The Spending Review & the local economy

Last week in Parliament the Chancellor announced his spending review, which had a number of important pledges that will impact on families across North Warwickshire & Bedworth.

It has become clear that having that long-term plan and focusing on economic stability over the last five years is now paying off. Tax receipts and growth has been revised upwards and because of difficult decisions being taken by the Government it meant that more money can be spent on our local hospitals with a £10 billion real increase for the NHS, with the first £6 billion delivered up-front next year. Police spending will now be protected and more money will be spent on our security; which is only right with the continuing threat of extremism in the UK. The other big announcement from George Osborne was that Tax Credits would also be protected. Many people had written to me with their concerns over the issue and will be relieve that the Chancellor has found savings elsewhere.

Ultimately the UK is still spending too much and we have to pay off debts the size of the Defence budget each year; this is unsustainable. That is why efficiency savings across most departments is necessary. I believe the Chancellor is right to target a surplus, to ‘fix the roof when the sun is shining’. If the economic outlook become bleak in the future we need to make sure we are ready so that we are not as badly affected as we were after the financial crash in 2008.

In the West Midlands employment is up and businesses continue to grow. Over the last parliament 130,000 jobs were created, the number of businesses grew by 42,300 and the number of people claiming the key out of work benefits more than halved, a fall of 83,580. Over 1000 new apprenticeships have started in North Warwickshire & Bedworth in the last year alone. The national and local economy is looking a lot stronger than it did only a few years ago.

Locally planning continues to be a contentious issue. I recently hosted an information event for residents at Bedworth Woodlands Working Men’s Club so that local people can engage with the Council’s Borough Plan and see the effects it will have on their community. Many local people are concerned with proposals to build on the Woodlands and I share these concerns. I believe there is a strong argument for the Woodlands to be brought back into protected greenbelt status.

At the time of writing, tomorrow the vote on whether to bomb ISIS in Syria will be held in Parliament.

I understand the point of view that taking actions has consequences, but equally not taking action has consequences too.

I will listen to both sides of the debate carefully before deciding which way to vote.

Craig Tracey MP