in 2010 and the Government will continue to spend more than Labour did in 2010 in every year to 2020.
‘Benefits related to the additional costs of disability have been uprated every year, and households in receipt of these benefits are exempt from the benefit cap. This is what I have voted for.’