Gary's News and views

Gary Streeter MP for South West Devon

Gary writes a weekly article which appears in the Plympton Plymstock and Ivybridge News in South West Devon. The articles are published here.


Monday, 17 October 2011

Parliament resumed once more this week after its three week conference break. Personally, I would abolish party conferences as they are now pointless, regimented, expensive wastes of time. The time could be better spent either at Westminster or in the constituency.
The House of Commons now slogs its way through to Christmas with many bills coming back from committee for further debate, votes and ultimate approval.  This normally means a succession of late nights. Most of the bills going through relate to the vial reforms to our much-loved public services.
The main focus for all of us will certainly remain the economy and how government might play its part in fostering growth in the private sector. I will be advocating further reforms to the regime under which small businesses currently work, all the red tape and burdens that make it hard and expensive for entrepreneurs to expand and hire new people. I had a meeting with one local businessman a few weeks ago who pointed out the impact of the heavy handedness of Her Majesty's Customs and Excise has had on his business. This kind of bureaucratic thuggery has got to be tackled if the government is serious about supporting small businesses, the life blood of our economy.
One focus that is unlikely to change is the determination to reduce our whopping annual deficit, a massive £140 billion this year. If we do not get our debt overhang under control there can be no long term sustainable growth for our country.
Many of the factors affecting our economic revival are external. If the euro zone crashes and burns this will be bad news for our exporters who would take a hit, thus further endangering our recovery and destroying jobs over here. If the USA, the largest market in the world, continues to stumble, we will trip over also. But we must do what we can. I am calling for the Chancellor to stimulate more construction activity whether through large infrastructure projects or otherwise.
Aside from the focus on deficits, jobs and growth there will be a renewed focus on immigration and the Human Rights Act. The head of steam in the country over these issues is undeniable and the government must do more if it is to retain public support. Also there is likely to be more Commons activity about our relationship with the EU.
The next time you see me I am unlikely to be looking bored.

posted by Gary @ 16:59