This month, as with every November, the nation came together to remember our fallen heroes.
To pay our respects for the sacrifice that members of the armed forces, and their families, make for our country.
To honour the memory of those who have paid the ultimate price. It was a great privilege to meet veterans and long-standing Poppy Appeal volunteers from across Rushcliffe, whilst selling poppies in West Bridgford, at a fundraising evening in Colston Bassett, at the Armistice Day ceremony on Central Avenue and at St Giles Church, where I attended the Remembrance Sunday service. Reflecting on their sacrifice is humbling for us all. I want to thank everyone who made the Poppy Appeal and acts of remembrance across Rushcliffe such as huge success.
It has been a very busy month in Parliament, with the King’s Speech setting the agenda for what laws we will be debating over the next year, and the Chancellor’s Autumn Statement.
The days and weeks leading up to an Autumn Statement or Budget (what we call a ‘fiscal event’ – although some are more eventful than others!) are always filled with rumour and counter rumour from politicians and press alike.
Everyone is trying to guess which economic measures will be announced. It is important to remember, that whilst it is easy to get caught up in the political drama, these measures have real-life implications for people and businesses. That’s why tackling inflation has been the Prime Minister’s number one priority, and I was relieved to see it fall to 4.6% in November, down from 9.6% at its peak.
We have had to make some difficult decisions to get here. I am relieved that, now we are seeing the benefit, we can start to focus on cutting taxes for businesses and individuals – making sure people can keep as much of their hard-earned money as possible. In his Autumn Statement, the Chancellor set out a £20 billion package of tax cuts. This includes reform of National Insurance contributions and a cut in the main rate of National Insurance, the latter was voted through by MPs last week and will come into effect from the beginning of January. It also includes a £4.3 billion package of support on business rates for small businesses and permanently enabling businesses to offset investment against their tax bill. We are investing in supporting people back into work, continuing our support for the most vulnerable and honouring our commitment to the triple lock, with the state pension rising 8.5% – in line with the growth in average earnings.
The economy and the cost of living is one of the top priorities people raise with me, the second is the NHS. A lot of Government investment has gone into new NHS facilities in Nottinghamshire this year. Last month, a second Elective Surgery Hub was announced at Nottingham City Hospital. It will include a day-case facility, three operating theatres and additional 24 in-patient beds, at NUH’s City Hospital site. This will help the hospital to offer 4,700 more annual appointments. This builds on other new facilities, including a new Community Diagnostic Centre that opens this month, to increase the number of tests and scans. A new ward for elderly patients at the QMC, to take pressure off A&E and the new National Rehabilitation Centre, one of the Government’s 40 new hospitals, is currently under construction at Stanford Hall.
We finished the month as we started, honouring the best of us. Rushcliffe is home to some inspirational people, I was thrilled to be invited to the Celebrating Rushcliffe Awards last week, where Community heroes across the Borough were recognised. I want to say a huge congratulations to all the nominees and winners, you all are a credit to the community here in Rushcliffe.