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.


Thursday, 25 April 2013


Would you like some good news for a change? We seem to be fed an unrelenting diet of bad news most days, so let me try and redress the balance.

Unemployment in this constituency is 1.7%, well below national average. That means that over 98 out of 100 people seeking work have found it. In twelve out of the past 14 months the number out of work in this area has come down, including young people. There are hundreds of new apprentices in Plymouth alone.

Immigration has come down by a third in the last three years and we are tightening up all the time. Asylum seekers are now processed much more quickly and those who are not genuine (the majority) rapidly returned.

The budget deficit – the amount we have to borrow each year just to pay our bills – is down by a third since 2010. It has been hard work reducing public spending without causing widespread pain, but we are making progress.

From April our reforms of our bloated welfare system have started, including the welfare cap of £500 per week. The reduction of the spare room subsidy (wrongly dubbed the bedroom tax) which was expected to create mass misery has so far only triggered one constituent approaching my office for help. The introduction of the universal credit which will ensure that work will always pay as opposed to remaining on benefits is imminent.

I liken these pieces of positive news to being on a car journey. We were going in the wrong direction. Now we have found a route map and are heading determinedly in the right direction, even though it will take a while (7 years!) to arrive. It takes longer to get there if you are still going the wrong way.

The good news does not stop there. There are now more doctors in the NHS than ever before. 24 million tax payers get an income tax cut this April. A further 2.2 million have been taken out of income tax altogether. Over 1 million new jobs in the private sector have been created since 2010. We have outstanding schools in our area. Almost all of our kids receive an excellent education. Devon County Council said no to an incinerator at Lee Mill. The new town at Sherford is about to be announced, providing much needed homes for our children. Britain is not in the euro-zone.

A balanced diet is good for us.

posted by Gary @ 14:16