Today was an Opposition day in Parliament. This means that rather than the Government setting the business of the House, the Opposition party does. Labour chose to debate the Government's economic policies.
MPs from both sides of the House engaged in lengthy debates about how the Government is tackling the deficit and I made a number of interventions on the Shadow Chancellor. You will see from his response that I may have riled him somewhat!
It is a great asset of our democracy that backbenchers and frontbenchers can debate in such a way, and I relished the opportunity to stand up for the Government's policies.
Whilst my speech is too long to show in full here, I have given an extract below of matters pertinent to Dover and Deal:
Youth unemployment has also started to move strongly— although perhaps not as strongly as wider unemployment —in the right direction. Surely the House must welcome that. Manufacturing output is also moving more in the right direction, after being halved in the Labour years, and now being about 11% of our economy. I hope that the economy will rebalance under this Government so that we are less dependent on banks and fat cats—for party donations, frankly—on handing out knighthoods and on bonuses, and more dependent on much more productive service and manufacturing industries. We need less of financial services and housing, and more of making things, producing things, servicing things, and—yes—education.
The narrative of what this Government are doing is to ensure that our economy is stronger, that our work force are more incentivised to work by making work pay through universal credit, and that they are not only incentivised to work but given the skills to work under the Government's skills and education agenda. We can have a country that is more productive, where more people want to be in employment, where we do not suck in people from overseas to do the jobs, and where we ensure that our countrymen are encouraged to get into work, do their part, fulfil their potential and have more of a sense of dignity, happiness and well-being. That will allow us to build a Britain that is fit for this decade, and it will ensure that we steam ahead, further ahead, of our European colleagues, and do well.
The full debate can be found here
It has been an honour and privilege to serve as Member of Parliament for Dover & Deal. I hope to be re-elected to serve our community for another term.
Many of my appearances in the House of Commons are now on Youtube. Please click the link to watch the footage.
Please email me at email@example.com or ring my office on 01304 379669 if you need to get in touch.