|Mary Macleod's September Column|
Tough Times Ahead
So the Coalition Government has now passed the milestone of one hundred days since the General Election. Although some may have felt we wouldn’t get this far, I believe that the Coalition has proved itself to be strong and is helping to bring about a new style of politics characterised by discussion, debate and, at times, compromise.
Much has been achieved already in these first one hundred days in government. We’ve made some tough decisions in the Emergency Budget to tackle the record deficit, new laws have been passed to allow the creation of new Academies to reinvigorate the education system, a radical reform of policing is underway and we have announced new measures to gain control of spending on welfare and housing. We have also scrapped Identity Cards, one of the previous government’s worst assaults on civil liberties and in my view, a waste of money. And, of course, we have also stopped the plans for the third runway at Heathrow, something I campaigned very hard to bring about.
The Emergency Budget had to be tough – we had no choice on whether to deal with the deficit. We could not go on spending more on debt interest than we do on Education. Without action on spending, there will be no growth in the future. However, I believe that the budget was fair and progressive. The most important aim of the budget is to encourage growth so that new jobs are created and we can help people off benefits and into work. Increasing the income tax threshold also directly helps those on lower incomes.
There have been some positive signs of recovery in the economy this week, with the fastest growth in more than two years being reported for the second quarter of this year. However, there is no room for complacency and we know that there are tough times ahead as we continue to deal with the deficit and do what we must to get the economy back on track.
On a lighter note, I was delighted to see the recent success of our local schoolchildren in both GCSE’s and A level examinations. I would like to take this opportunity to congratulate all our schools, teachers and students on their hard work and excellent results. I particularly want to mention Brentford School for Girls and Chiswick Community School who improved their grades significantly but there are also many other schools locally who are celebrating excellent results.
My advice surgeries continue to be very busy across the constituency. If you have an issue that you think I might be able to help with, please call my office on 020 7219 7023 or email me at email@example.com and one of my team will be happy to help you.
September 10, 2010