Friday, 22 October 2010

The Comprehensive Spending Review - Agenda for Growth

It has been a challenging time getting a grip on the scale of the mess that was left to us by the Labour Government. We have inherited a deficit that costs us over £700 million per WEEK just in interest. That would pay for countless hospitals, schools and public services if invested in this country rather than going to pay off the last government’s deficit.

So the Chancellor has started to readjust the budget because if we don’t address the deficit, domestic interest rates would rise threatening homes; economic instability would threaten more jobs; and small businesses would not grow.

We also said that we would protect the most vulnerable. We have been able to save bus passes, free prescription charges and the winter fuel allowance. In addition we have put an extra £2bn into social care which is so very important locally, secured an important council tax freeze, and allocated £6.5 bn to new social housing.

This review covers the full parliament so the figures are over 4 years - not cuts in one year. So by putting this in place now for the rest of the Parliament, we are giving families and businesses clarity and certainty for the future.

And while the cuts have attracted the headlines, it is growth in the economy that matters. Increased investment in green jobs – great for Thanet. Also the significant funding for poorer children will benefit our local schools, with a strong reference to supporting seaside towns from Ministers and a new approach to getting people back into work.

Yes the benefits system has had to be reformed but from these measures we will be able to support most people from benefits into the world of work that will provide happier, healthier and more fulfilling lives for them and their families.

Things won’t be easy over the next few years but I am here to fight your corner, get what we need for Thanet and support all our residents with their questions and issues.

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