What an odd topic for the Labour Party to choose to debate. After all, the squeeze on the living standards of millions in this country is a direct result of the need to pay off the nation’s debt that Labour carelessly allowed get out of control. As Member of Parliament for a coastal community it is ironic that Labour wish to talk about living standards when towns like ours suffered 13-years of neglect and under-investment. Perhaps that is why, Labour lost so many coastal town constituencies at the last election.
I used the debate to outline my thoughts on why better economic and employment opportunities are vital to improving living standards in Great Yarmouth. The long-term changes we are making to our economy will drive up living standards, rather than making quick knee-jerk changes.
That said, the coalition has a strong record on this issue. The action we took to cut the budget deficit means that interest rates remain low. For every 1% increase in interest rates, homeowners have to find an extra £1000 a year to pay their mortgage. Could you afford an extra £1000 a year in mortgage payments?
Other ways we are helping people during these hard-times include:
Council tax freeze. We have extended our council tax freeze for a second year saving residents up to £70 for the year on an average Band D Bill.
Helping with the cost of your commute. We are putting in £105 million to limit the rise in your rail fares.
Cutting Fuel Duty. We have cancelled Labour’s fuel escalator and cut duty. This means that from April petrol duty will be a full 10 pence lower than it would been without our action.
Help for older people. We are protecting the value of state pensions, as well as the winter fuel allowance, free bus passes and television licences. We have also increased the cold weather payment from £8.50 to £25.
30th October 2011