My final visit of 2012 before the Christmas and New Year break was to visit the patients, staff and volunteers at Bury Hospice. As ever everyone was very positive and upbeat. I am particularly indebted to Jacquie Comber the Chief executive for taking the time to show me round the new Hospice buildings which will provide even better surroundings for the excellent care which is provided for at Bury Hospice.
So many people have contributed in so many ways to the new Hospice buildings everyone can feel justly proud and the larger accommodation will greatly increase the services available at the Hospice. I look forward to visiting again once it the building is operational.
It soon became apparent after my election that our Country will never be able to compete again fully on the World stage unless we free ourselves fron the clutches of the European Union (EU). It was for this reason I joined the Better Off Out Group in Parliament a Group which I was elected Chairman of a few months ago.
It is by no means only supporters of UKIP who believe we would be better off outside the EU. I believe there are millions of supporters in all the other parties who think the same. We have known for some time that the Prime Minister has been planning a major speech setting out his view for the way forward on our relationship with the EU and yesterday he announced in the Commons he expects to make the speech next month.
We already know alot of what the Prime Minister thinks. Like me he wants to see powers retrieved from the European Union. I wish him well in his efforts. I would encourage him to go further and negotiate a much looser relationship with the EU. ‘Yes’ to trade. ‘No’ to the EU trying to tell this Country what to do. We should not have to pay billions of pounds every year simply to have the right to sell our goods into other EU countries.
The suggestion which is always made whenever anyone raises the question of the UK leaving the EU is that we would lose millions of jobs. No evidence is ever produced and in any event no one ever considers how much better British Companies will do in selling their goods and services to the rest of the World when they are not burdened by EU rules and regulations. Furthermore the rest of the EU export more to us than we do to them so they have no reason to exclude us from their markets. Why would our European neighbours want to prevent us from selling our goods and services to them. I have never suggested any form of measures to protect British Companies from imports. I think we should make it as easy as possible for countries who want to trade with us to sell us their goods and likewise we shoula then have the same rights to sell to them. There is no need for a huge bureaucracy just a simple free trade agreement.
The simple message from the Chancellor’s Autumn Statement yesterday was that although the road to recovery is a long and difficult one we are making progress. I think the central choice facing the electorate at the next General election is already becoming clear. Continue along the road to recovery (despite it being long and difficult) or to turn back. A return to spending more and borrowing more would be a disaster. I think that once people consider this central question most will decide that it does not make sense to hand the reigns of power back to the Party which put us in this mess in the first place.
The Government has reduced the size of the budget deficit by a quarter in two years and the forecast is that the budget deficit will go on being reduced. Of course UK PLC will only be able to start paying off our debt once the deficit is cleared completely.
By making more savings from bureaucracy and from the benefits bill and by making the better of pay more the Chancellor has been able to do more to help hard working families and businesses.
Central to helping families with the cost of living the Chancellor has cancelled the 3p per litre increase in the price of fuel planned for next month. Next April the amount people can earn before paying tax will increase by £1,335, the largest ever cash rise. 24 million people in the Country will get a tax cut. The Government will have taken 2.2 million of the lowest paid workers out of tax altogether.
Billions of pounds more are to be spent on capital investment in science, education and new roads and to help British businesses compete a further 1p cut in the the Corporation Tax means that under this Government the headline rate of Corporation Tax will have fallen from 28% to 21%.
I know from my meetings with businesses in Bury that they will be particularly pleased with the ten fold increase in teh capital allowance available for small companies from £25,000 to £250,000. This will boost growth and be a real help to small companies wanting to invest in new plant and machinery.
Of course Labour will claim it could all be so much easier and the difficult decisions could all be avoided, well the electorate will be able to decide in 2015. Simple choice: continue on the road to recovery or turn back to the road to ruin