Jo McCarron introduced Labour's Shadow Chancellor, Ed Balls, and Shadow Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, Rachel Reeves, at the launch of Labour's economic plan for the South West.
The launch was held at Airbus in Filton, where Jo, Ed and Rachel were given a tour of the factory where Airbus assembles the wings for the A400M military transport plane, before holding a Q&A with local businesses.
Jo spoke about the basic choice facing the country in May: "A Tory economy that works for those at the very top – or a Labour plan rooted in the understanding that an economy is only on track when people across constituencies like Kingswood feel things improving for their own household budget."
She also spoke about the particular opportunities in Kingswood to expand the number of high-skilled, well-paid jobs: "We have three universities on our doorstep, as well as the beating heart of Britain’s aerospace industry. That position has already enabled the establishment and growth of the National Composite Centre in Emersons Green, and the neighbouring Science Park, where Ed visited with me recently to launch Labour's export review with Graham Cole. We need to help make sure that within the Kingswood constituency we continue building on Bristol’s great aerospace and engineering heritage."
Ed Balls and Rachel Reeves outlined Labour's plans to:
- Cut then freeze business rates for small businesses, helping 181,000 properties in the South West. Paid for by scrapping a planned cut in corporation tax.
- Devolve £30 billion of funding to regions across the country.
- Establish a British Investment Bank to invest in small businesses which had struggled to borrow from the regular banks to fund their growth plans.
- Guarantee an apprenticeship for every school leaver who gets the required grades by 2020.