By JOHN MILLINGTON in Britain:
Last Labour government ‘too close to big business’, admits Andy Burnham
Wednesday 7th May 2014
“He is prepared to intervene where markets do not work like freezing energy prices,” he said.
“Power and justice need to be more evenly spread throughout the classes.
“Cynicism is the biggest threat to the chances of the next Labour government.”
But Mr Burnham refused to be drawn on whether Labour would repeal the anti-trade union laws, saying he supported strong trade unions representing their members “responsibly.”
And he was roundly applauded for accusing big business party Ukip of using immigration as a smokescreen for wanting to totally “deregulate the labour market.”
He said: “We need to learn from the spirit of ’45 and deal with a situation that there are too many people living in fear of losing their jobs.”
On mental illness, Mr Burnham noted that there are 40 million prescriptions a year for mental health-related problems and he said at the root of this “exponential increase” was a feeling of financial insecurity.
He praised the union for its campaigning on work-related mental health problems and he pledged to “halt the advance of the market” into the NHS, if Labour is elected next year.
Mr Burnham said: “We are witnessing an epidemic of insecurity. It is affecting the bottom half of society.”
Asked to respond to government policy that universal credit changes in 2017 will see benefits docked from claimants who turn down the offer of zero-hours contract job, Mr Burnham slammed the government for “embedding” the exploitative jobs into the economy.
He labelled the increased use of zero-hours contracts a “cancer that needs to be cut out,” although he fell short of calling for an outright ban insisting workers should have a choice.