Local elections: Yorkshire can send a message over cost of living - Labour leader Keir Starmer

Tomorrow people across Yorkshire have big choices to make.

With the local elections there is a chance to address the region’s challenges, and to improve life for you, your family and your community.

These big choices are being made against the backdrop of an acute cost of living crisis, and a government which has only delivered slogans and empty promises to the people of Yorkshire.

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Where is that Bradford interchange they so loudly promised?

Labour Party leader, Sir Keir Starmer speaks to locals during local election campaigning on April 28, 2022 in Workington. Photo by Ian Forsyth/Getty Images.

But this is more than about their investment in your region. It’s about the Tories’ impact on your pockets.

Right across the region, people are feeling the pinch.

Working harder, and getting less.

Energy bills are soaring, food prices are on the up and taxes have been hiked.

People and businesses are making difficult choices to steady their finances, but the Government are missing in action. Too busy mopping up a mess of their own making, covering up criminality at the heart of Downing Street, and trying to save the skin of the Prime Minister.

While they’re scrambling around utterly distracted, Labour is laser focused on putting forward practical answers to bring energy bills down, get more money back in people’s pockets, and to help businesses weather this tough period. We would do this by introducing a one-off windfall tax on oil and gas companies – who are making billions in profit – to cut household energy bills.

We’d remove VAT for a year, taking up to £600 off bills for those that need it most.

All sensible, costed measures that could be brought in now. But Boris Johnson’s Conservatives are refusing to act.

This lack of action on the issues that matter to you is a pattern with this government.

They have consistently failed Yorkshire, despite their promises to ‘level up’ the North.

The people of Yorkshire have been left with a broken transport system. All the Conservative government has managed is a jumbled attempt to improve rail and bus infrastructure, wasting millions of taxpayer pounds and leaving residents still without a reliable and affordable way to get around Yorkshire and beyond.

Their attempt to persuade you that shaving a few minutes off train journeys here and there amounted to levelling up, was a gross underestimation of people here. People from Yorkshire will not be taken for fools.

Where the Government is missing, communities are stepping up.

Today I will be meeting with members of the community at a pensioners’ drop-in in Wakefield, to discuss their experience of the cost of living.

It’s the number one issue coming up when I’m out and about.

The people of Yorkshire deserve better, and the Labour Party is here to find out what you need to help improve the lives of you and your family.

I’ll also be joining local Labour Party candidates and activists in Kirklees. Throughout the local election campaign the Labour Party has shown that we are on the side of hardworking people, and will provide a positive and practical offer to put more money in people’s pockets.

Yorkshire is achieving an incredible amount. Imagine what could be achieved with the support of a government that is on your side.

Instead, the Tories’ answer to the cost of living crisis is to tax you more and make working people foot the bill for their failure. Families are facing the biggest fall in household incomes since records began. For every £6 the Conservatives are taking, they’re only giving £1 back.

It doesn’t have to be this way. You deserve better.

Politics is about choices.

Whether to tax oil and gas producers to put more money in your pocket. Or to let their profits soar and tax you more.

Whether to deliver on the promises to level up the region, or leave places like South Yorkshire with £0 of a £1.1bn bus funding announcement.

Whether to invest in our communities or hold local authorities to ransom, cutting millions of pounds in funding and making hard working families give more than they receive.

Tomorrow, Yorkshire also has a choice.

Use your vote on May 5 to send a message to the Tories on the cost of living crisis.

Vote Labour for a party that is on your side.