The ‘Northern Powerhouse’ will only live up to its promise if properly funded

The ‘Northern Powerhouse’ will only live up to its promise if properly funded, North East MEP Jonathan Arnott has warned.

“All the talk by the government about it will prove to be empty rhetoric unless they commit proper investment so that the North is no longer the poor relative.

“And the current transport subsidy gap between this region and London does not auger well,” said Mr Arnott, UKIP Euro-MP.

A report by the Equality Trust shows that households in the capital get twice as much subsidy as the North East meaning poorer people are being locked out of the jobs market because of high transport costs.

“This situation must be addressed as it means that our work force is being unfairly penalised,” said Mr Arnott. “We are poised to take advantage of George Osborne’s Powerhouse pledge but it will run out of steam unless the funding is fairly distributed.

“People in this region are hard working by nature and I will continue to fight for extra cash to help it achieve its economic potential,” he said.

Care home investigation demanded

Local MEP Jonathan Arnott is demanding a full inquiry into a care home in Hartlepool following a damning report by the Care Quality Commission.

Admiral Court Care Home has been branded as “inadequate” in all areas and with a disregard for residents’ humanity.

“The CQC report has also described the home for the elderly as “unsafe and uncaring” which I find unbelievably shocking,” said Mr Arnott, UKIP Euro-MP for the town.

“All the residents are by their very nature extremely vulnerable and deserving of the best of care and consideration but this report shows they have received the exact opposite.

“The appalling conditions at this home came to light through unannounced inspections and the scathing report now published. But that must not be the end of it, there needs to be a full inquiry into how this state of affairs has come about and, if appropriate, prosecutions brought.

“This is not the first time a care home has been found to be wanting and with the ever growing number of such establishments people must be assured that rigorous checks are the norm.

“While it is reassuring that the CQC has acted promptly and transparently over the alarming situation at this Hartlepool home I fear in such times of austerity the ability of health watchdogs to keep on top of inspections will inevitably be challenged.

“This case starkly demonstrates the vital need for them and also I believe more needs to be done by the government to encourage whistleblowers to speak out and save our elderly from suffering,” he added.

Blog – Summary of TTIP delay and commitment to continue to oppose ISDS and the TTIP proposals

I have received a huge amount of messages from my constituents about TTIP and I just wanted to post a little update about what’s been going on this week in Strasbourg, let you know what I’ve been doing and how I will continue to tackle the TTIP issue in the future.

On Tuesday, the President of the Parliament postponed the vote on TTIP (which was scheduled for Wednesday) but the debate was still going ahead.  Then, as we turned up for the debate at 8am in the morning, we were ambushed by a proposal to postpone the debate as well.  I spoke on behalf of the UKIP MEPs, saying that the debate should continue because this is a matter of such public importance.  You can watch this speech here:

Sadly, we lost the vote by 183-181 (the British Conservative Party voted to cancel the debate) and the debate was also postponed.

I’ve made two other interventions in the chamber this week before the debate/vote was postponed, and you’ll be able to see the videos below:

  1.  I managed to persuade the European Parliament to extend the debate on TTIP so that it can be given greater scrutiny (before it was later cancelled):

2. Because TTIP has been impacted by big business lobbying, you may also be interested in the point which I made in one of the debates on intellectual property rights, about the sheer number of corporate lobbyists in Brussels.  The 1-minute speech can be found at: http://www.jonathanarnott.co.uk/2015/06/parliamentary-speech-i-am-more-interested-in-hearing-from-my-constituents-than-30000-big-business-lobbyists/

Earlier this week I also spoke out during the meeting of UKIP MEPs, and pushed the point very strongly to my colleagues that they should take the same anti-ISDS, pro-NHS and anti-TTIP position that I am taking.  I was slightly surprised to learn that almost all of my colleagues feel as strongly as I do on this.  I have also discussed the matter with colleagues from other parties and other countries, urging them to take a similar position.

I’m very disappointed that I will have to wait to represent my constituents on this matter, I don’t yet know when the vote will now take place but my best guess is that it’s most likely to happen at the July Strasbourg session and whenever it comes before the European Parliament, I will continue to oppose ISDS and these TTIP proposals.

I will continue to keep everyone updated about this important issue through my Twitter feed @JonathanArnott and here on my website at www.jonathanarnott.co.uk.  I hope you will agree that I’m doing everything that I can to make sure that your voice is not ignored!

Yours,

Jonathan Arnott MEP

Parliament Vice-President defies rules to frustrate legitimate democratic protest by UKIP MEPs over TTIP vote delay

Last evening in the European Parliament, Jonathan Arnott, UKIP MEP for the North East and EU budget spokesman, led a protest against the suppression of debate on the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP). Arnott proposed a procedural motion to suspend the sitting “to allow Parliament the opportunity to reflect on the undemocratic actions by President Martin Schulz and other officials to suppress the vote and debate on this issue which is of concern to millions of people across the EU.”

Arnott said: “I proposed suspending Parliamentary debate for the day to highlight this point.  The officials on the podium responded with what looked like panic, ringing the division bell and breaking their own rules.  The rules demand an immediate vote, but they delayed for over forty minutes to allow their supporters to flood the chamber.”

Roger Helmer, UKIP MEP for East Midlands and energy spokesman, was in the chamber to support the protest. When it became clear the vice-president (Ildikó Gall-Pelcz) was acting in breach of the rules, Helmer broke procedure and went onto the podium to ask her if she realised she was in breach of the rules. “She replied yes. I then asked her if she was happy she was breaking the rules, and she said she was not. And yet she broke the rules anyway.”

TTIP vote delay condemned by UKIP

Following the European Parliament’s delay of the vote on TTIP, local UKIP MEP Jonathan Arnott has described the European Parliament as “a democratic vacuum.”

“Thousands of people have been contacting UKIP – including many to me personally –  as they are worried about how TTIP will privatise the NHS. They are begging their MEPs to vote against it.

“But rather than listen to the will of the people and dropping TTIP, the EU Commissioners have put the vote off until such a time they think they can win it.

“Instead of doing what the people want, they are trying to get the people to do what they want.

“I had managed to persuade the European Parliament to extend the debate on TTIP so that it could be given greater security but then we were ambushed with a proposal to postpone that as well as the vote.

“I spoke on behalf of UKIP’s MEPs arguing that it should continue because it was a matter of such public importance. But sadly we lost the vote on that by 183-181, with the British Conservative Party voting to postpone the debate – so sparing them exposing their embarrassing internal conflicts.

“For democracy, the NHS and for public services it has never been clearer than it is today that the UK needs to leave the EU,” he said.