HAYES IN THE HOUSE: By MP John Hayes
It is the primary duty of Government to provide security for the people. Clearly, this means ensuring national security; protecting the public from enemies, both foreign and domestic, with the biggest challenge being the generational fight against Islamist terrorists.
No less significant is the commitment to guarantee our economic security. This Government – like any Government - has a duty to ensure that the economic conditions necessary for firms to flourish prevail. Provision of the goods and services people need, and jobs for hard working people with incomes which engender fulfilled lives is a test of a good society. In turn, the tax revenue from these enterprises provides the foundation of the public services upon which we all depend.
Our nation’s small and medium sized firms particularly drive our economic engine. Last year, small businesses accounted for 99% of all private sector firms, employing 15.6 million people throughout the UK. We see it locally with our farmers and growers, food firms, and independent shops - our local businesses which provide the backbone to the rural economy. New business creation has been going up locally for several years now, and unemployment in our area continues its remarkable fall - down now to just 1.3%.
Though the British economy is in rude health –no developed country has grown faster than the UK since 2010, a period which has seen the creation of nearly 2.7 million private sector jobs- we must be wary of taking this run of success for granted.
The interconnectivity of the global economy is greater than ever before. Interest rate rises in America, uncertain election results in struggling Eurozone countries and stock market turmoil in China can all have an impact on our lives in ways we don’t immediately expect.
That’s why the Chancellor of the Exchequer recently warned of the dangers of a “creeping complacency” in the UK, whereby we mistakenly feel our nation is immune to risks from abroad. The assumption that, having made the difficult and necessary spending cuts so that Britain learns to live within its means, we can sit back and let the good times roll in is erroneous.
Instead, our continued success depends upon remaining on the path our nation has taken in recent years. We must continue to make the decisions which are essential to our long term economic security; investing in infrastructure and skills, reducing the cost of welfare, creating jobs, and boosting people’s pay by cutting taxes.
Building a higher wage, lower welfare, lower tax society is a bold mission. It forms the basis of the economic security that every Briton needs.