Wake up call to voters

Research showing that the North East has the highest number of safe parliamentary seats should be a wake up call for Labour voters, said the region’s UKIP MEP Jonathan Arnott.

“It is depressing that our region has the top number of safe seats at 79.3%, with many seats not having changed hands for generations. Unsurprisingly these safe seats in the North East are all Labour and it explains why the party is content to ignore this part of the country, confident that they can treat their supporters with disdain but still get elected.

“We hope to change all that by challenging Labour in their heartlands”  said Mr Arnott, who is contesting the Easington constituency – which, since 1979, has overall been the safest seat anywhere in England.

“People are beginning to realise this and turning to UKIP as the party that most represents their working class values and common sense views.  Even so, the Electoral Reform Society’s figures clearly show the need for a more proportional voting system so that everyone’s vote matters and is equally valuable.”

“The data on predicted General Election results drawn up by the Electoral Reform Society “confidently predicted” 56% of the total results. That should be a wake-up call for all voters in the safe constituencies, not to let their votes be so taken for granted.”

UKIP launch North East election campaign

UKIP launched its election campaign in the North East today (Thur) – and threw down the gauntlet to Labour.

Speaking at the event in Gateshead local MEP Jonathan Arnott said, “The Labour Party has dominated North East politics for decades.  But today, standing in every constituency, we take our message of hope into the Labour heartlands that they’ve taken for granted.”

Mr Arnott spoke of the growth of the party in the North East, taking just 2.7% of the vote in 2010 to last year when they took almost 25% where UKIP stood in council elections and 29% at the European elections.

“We are a vibrant, dynamic Party looking to shape the future of politics in the North East.  Today we launch a General Election campaign – and you can say what you like about it.  Some people will welcome us with open arms, and others will hurl accusations and lies.  But no-one can deny what happened five years ago, and ignore us.  Across the country the biggest political story of the last few years has been the rise of UKIP.

“The local newspapers have surveyed thousands of people, putting together their people’s North East Manifesto – and it reads just like a UKIP Manifesto.  What local people stand for, we in UKIP stand for.  From raising the tax threshold so that no-one pays any Income Tax on the minimum wage, to ending the current free-for-all on immigration and introducing an Australian-style points system instead.

“From giving our NHS the funding to do the job, to dualling the A1 to give business the connections it needs.  From saving the £55 million a day we send to the European Union to cutting our foreign aid bill.

“These are the policies that local people are desperately crying out for.  In UKIP you might find some right-wing policies.  You might find some left-wing policies.  But what we stand for is actually firmly at the core of what people believe.

“We’re not here to make up the numbers.  We’re not a Party that shies away from tough fights, or from saying what needs to be said.  We’re a party of real people not stage management.

“And we have a tough fight here in the North East.  Not against the Liberal Democrats, whose support has collapsed, or against the irrelevant Conservatives.  But at this election we shape the battleground for the years to come.

“Because we believe in the power of the people.  Because we believe in the future of the North East.  And because we believe in Britain,” he said.

Also at the launch at the Marriott Hotel in the Metrocentre were many of UKIP’s 29 parliamentary candidates for the region including Phillip Broughton, who is standing in the hotly contested Hartlepool seat.

Did Labour even bother to read the North East Manifesto?

UKIP’s Jonathan Arnott MEP has hit out at the Labour Party over its comments on the North East Manifesto after they claimed that it’s close to the Labour Manifesto.  From the deficit to foreign aid, energy to the NHS, immigration to crime, the North East Manifesto goes against everything which Labour stands for – leading the local UKIP MEP to ask the question ‘Have they even bothered to read it?’

“All six of the headline local North East policies fit UKIP’s views like a glove, but the results of the remaining questions are startling – and diametrically opposed to everything that Labour stands for.  They should be treating this as a wake-up call, but bizarrely they’re claiming that it’s close to their position instead.”  Amongst the findings of the Journal and Chronicle’s survey for the North East Manifesto were:

  • Immigration “should be controlled more strongly with a points-based system”
  • The government’s top priority should be “immigration and Europe”
  • Foreign aid “should be cut back while we rebuild our economy”
  • We should “hire more police, build lots more prisons and deport foreign criminals” but also “Cut red tape for police and give criminals tougher sentences”
  • To reduce the deficit we should “Leave the EU and vastly reduce foreign aid”
  • Our GPs should be “freed from paperwork”
  • Yes to shale gas exploration
  • We should support “English votes for English laws”

 

This is in addition to headline policies like cutting local small business rates, dualling the A1, protecting our NHS and scrapping the bedroom tax.

