Vernon Coaker MP

Working Hard For You In Gedling

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Today is Holocaust Memorial Day, a date chosen for 27 January marks the liberation of Auschwitz-Birkenau, the largest Nazi death camp.

This day marks a time for everyone to pause to remember the millions of people who have been murdered or whose lives have been changed beyond recognition during the Holocaust, Nazi Persecution and in subsequent genocides in Cambodia, Rwanda, Bosnia and Darfur.

Today, we remember the horrors of the past for it is only by understanding and remembering those who died in the Holocaust that we can adequately tackle modern-day intolerance.

In remembering the Holocaust we remind ourselves how important it is not to spread messages of hate, or to exclude people because of things like the colour of their skin or the religious beliefs they hold.

I am sadly reminded that there was an increase of 41% in the number of racially or religiously aggravated crimes following the EU referendum. Although the majority of people would be shocked and abhorred by this fact, discrimination has not ended. Now I feel it is more important than ever that we are vigilant to messages of hate and strive to ensure we live our lives guided by the principles of tolerance and respect. We are united by our humanity and on days such as today it is imperative we remember and pledge to learn lessons from the atrocities of the past.

By remembering the Holocaust we remain aware that we, as humans, are capable of heinous things. But remind ourselves that by coming together, and educating the young we can strive to ensure that such horrors remain in our collective memory and never happen again.

If you would like to learn more about Holocaust Memorial Day you can read about it here http://howcanlifegoon.hmd.org.uk/ Holocaust Educational Trust (UK)

Holocaust Memorial Day 2017

Today is Holocaust Memorial Day, a date chosen for 27 January marks the liberation of Auschwitz-Birkenau, the largest Nazi death camp.

As a man, securing equal pay has been a mission of mine since becoming an MP in 1997. It is shocking to me that pay inequality – being paid less as a woman for doing work which is of equal value and demands equal skill – is still a factor for women across the UK. In the East-Midlands the gender pay gap for full time work is 12%, higher than the UK average of 9.4%.

I feel a major factor is due to our cultural attitude which must change. New research by Childwise published today has revealed that the gender pay gap begins early in childhood and at home with boys receiving 20% more pocket money than girls. Between the ages of 11 and 16 the gap grows to 30%, with boys receiving an average weekly income of £17.80 and girls of the same age lagging behind with £12.50.  Clearly as a society we are giving our sons and daughters different lessons about money and financial management. This is not the case for all parents, but the economic inequality the girls surveyed faced, is something that will continue throughout their lives. We need to ask the fundamental question of who and what we value and ask why it is that we don’t value women and the work they do equally– paid or unpaid. Equal value goes to the heart of the fight for pay equality, because the reality is that if it is a sector dominated by women the pay will be lower. 

There are many other reasons why the pay gap exists; ingrained discrimination, the dominance of men in the best paid positions, unequal caring responsibilities and so on have created a gender pay gap that currently stands at 18.1 per cent for all employees (including part time workers).

 There needs to be more practical action to tackle this inequality head on, which Labour spearheaded with the Equality Act in 2010. Under section 78 of Labour’s Equality Act 2010 legislation was passed to introduce mandatory pay audits, under which companies that employ more than 250 people have to publish details of their male and female staff’s pay.

 Today a Delegated Legislation Committee has finally voted and passed the Gender Pay Gap Information Regulations. The first such publications will be on 5 April 2018.  It has taken nearly seven years, for the Tories to bring into force a simple piece of legislation that Labour passed 7 years ago.

 The government have chosen to omit any sanctions or consequences if a company fails to comply. This lack of compliance sanctions is disappointing to me and makes me question how effective the legislation in closing the gender pay gap will be. There also needs to be a clear strategy to address chronic low paid, low progression sectors such as retail, care and hospitality where many women work.

Finally, I also challenge the Minister to question why women are being forced to pay for the failures of Tory Austerity. As of the last Autumn Statement, according to the House of Commons Library, 86% of net savings to the treasury through tax and benefit changes since 2010 have come from women. Ahead of the spring statement the government should be outlining how they plan to tackle economic inequality for women. So whilst I welcome any legislation from this government that moves towards ending gender economic inequality, it took too long and needs to go further. Lastly it is important that men speak out on this issue. As this is a matter for all of us.

My thoughts on the Gender Pay Gap

As a man, securing equal pay has been a mission of mine since becoming an MP in 1997. It is shocking to me that pay inequality – being paid less...

As you will have seen Theresa May has lost her case in the Supreme Court. The Judges decided by a majority of 8 to three that the government cannot trigger Article 50 without an Act of Parliament.

I believe it is the right thing that Parliament should have the ultimate say on when to trigger Article 50, therefore I am pleased with the Supreme Court's ruling.

I believe Parliament should respect the referendum result and not try to block negotiations before they even start. Article 50 is just the beginning of a long period of negotiations - so I will be voting to trigger Article 50 in March. I voted and campaigned to remain, but the majority of my constituents voted to leave. I will respect their vote.

However, I strongly believe that respecting the referendum result is not the same as giving the Prime Minister a blank cheque for Brexit. I am pleased that Labour will seek to amend the bill that comes forward.

Labour's job is to scrutinise and challenge the Tories throughout the Brexit process. Whilst respecting the referendum result, I will be closely examining the plans. We need a progressive plan to deal with the deep inequalities that are dividing Britain - the negotiations play a huge part in this and I will trying my best to ensure that we get a good deal for jobs, workers rights and a trade deal that is good for our economy both locally and nationally.

The country voted to leave but not for a reckless approach to our economy. I will not let Theresa May turn the UK into a bargain basement economy. This would widen inequality - increasing the profits of global cooperation's without helping working people. I will vigorously oppose any threat to rip up existing economic and social protections, including slashing corporate taxes and public spending. Living standards and public services must not be used as a bargaining chip in Brexit negotiations.

I will work hard to do all I can to ensure that my constituents get the best possible deal. But I cannot emphasise enough how important it is at this time that both leave and remain voters come together. We all want the best for Britain and our families - as these negotiations progress it's more important than ever to appreciate our common ground and to respect and be tolerant of each other's opinions.

Supreme Court Ruling on Article 50

As you will have seen Theresa May has lost her case in the Supreme Court. The Judges decided by a majority of 8 to three that the government cannot trigger Article...


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