Treasury and Charity

Yesterday at the House of Commons the debate was about the economy and work and pensions. After voting in the Deputy Speaker elections, doing some case work and tabling written questions about the Government’s plans to improve the quality of our rivers, I spent the afternoon in the Chamber. There were lively Treasury Questions with Coalition Ministers explaining the need for deficit reduction. Before the Election, Labour Ministers claimed that cutbacks had no international support, but the latest reports and meetings show that major countries, economic groupings and institutions are supportive of deficit reduction. Since the wobbly state of the Greek economy became known, international eyes have turned to look at nations with big deficits. The UK has one of the biggest. It is therefore vital that we can show that there is a plan to reduce it or there could be worse trouble with higher borrowing costs and interest payments becoming one of our largest expenditures. The burden of a high deficit also means higher taxes than are good for business and jobs. We need to get the country back on track. The Chancellor was good at explaining this in answers to questions and later in the main debate.

I also attended the launch of two campaigns – the RNIB on how to represent constituents with blindness or partial sight, which was full of good practical advice. I also went to the National Autistic Society launch of “You Need To Know”, their campaign for better Child and Mental Health services for children with autism. Parents and a user of services spoke movingly and Ministers Sarah Teather MP and Paul Burstow MP explained how important this issue is to Government and about a new initiative to drive improvements. I have signed an Early Day Motion by St Albans’ Anne Main MP asking for improved support. I have long supported this campaign and in the last parliament was one of Cheryl Gillan’s supporters for her Bill. It is good to see the battle continuing.

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