Arnott continued: “I don’t think that the Labour Party can honestly claim they’ve done a complete U-turn on all of these issues.  I think it’s more likely that they only skim-read the headline policies and didn’t bother to read the full results to see what local people are actually saying.  How else could they make such a claim?  Fortunately though, there’s one Party which is truly standing up for the North East – and that Party is the UK Independence Party.”

North East Manifesto “reads like a UKIP Manifesto” claims Jonathan Arnott MEP

UKIP North East MEP Jonathan Arnott has expressed his delight at the publication of the ‘North East Manifesto’ which was set up by the Chronicle and Journal, and in which over 1,500 readers participated to show the key issues affecting local people at the General Election:

“The North East Manifesto is a great initiative, and it’s great to see so many people engage with this novel democratic idea from our local newspapers. I’m delighted that the North East Manifesto has shown that UKIP’s priorities are so in tune with local people’s needs. We’ve been calling for a cut in small business rates, dualling the A1, not only protecting our free NHS but investing another £3 billion a year into it, cutting rates for small businesses, and making sure that spending cuts don’t hit frontline services. These are five of the top six priorities in the North East Manifesto.

“As far as the other one (devolution) is concerned, we’d also love to see more power come back to the North East. The devil will be in the detail though – the people of the North East voted massively against a regional assembly in 2004: we don’t want yet another tier of elected politicians. We’ll support the right devolution, but we won’t write a blank cheque – and we don’t think that local people would want us to.

“In fact, the North East Manifesto reads like a UKIP Manifesto – and the good news is that people will have the chance to vote for it in May.”

EU Commission accused of “bare faced cheek” for taking legal action against Britain over energy

Local UKIP MEP Jonathan Arnott has accused the European Commission of “bare faced cheek”  for taking legal action against Britain over energy.

The European Commission has stated that it will launch legal action against 27 EU member states over their failure to impose the EU’s Energy Efficiency Directive into national law.

The controversial EU rules have already made the industry pay between £86.6 billion and £93.2 billion in regulatory costs.

“These EU rules left local power generation at the Teesside power plant – which was one of the largest in Europe, still relatively young and with plenty of remaining working life – uneconomical and the demolition is expected to be complete in the next few months.  EU rules are costing local people jobs as well as pushing up consumer prices,” said Mr Arnott.

“How the EU continuously believes it has the right to interfere in our affairs astonishes me. It displays bare faced cheek from the Commission, and the British people have simply had enough.

“It is time we left the European Union and regained control over our own energy industry so that we can take the decisions which would best fit Britain’s needs, not the needs of 27 other countries.

”The EU has already done untold damage to our energy industry and it is high time we said enough is enough. I call on the Government to fight the Commission in court and finally stand up for Britain’s interest.

“The European Commission is already taking to UK to a European Court to change our laws on immigrant benefits, so this latest move is clearly more of the same treatment. It is very unwelcome. “

“These EU rules left local power generation at the Teesside power plant – which was one of the largest in Europe, still relatively young and with plenty of remaining working life – uneconomical, and the demolition is expected to be complete in the next few months.  EU rules are costing local people jobs as well as pushing up consumer prices”

North East infrastructure must not be upgraded on the cheap, the whole of the A1 must be dualled

A government road scheme has been described by a local MEP as “trying to upgrade North East transport on the cheap’”.

The proposed ‘expressways’ scheme would remove roundabouts and traffic lights from some of the country’s A-roads, creating motorway-style slip roads and junctions to ease traffic flow.

On the list of projects is turning the A1 north of Newcastle into such an expressway.  Restrictions are likely to be placed on the new class of road, including new traffic rules and a ban on bicycles.

But UKIP Euro-MP Jonathan Arnott believes that the plan is fundamentally flawed, because there is still no commitment to make the whole length of the A1 dual carriageway.

“The whole of the A1 must be dualled, with no exceptions. If they were planning to do that, then I would be all for this new proposed ‘expressway’ which would help to cut journey times still further.  But my worry is that once again, the government is trying to upgrade North East transport on the cheap.

The Chancellor’s ‘Northern economic powerhouse’ looks pretty shaky when London has 25 times the public spending per capita on transport that we get here in the North East.

“My simple message to the politicians in Westminster is this: Stop expecting us to be grateful when we’re given the crumbs under the table after London has had its share.”

