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Unemployment continues to fall


New figures published today show unemployment continues to fall as the economy strengthens. Since Labour were in power in 2010 the number of people in work has increased by 2.05 million and unemployment has fallen by nearly 0.7 million. In Wycombe, unemployment has fallen by 1,148 people since April 2010. Over the last year 80 per cent of the jobs created have been full-time, with only around one in 50 people working on zero-hour contracts. Unlike the last Labour government […]

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Fairer funding for schools announced


The Government has announced that schools in some of the least fairly funded local areas in the country will benefit from a £390 million cash boost in the biggest step towards fairer schools funding in a decade. The schools budget in Buckinghamshire will increase by £18m. Schools in Wycombe should see their per pupil funding increase by £264. There has long been an unfairness in the funding system which meant that local schools were not receiving the funding they deserved. This […]

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Westminster Hall debate on public consent for local plans


Yesterday in Parliament, I led a Westminster Hall debate on the issue of public consent for local plans. I introduced my remarks as follows, I begin by outlining two key problems. First, land for development is extremely scarce in Wycombe, and there is real public anger at the prospect of building on all of High Wycombe’s reserve sites, which would further burden the inadequate infrastructure, especially our roads. Secondly, there is an obvious, acute need for more homes, especially those […]

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Changes to Stop and Search


One of my guiding principles is equality under the law.  For us all to live peaceably with each other we must feel that everyone is treated fairly by the police and judicial system.  This is why it was good to see the Home Secretary has announced reforms to stop and search. In Wycombe, there are a large number of people from minority backgrounds. Official figures show that if you are from a non-white background you are up to six times […]

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Air Passenger Duty Cuts


Air passenger duty is a tax paid by airlines which is typically passed onto their customers within ticket costs. It is banded on the distance from London to countries’ capital cities, with a reduced rate for economy class passengers. At Budget 2014, the Government announced a significant reform to air passenger duty to bring the cost of long-haul travel down to a uniform duty rate. From 1 April 2015 any country over 2,000 miles from London will fall into the […]

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Help to Work Scheme Launches


The Help to Work scheme – a new intensive support scheme to get the long-term unemployed into work – launched last week. A key part of the Government’s long-term economic plan is to deliver the highest levels of employment, making sure that everyone who can work is given the support and opportunity to do so.  The Help to Work Scheme will give Job Centre staff a new range of options to support the hardest to help people and provide more support […]

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Bootleggers and Baptists – explaining the characteristics of government regulation


Because I am today a member of a small Baptist church, I feel I can get away with posting this great video which is a little unkind about us. There may be some people at my church who don’t drink but I’m not aware of anyone having a theological objection to alcohol sales on a Sunday and lobbying for a ban. I guess the author of the video has other experiences. The video explains why government regulation tends to have […]

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Draft Deregulation Bill to save millions each year


The Government recently published its draft Deregulation Bill to remove unnecessary bureaucracy. It will amend 182 different pieces of legislation and should make savings for public bodies, businesses and individuals worth a minimum of £62 million per year. This is paltry compared to the £4 billion budget of relevant regulators, but I suppose it is better than progress in the other direction. The Bill will: Free business from red tape, including by: Scrapping health & safety rules for self-employed workers in low […]

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Our ballooning national debt – is City AM the only paper worth reading?


This morning in City A.M., Editor Allister Heath writes once again about the lamentable failure of the political and media class properly to inform the public debate on our country’s finances. Referring to a poll asking whether the Coalition is cutting the national debt, keeping it the same or increasing it: These same questions were first asked at the beginning of the year by ComRes, last time on behalf of the Centre for Policy Studies. Depressingly, the public’s economic literacy […]

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The Government vs the State


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ConservativeHome reports that the Government (the ministers) are scaling up their battle against the civil service: Outside of Manchester, the most significant political speech of the day is being delivered by Francis Maude to the Institute for Government. Indeed, it could actually be more significant than “the most personal speech ever given by a British political leader,” too. For Mr Maude’s subject is the structural relationship between government and the civil service, and how it should be altered. His words will […]

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