KENSINGTON LABOUR ‘SET TO CHANGE HISTORY’
Press release for immediate publication, Kensington CLP 24.09.15
At the last meeting for all members of the Labour Party in Kensington, two Motions were accepted that could change the course of history.
The first Motion was written by the architect of Kensington Labour’s General Election campaign, Cllr Emma Dent Coad. ‘Stop Taxpayer Funding of the Monarchy’ demands an end to the taxpayers’ subsidy of a family with several members residing in Kensington. When many low-income families in the borough are struggling to pay their bills including tax, it is perverse to continue subsidising the extravagant lifestyle of those who are already financially secure and well housed – and who are exempted from paying tax themselves. It is estimated that £334m a year could be saved by ceasing these payments.
The second Motion, proposed by CLP Vice-Chair Sina Lari, calls for ‘The total elimination of nuclear weapons worldwide including Trident’. This Motion was selected by Kensington Labour members to go forward to the Labour Party Conference for debate – and has been accepted for the ‘priorities ballot’, a list of 18 Motions out of which around eight are chosen.
If this final important hurdle is overcome, Kensington Labour delegate to Conference, Emma Dent Coad, has the chance to move the Motion to Conference, which if agreed would then become Labour Party policy.
Emma said: ‘I am delighted that both these Motions were agreed by our members. There are many arguments in support of both, but in cost terms alone giving financial support of £334m/year to the monarchy, and the so-called nuclear deterrent, where Trident costs the nation well over £200bn over its lifetime, cannot possibly be justified in a time of government cuts that are devastating our communities.
‘Much credit for this must go to our wonderful members, whose numbers have more than tripled in the past four months; we are still getting new members every day. It is down to them that these history-making Motions have been agreed.’
STOP TAXPAYER FUNDING OF THE MONARCHY
North Kensington houses some of the poorest families in London, where children can be born undernourished, undersized, and can suffer from rickets. Barely two miles south, an unemployed couple with two children has been given a 20-room home in a state-owned palace, and an estimated £36m/year allowance, paid for by taxpayers.
The campaign group Republic published a report ‘Royal Finances’ which states that the true cost of the monarchy to the taxpayer is £334m/year – a figure including the sovereign grant, security bill, buildings maintenance, and the loss of tax from the Duchies of Lancaster and Cornwall.
In a time of huge pressure from the Conservative government to reduce welfare payments, even to the most vulnerable and needy, families who are endowed with income from a huge personal property portfolio plus financial assets should forgo reliance on state aid.
Ending the heavy financial burden of the monarchy will be a demonstration of fairness and equality, setting an example to all who would avoid or evade tax, or who without justification are a burden on the state.
Conference demands the end of the annual subsidy to the monarchy of £334m of taxpayers’ money, that comprises the sovereign grant of £40m/year, £18.5m allowance for each of the 18 ‘working royals’ (whether or not they work), and demands the implementation of tax responsibilities to the Duchies of Lancaster and Cornwall, which are owned by ‘The Crown’ or nation, and not by the monarch or her heir.
The total elimination of nuclear weapons worldwide including Trident
On 6 August at the commemoration ceremony marking the 70th anniversary of the Hiroshima bombing, Shinzo Abe, the Prime Minister of Japan, announced that he would submit new resolutions to the United Nations General Assembly in Autumn this year and to the G7 Foreign Ministers’ Meeting to be held at Hiroshima next year, for real determination for the total elimination of nuclear weapons.
Conference notes that the estimated lifetime cost of the Trident nuclear weapons system is £100 billion; believes that this is wholly unjustified at a time of devastating cuts in public spending; believes that nuclear weapons do nothing for the security of Britain or the world; further believes that Trident replacement would breach Article V1 of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty.
Conference resolves to support the scrapping of Trident and any plans for its replacement. Conference urges all Labour MPs to vote against Trident replacement and calls on the Labour Party to prioritise practical plans to transition the highly-skilled work-force away from nuclear weapons production into more socially productive industries to protect jobs and skills and to help grow the British economy.
Conference calls on all Labour Party members, Labour Party units and affiliates to campaign against Trident and against plans for its replacement. Conference calls for support at the UN and G7 for the new resolutions from the Prime Minister of Japan for international agreement for the total elimination of nuclear weapons world-wide.