National Insurance Contribuions Bill

Today there will be the Second Reading of the National Insurance Contributions Bill. The Chancellor of the Exchequer, George Osborne, announced the introduction of a new Employment Allowance in his Budget Speech in March this year.

Starting in April 2014 all businesses, charities and community sports clubs will be entitled to claim up to £2,000 from their annual payment of secondary Class 1 National Insurance contributions (NICs). Class 1 NICs are paid by both employees and employers on the employee’s earnings. The employee’s share is known as the primary contribution, the employer’s as the secondary contribution. Employers are liable to pay secondary Class 1 NICs at 13.8% on all employee earnings above the secondary threshold which is set at £148 a week.

Whilst all businesses in Bury will benefit it will be of most benefit to the very smallest companies in and to the sole trader looking to take on their very first employee.

Bury Market

George and I enjoying Black Peas and Mint Sauce

George and I enjoying Black Peas and Mint Sauce

I was pleased to welcome the Shadow Chancellor of the Exchequer George Osborne M.P. to Bury on Friday morning when we toured Bury Market. George and I spoke to traders and shoppers about the current economic situation.

In the afternoon we both attended the North West Conservatives conference at the Reebok Stadium where George opened the Conference. Later in the afternoon I spoke in the health debate about the situation at Fairfield Hospital.

The Pound and the G20

I think the Shadow Chancellor George Osborne MP was absolutely right to point out that the recent slide in the value of the pound has been as a direct result of the fact that under Labour our Country has simply been spending more and borrowing more than it can afford. He is right to point out that if Labour carry on in the same direction with yet more borrowing then the likely result is that the value of streling will fall even further.

This weekend has seen the leaders of the twenty largest countries – the so called G20 – meeting in Washington USA to discuss the economic crisis. Too little, too late is my view. I doubt that any of us will notice any improvement in our financial position as a result of the meeting just a talking shop. It occured to me that if the G20 Leaders are so concerned about global warming surely they could have had the same discussions via a global video conference much cheaper and more efficient.

This past week I have been busy with the campaign. I attended a coffee morning in Fusiliers Court on Tuesday. I did some leafletting and had various meetings with Party officials at our Regional headquarters in Salford.