Much has been going on in Westminster ahead of the Easter break, with a number of debates on key legislation. In addition to this, we also had the announcement of the Spring Budget, or ‘Budget for growth’, in which the Chancellor Jeremy Hunt outlined a package of measures aimed at delivering sustainable economic growth, halving inflation, and reducing debt. It is encouraging that these have also been supported by the independent Office for Budget Responsibility (OBR) who, according to their forecasts, have said that part of the predicted fall in inflation is because of the additional measures taken by the Chancellor.
Together with colleagues, I had the opportunity to meet with the Chancellor ahead of the announcement to discuss key priorities. There is much to be welcomed in this Budget, and I was pleased to note that one of its central components was the increase in childcare support, something which residents might be aware I have long been advocating for. I am encouraged by the extension of free childcare to working parents of children aged 9 months to 4 years, as well as paying the childcare costs of parents on Universal Credit moving into work.
Locally, constituency engagements have continued as usual, including my weekly surgeries which are hosted by coffee shops around Ruislip, Northwood and Pinner. This has been in addition to a programme of visits and meetings, one of these being an interesting ‘Question Time’ inspired Q&A session with pupils at Haydon School in Northwood Hills. When visiting schools, I am always encouraged to hear how engaged young people are in the political world, and the broad range of interesting questions about the issues of today, the challenges of politics, as well as the wider issues surrounding government and democracy that I am always met with.
I hope that residents have a restful Easter break spending time with loved ones, optimistically under sunnier skies. My office will continue to operate over the recess period, so please do get in contact by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org or telephoning 0203 545 2462 should you require support in this time.
First published: My Local News, April 2023