With the Chancellor of the Exchequer’s Budget Statement filling the halls of Westminster with excitement, it might be useful to take a look at some of the economic accomplishments that have been achieved whether more recently or since the Conservatives entered Government eight years ago, writes Sir Edward Leigh MP.
Fundamental to the entire philosophy that governs this Government’s policies is that idea that people need to be independent, have control over their own lives and be able to make their own decisions, if necessary, with a helping hand (be it from the state or others).
For any adult, the steady income of a job is fundamental to one’s sense of independence and self-worth.
The fact that unemployment is at its lowest level for over four decades is a great achievement.
Since 2010, an average of over 1,000 jobs have been created every day.
But what about the nature of these employment figures.
Is the Government boosting the numbers with new jobs that are low paid and only part time?
No. The overwhelming majority – 80 per cent – of new jobs are full time, and the proportion of low paid jobs is now at a record low.
Furthermore, wages are rising faster than inflation, and it’s the lowest paid who are now seeing the strongest increase in their wages.
It’s important to start your adult life on the right foot, which is why it’s so encouraging to see that unemployment amongst young people is also at a record low.
What’s more, they’re earning more money.
In 2015-16, for example, the average income for 16-to-24-year-olds increased by 28 per cent, while the age group with the second-highest wage growth was the 25-to-29-year-olds, who saw wages rise by 6.8 per cent.
There are now 475,000 fewer unemployed young people, which is a reduction of over 50 per cent since the Conservatives came back into Government in 2010.
So people are getting steady jobs early on, earning more money, paying their taxes, and contributing to society.
This Government is trying to keep taxes low to help encourage greater prosperity, more jobs, and people keeping as much as they earn as possible.
The richest one per cent of the country now pay a greater share of tax than ever before, and the continued fuel duty freeze helps small businesses, families, and commuters.
Here in Lincolnshire, I hope we will benefit from the £420 million the Chancellor has set aside to help councils deal with potholes.
And I’m very pleased to see £250 million being devoted to complete the roll-out of high-speed internet in rural areas.
Schools funding will be boosted by £1.3 billion this year to strengthen the gains we’ve already made in education.
Also the NHS will receive an extra £394 million per week by 2023-24.
And the greater awareness of the importance of mental health means will see 21,000 new mental health workers recruited in England, and see services properly integrated so that the suffering and vulnerable are protected.