I would like to wish everyone in Rugby and Bulkington a very Happy New Year.
Despite there being more to do to get our country back on track we are on the right path and it was still a good year for us here in Rugby. Unemployment almost halved over the course of the year with youth unemployment significantly down as was unemployment amongst those aged over 55 years of age.
Over the year we also saw more businesses opening locally and established businesses expanding creating more jobs for hard-working local people bringing the security of a regular pay packet for families.
Last year saw the people of Scotland vote to remain part of the United Kingdom. We are stronger together and I was delighted with the outcome of the vote. Giving the people of Scotland their say on their future was absolutely the right thing to do and that is why it is so important that all the people of the United Kingdom get their say on our relationship with Europe.
Next year the country will go to the polls for the General Election and this is one of the key issues at stake. The Prime Minister has promised that people will have their say on Europe in a referendum in 2017 if a Conservative Government is elected next year. Labour do not want the people to have their say and no other party can give people their say.
Next year’s General Election is the most important in a lifetime.
Through sheer hard work, and by sticking to a long-term economic plan to get this country back on track, this Government has started the huge task of turning the country around.
But the job is not finished and we need to stay the course. Next year we all will have a choice: a choice between going back to the bad old days of borrowing and debt or by continuing with a plan that since 2010 has seen the deficit cut by a half, income tax cut for over 25m people, benefits capped to reward work, 1.7m more people in employment, the state pension increased by £800, more children in good and outstanding schools and over 70,000 families with a home thanks to Help to Buy.
I spend almost every weekend on doorsteps speaking with local residents and I know that the majority of people are happy with the Government’s record and that they understand the magnitude of the task it faced when it came to office in 2010.
But we are turning a corner and the Prime Minister outlined how the Government’s long-term economic plan will benefit local people if a Conservative Government is elected next May, during his speech at the Conservative Party Conference in October.
If a Conservative Government is elected the personal tax allowance will be raised even further to £12,500, the 40 per cent rate of income tax will rise from £41,900 to £50,000, NHS spending will be protected for a further five years and the Human Rights Act will be scrapped. People who work hard and do the right thing should have more of their hard-earned money in their pockets and we have vowed to make that happen.
Next year will also see the country host the Rugby World Cup. I have always fought hard as Rugby’s MP to ensure our town gets the recognition it deserves as the birthplace of the game.
Preparations for the tournament, and for the many visitors from across the country who will make the pilgrimage to Rugby to see where it all began, are well underway. I will be doing all I can to ensure they have a great time when they visit and that we show them all the wonderful things that Rugby has to offer.
Next year promises to be a good one for us here in Rugby and I hope that you all have a happy, safe and prosperous 2015.
Mark Pawsey MP
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