We are in the midst of the most sustained cost of living crisis since the 1870s - a crisis that is affecting many hard working people in our area.
People are working harder than ever but earning less. Pay, after inflation is on average £1500 a year lower since this Government came into office. At the same time as wages have been falling, costs have been increasing, with prices rising faster than wages in 39 of the 40 months of this Government.
We know that insecurity at work is at the heart of this living standards crisis too. A key example of this is abuse of zero-hours contracts, the use of which has spiked in recent years. Under these contracts, unscrupulous employers can insist workers be available even when there is no guarantee of any work while requiring them to work exclusively for them, and they can refuse to give employees the security of a contract when they're routinely working regular hours.
It is right that employers and employees need flexibility but exploitation of this kind should not be happening. We need an economy where prosperity is fairly shared with good, well-paid jobs and fairness and security in the workplace.