Recent low inflation rates

March 3, 2015

There has been some encouraging news on the inflation rate recently and it is important to examine the benefits that this will bring to our economy. The CPI inflation rate fell to a record low of 0.3% in January, helped especially by lower food and oil prices. This downward trend looks set to continue with the possibility of negative inflation coming briefly in the Spring, according to the Governor of the Bank of England. Mr Carney also said that the falling oil price was “unambiguously good” for the economy and motorists have seen petrol prices fall by more than 8p per litre.

All this will have positive effects on the British economy, with the Bank of England predicting growth this year of 2.6% which have led to forecasts of strong wage growth this year.

This is good for hardworking people across the country. Falling prices and rising wages means that more and more pressure is being lifted from family budgets, and this should support growth in consumer spending.

The recovery is, of course, not complete, but these figures are another sign that the Long-term Economic Plan is working. The deficit is down by a half, a thousand jobs have been created for every day that this Government has been in office, and now, low inflation and increasing wages are making life easier for families up and down the country. Britain should stay the course.

East Herts District Council Community Grants

February 27, 2015

East Herts District Council are offering Community Activity Grants of up to £500. This money is intended to help with new or replacement equipment, day to day running costs or one of costs for community events which benefit the people of East Hertfordshire. Parish Councils, community/voluntary groups, clubs and parish councils are all invited to apply. The deadline for applications is this Monday 2 March. For more details about how to apply please click here.

I appreciate the deadline for applications for these grants is quite soon but I strongly encourage constituents to apply for them if they can so that they can enjoy some benefit from any grants within the community.

Feelin’ Good Week means awards of up to £500 for groups in Hertfordshire…

February 13, 2015

Following the Secretary of State for Education’s speech yesterday about the money being provided by the Government to help families with mental health support, I was pleased to read that as part of “Feelin’ Good Week” which has run this week, £20,000 has also been awarded to community groups and schools in Hertfordshire by Hertfordshire County Council and the county’s two NHS Clinical Commissioning Groups.

Feelin’ Good Week is a Hertfordshire wide event which has been set up to improve the emotional wellbeing and mental health of children and young people in the county through community events and activities. In Hertfordshire as many as 47 organisations have been given awards of up to £500 each. Within the constituency these include Icknield Walk First School, Stonehill School, Greenaway School and local authority groups and charities such as the East and North Herts NHS Trust, The Education Support Team for Medical Absence, Aspects, PHASE, the Pre-School Leaning Alliance and Step2.

I am a keen supporter of such schemes that help those with mental health needs and am glad that both on a national and local scale help is being provided to help children who need it.

Nominations are open for the Campaign to protect Rural England’s Hertfordshire Rural Living Awards

February 13, 2015

I was pleased to hear that nominations have opened for the Campaign to protect Rural England’s Hertfordshire Rural Living Awards. These are intended to recognise the efforts made by groups or individuals who have improved life and bettered the environment in Hertfordshire’s villages and countryside. The two categories for these are as below:

• Rural Community Living
• Rural Environment

There are also two Rural Living Champion Awards and these are:

• The Dorothy Abel Smith Award for a young person aged up to 18 who has made an outstanding contribution to rural living
• The Peterkin Award for an adult who has made an outstanding contribution to rural living

Details about how to nominate people and the necessary forms to do so can be found here. I am a strong supporter of the rural community in my constituency. There are many that make a valuable contribution to it and I hope that people will consider nominating them so that their hard work is suitably recognised.

Tax cuts – part of the plan

January 29, 2015

The Conservative Party believes that if someone works hard and earns money, they should be able to spend as much as possible, as they like. The Government has no intrinsic right to it: it’s yours. This is why low taxes are so important. People spend their own money, helping the economy.

Since 2010, this Government has cut income tax for over 24 million people, with an average saving of £705, but the Conservatives want to go further after the election. We plan to take everyone who earns less than £12,500 out of income tax altogether, and raise the 40p tax threshold so that no-one earning less than £50,000 pays it. This will provide a tax cut and more disposable income for 30 million people. It will help the economy to grow.

We would do this while cutting the deficit. Over the last five years, Conservatives in Government have halved the deficit while cutting income tax, and in the next Parliament, we’ll do the same again: eliminating the deficit while reducing taxes. The Prime Minister has said that after years of sacrifice, the British people deserve a reward. People whose hard work and personal sacrifices have got this country through the difficult times should come first.

The other main parties have said that, instead, they would tax people more. This would not recognise the sacrifices that the British people have already made, and it would be an attack on aspiration. Only the Conservatives are committed to cutting taxes and building a Britain that rewards work.

Our long-term economic plan will cut tax, create growth, and allow us to cut the deficit.

Crime is at its lowest rate on record

January 28, 2015

I welcome news that crime has fallen by a fifth, its lowest rate on record. This means that last year there were 2.4 million fewer crimes than in the year 2009/10. Hertfordshire Constabulary has produced an 18% drop in crime since the last General Election. This is thanks to the hard work of our Police, and measures taken to improve the service.

The Government has:

  1. Cut red tape and scrapped unnecessary targets saving 4.5 million hours of Police time; time now used on the front line,
  2. Provided tougher sentences for criminals so communities are protected and justice is done,
  3. Given the Police the latest tools and techniques to tackle criminals,
  4. Stopped people from becoming criminals by tackling the root causes of crime,
  5. Made the Police answer to the community to help drive down crime.

Hertfordshire has traditionally been very fortunate with its low rates of crime, but we are seeing them drop even more. Across the county, the 150,000 fewer homes burgled, 317,000 fewer vehicle crimes, and 400,000 fewer violent crimes are making our street and communities safer every year. I congratulate the Police for all their hard work. There is more to do, but the plan is working.

The latest economic figures from the ONS – the plan is working

January 28, 2015

It was nice to see good economic figures coming from the Office for National Statistics. In 2014, the British economy grew by 2.6%, the fastest since 2007, before the start of the Brown crash. This 2.6% growth is up from 2013’s 1.7%, and many economic sectors are performing well. Locally, our economy is growing even faster, at 6% a year.

On top of this, the IMF is predicting national growth of 2.7% next year, with other forecasters predicting figures as high as 3%. We have every reason to be encouraged by the state of the national finances.

These results put the UK amongst the best-performing of all the major economies, and, with oil prices tumbling, credit remaining affordable, and inflation at a record low, disposable income is rising. This puts us in a strong position.

There are international storm clouds and uncertainties of the General Election are coming up. It is more vital than ever that the UK sticks to our long-term economic plan and stay on the road to a more stable and more secure future. A Labour/SNP coalition would lead to economic chaos.


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