Over the last week, the Labour Party has been setting out its aims for the country at our annual conference in Liverpool.

In his speech, Leader Keir Starmer outlined how the Labour Party will build an economy that works for the whole country, focusing on growth & measures to improve our NHS, our schools, and to tackle crime & antisocial behaviour.

After thirteen years of consecutive Conservative Governments, our country is on its knees.

People’s mortgages are skyrocketing, and we are facing the biggest drop in living standards on record.

In Barnsley, thirteen years of Conservative neglect is evident, too.

There are over 40,000 households in Barnsley in fuel poverty as families struggle to manage the outrageous cost of energy bills on top of the high cost of living.

The average mortgage in Barnsley is costing people £1,500 per year, whilst workers are £100 worse off every month.

This is piling more financial stress onto people who have worked hard for their homes. Keir rightly said politics should tread lightly on people's lives and the financial burden of this Government’s mistakes should not fall to working people to carry.

But for too long, families like those in Barnsley have been burdened with the worry caused by Conservative Governments’ mistakes.

The Labour Party have a plan to lift our living standards, rebuild our public services and make work pay.

We know that people have been struggling financially across the country, and people in Barnsley are no exception.

They have told me about how they have had to skip meals, use a foodbank and sacrifice heating their homes to ensure their children can eat.

This is absolutely unacceptable, and people should never have to skip meals to feed their children.

Labour would introduce a real living wage, taking into account the actual cost of living, so that people can be certain that they will have enough to feed their families.

We would also introduce the National Wealth Fund to create better jobs across the country for a huge range of industries, so that people can be sure that work really does pay.

Aside from improving the state of household finances, we would also bolster our public services by recovering the £7 billion lost to fraud during the pandemic, and abolishing the tax loophole allowing the richest people to avoid paying their way.

We would use this money to invest in our NHS, our schools and our police services, to cut the NHS wait list, help our struggling schools and invest in stronger policing to tackle antisocial behaviour, so that communities across the country can once again feel healthy and safe.

We are committed to not repeating the mistakes of the devastating Conservative mini budget that crashed the economy. Labour would create a law requiring any Government making significant and permanent tax changes to have had an independent forecast from the Office of Budget Responsibility first.

People across the country deserve so much better than the sticking plaster politics of the Conservative Party, and Labour is ready to serve and ready to govern.