For King Charles it was the first King’s Speech in 70 years and for Rishi Sunak his last chance to show he understands the issues facing the British people and, after 13 years of Tory government, can address them. I wanted targets for house building, affordable social housing, and a law that all new buildContinue reading Was it worth the wait?
Are the railways now a metaphor for our incompetent government? Billions have been spent on HS2, promised as the zero carbon, high speed, rail network of the future. Now it won’t even reach central London and the link to Manchester and beyond may never be built. This year has seen industrial disputes, cancellations, and tooContinue reading Thomas the Tank
Rishi Sunak wants to be your friend, at least he wants to be somebody’s friend. Last week he posed for pictures at a pub on the very day he increased taxes on your favourite tipple. He claims it’s a public health measure, protecting us from ourselves. It means almost another £1 on a bottle ofContinue reading PM sounds way too much like a fair-weather pal
The Nat West Bank has been making news for the wrong reasons especially given it’s almost 40% owned by the British taxpayer, having been bailed out by the government in 2008. It also owns the posh bank Coutt’s who are reputed to only accept customers with at least £1million. It’s emerged that not only doContinue reading Bank on PM not to care
Last week, I led a parliamentary debate on ending animal testing for new drugs and medicines. It’s a controversial subject with renewed interest since news that, after a 25-year ban, the government has agreed to resume some tests for cosmetic ingredients. I’ll confess that, despite knowing how strongly people feel about animal testing, I’ve beenContinue reading Animal Testing Must End
This week I asked the Minister for Apprenticeships and Skills about the £600 million levy returned to the Treasury due to the drop of apprenticeship starts this year. Given the skills shortages affecting our economy, it would make sense to let businesses in my constituency and elsewhere utilise at least some of that returned moneyContinue reading What is the Government doing with the apprenticeship levy?
Recently, the Government announced its latest attempt to address the financial chaos caused by the mini-budget in October. This Budget was a chance for the government to unlock Britain’s promise and potential. But instead they decided to continue papering over the cracks of 13 years of economic failure. Failure which means that the UK willContinue reading A Tired Budget
This year, English Tourism Week runs from 17th to 26th March. English tourism generated over £100 billion in 2019 and supported 2.6 million jobs. I was privileged to visit Cadbury World to celebrate tourism in my constituency and the role Cadbury plays in the local economy. Cadbury World is Birmingham’s largest tourist attraction and receivesContinue reading English Tourism Week: Visit to Cadbury World
It’s good news that the nurses have received a pay offer which will hopefully mean no more strikes. They are the last people who should be driven to taking such drastic action. It is shocking, however, that the money for their pay settlement will have to be found from existing NHS budgets at the sameContinue reading Rewards for the Rich
I wrote this column before the Chancellor’s speech but, thanks to pre-budget leaks, the content is hardly a state secret. He has more money to play with than anticipated and is likely to target areas where opinion polls show Labour taking a lead. He’ll relax staff/child ratios for nurseries. It’s been done in Scotland withContinue reading Finding Holes in the Budget