My response to the Autumn Statement

Archive for November, 2015

My response to the Autumn Statement

Friday, November 27th, 2015

On Wednesday George Osborne set out his latest spending review. I welcome the Chancellor’s U-turn on his decision to cut tax credits. It just goes to show the power of grassroots campaigning. However, beneath the smoke and mirrors of his headline announcements this statement offers nothing for residents across the Borough.

We have the highest unemployment rate across the Borough yet the Government has cut the Department for Business, which is responsible for adult education by £4.5 billion. This means people over the age of 18 will struggle to retrain to find more work.

We know the NHS is in trouble and the extra money he has pledged is just a drop in the ocean and will do little to address the problems our local health services face.

We already know that thanks to Government cuts our local Council’s adult social care services have been cut to the bone and his announcement to allow a 2% rise in Council Tax to pay for this will not go far enough in plugging the gap. I will continue to fight hard over the next five years to get a fair deal for the Borough.

Gascoigne Coffee Afternoon

Friday, November 13th, 2015

volunteer

Next Friday, November 20th, I’ll be holding one of my regular Coffee Afternoons in Gascoigne. These are a great way for me to hear from about the issues affecting you in Gascoigne and keeping residents updated on the work I’m doing on your behalf in Parliament.

I’m delighted that your councillors Dominic Twomey and Dr Abdul Aziz will be joining me. Officers from the local housing, environmental and highway services, as well as your local safer neighbourhood team, will also be joining us.

If you have anything you would like to raise with me, please come along. We will be in Studio 3 Arts, The Galleon Centre, Boundary Road, Barking IG11 7JR from 16.00 to 17.30.

Fighting cuts to adult education

Monday, November 9th, 2015

I was disappointed to learn about the government’s plans to make further cuts to the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills. These cuts worry me, because I am concerned that adult education will be hit hard, which would be a huge blow to Barking and Dagenham.

In the borough, this year we have already seen the adult education budget reduced by 30%, and the number of enrolments in Barking and Dagenham College has fallen from 7,400 to 5,000 over the last three years. The percentage of adults without qualifications in Barking and Dagenham is more than double the London average, and if there are further cuts this is unlikely to improve.

Adult education is crucial for people looking to improve their job prospects, helping people get back into work by retraining, or improving their chance of earning a higher salary in their existing career. The adult education budget also includes English for Speakers for Other Languages classes, which are essential to help people who have recently arrived in the UK to learn English and find work.

More cuts to adult education would be hugely damaging to the community, so this week I have written to the Business Secretary, Sajid Javid, to explain the impact that the cuts so far have had in the borough. I have asked him to reassure me that this budget will not be slashed again, and I will keep you updated with his reply.