UKIP has been campaigning for the dualling for the A1 and A69 for years, since Deputy Leader Paul Nuttall’s announcement at the 2013 North East Conference.

Mr Arnott has previously branded the single-carriageway A1 as ‘a disgrace’ given that it is the main road between London and Edinburgh, saying that development of business requires proper transport links.

The new expressways will be an entirely new road classification, intended as a halfway house between an A-road and a motorway.  Similar transport schemes exist already in Italy, Holland, Bulgaria and the Czech Republic.

Report shows jobs meltdown claims are untrue

A report from the influential Institute of Economic Affairs “gives the lie to ridiculous claims that leaving the EU would cause a jobs meltdown,” said UKIP MEP Jonathan Arnott.

“The other three main parties peddle these ridiculous claims but as the author of this report notes, there may well be net job creation in the wake of a British exit.

“What is quite clear is that the ability to trade does not rely on membership of a political union, but the ability to be an independent democracy relies on not being absorbed into a political union.”

“David Cameron, Nick Clegg and Ed Miliband should all level with the British public. The reason they want to stay in the EU is not because of any likely adverse effect on jobs or the wider economy, it is because the British establishment is doing very nicely out of the EU when it comes to jobs for the boys,” said Mr Arnott, Euro-MP for the North East.

“It would be a rash punter who gambled against at least one of these gentleman ending up as an extremely well paid EU commissioner in the very near future.”

“But over the long-run, EU membership has been prohibitively expensive and disastrous for many of our industries – from fishing to coal mining. Britain would be better off out.”

The number of apprenticeships in the North East must be increased as a matter of urgency

The number of apprenticeships in the North East must be increased as a matter of urgency, said local UKIP MEP Jonathan Arnott.

“National Apprenticeship Week has quite rightly trained the spotlight on apprenticeships and I don’t think that anywhere in the country would benefit more than this region.

“The economic potential for the North East is massive and there are tens of thousands of young people who could benefit from the opportunity to get a placement.

“The crazy target for 50% of school leavers heading to university has done some no favours with their hard working efforts being devalued by the sheer numbers now obtaining degrees.

“If, as has been suggested, some employers, schools and young people believe apprenticeships are a second rate option compared to a university place they need to have a re-think, particularly for higher level apprenticeships.

“For apprentices it means that as well as earning a salary while you learn on the job they avoid student debts that now average more than £44,000 and gives them a flying start on life,” said Mr Arnott.

“And for employers it means they can develop a mutually beneficial top notch work force,” said Mr Arnott.

Cautious welcome for rail plans

News that the rail line between Middlesbrough and Northallerton has been designated a tier one route has been welcomed by local UKIP MEP Jonathan Arnott.

But he is unhappy that the rest of the region is being left in a transport network wilderness for the foreseeable future.

“Electrification of the Middlesbrough – Northallerton line is great news for the Tees Valley but it will obviously not happen overnight and it is vital that plans speedily follow in the rest of the area.

“This first stage will help provide a much needed financial boost but it is just part of the jigsaw for economic success and a small part of the revitalised transport system needed in the North generally,” he said.

“Yet again, the North East is getting the crumbs of what is left after other areas have had their share: we’re potentially getting just one line upgraded which is only partly in the North East, yet Yorkshire and the North West are getting far more.

“But I fully back the concept of the ‘Northern Powerhouse’ as the potential for the future is plainly tremendous and UKIP will seek to make this a reality.

Jonathan Arnott MEP endorses remarks from Roger Bootle

Following the visit to the North East by top economist Roger Bootle, local UKIP MEP Jonathan Arnott has endorsed his remarks.

“Roger Bootle is absolutely right.  The current weakness of the euro is no surprise, given that they’re trying to have the same financial policy for Germany as for Greece.  We’re just fortunate that we’re outside the eurozone and have been insulated from some of the worst excesses of the financial crisis.

“If Greece wasn’t in the euro, it could devalue its currency and develop exports.  People would flock to Greece for cheap holidays and bring employment back there.  It’s time to admit that the euro experiment is a failure.

“It’s good that he recognises the scaremongering about British business is just that – and how timely, coming on the same day that Airbus revealed the bizarre claims in the Channel 4 mockumentary ‘The First 100 Days of UKIP’ are entirely unfounded.

“Outside the EU, we could reignite our relationship with the Commonwealth – which covers over 25% of the world’s population.  And, like Switzerland, we could develop our own free trade agreements,” he said.