Labour leader joins local candidate in Ayr

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Local Scottish Labour Candidate Sandra Osborne joined Labour Leader Ed Miliband in Ayr last week.

The Labour leader was in Ayr to address the annual congress of the Scottish Trades Union Congress (STUC).

Mr Miliband highlighted Labour policies to raise the minimum wage to more than £8 and abolish zero-hours contracts.

Ed Miliband said: “The battle to build a country that works for working people is the story of our movement, and here in Scotland you have always answered the call.

“When people asked a hundred years who would fight for workers’ rights, it was Scottish trade unionists who said, call on me.

“When people asked after the war, who will ensure education reaches all working people, it was Jennie Lee who inspired the change and said call on me.

“When people asked a generation ago, who will make a minimum wage central to Labour’s programme, it was John Smith who said call on me.

“And then, when the people of Scotland asked who will fight for and lead a Scottish Parliament , it was Donald Dewar who said call on me.

“There is still poverty pay despite the minimum wage. I will not tolerate that in the country I lead. We will write the next chapter in the fight against poverty pay in our country.

“Still today we have a country with Victorian working conditions in the 21st century.

“A text message at 6am to tell people on a zero-hours contract whether they have work. I will not tolerate that in the country I lead.”

He described the “blacklisting” of employees who engage in trade union activity by contractors and companies as “odious” and said a Labour government would launch a full inquiry into the practice.

“It will have one purpose and one purpose alone: to put an end to blacklisting right across the United Kingdom,” he said.

Mr Miliband attacked Conservative tax policies as “unfair, regressive and reprehensible”, highlighting Labour plans for a 50p top rate of income tax, a tax on bankers’ bonuses, a mansion tax and a crackdown on tax avoidance.

He accused David Cameron of “double deceit” over Conservative plans for the NHS, saying: “They are not being straight about their extreme plans to double the cuts to public services next year.

“And they are not being straight when they promise to protect the NHS, but cannot say where a penny of additional money will come from.

“There is nothing more dangerous than this for our National Health Service. This double deceit is a double danger to the NHS.”