Tuesday 16 July 2024
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Ruth Edwards MP’s March 2024 update for the community

Rushcliffe MP Ruth Edwards writes her update for March 2024.

 

Ruth writes:

We sprang into spring with new life out in force at casa Edwards, as eight rambunctious young puppies set to exploring the world for the first time!

Six of the eight chaos merchants have now gone off to lovely new homes, we miss them, but not the mess!

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Our puppies leaving for new homes coincided with the Puppy Smuggling Bill coming to Parliament for its second reading.

The Bill will ban the import of puppies under six months old and dogs in the final stages of pregnancy. It also bans the import of dogs who have been mutilated (such as having their ears cropped or tails docked). More than five animals travelling in one car will also be treated as a commercial import.

The law will also apply to cats and kittens. I hope that, together, these new regulations will stamp out the cruel trade of puppy smuggling, where puppies and heavily pregnant mums are forced to travel long distances in terrible conditions or to undergo painful mutilations overseas for ‘fashion’ (tail docking and ear cropping are illegal in the UK). Sending our little ones off, really brought home how important this formative stage in a dog’s life is, and I was delighted to be on the front bench to support the bill in Parliament.

Puppy smuggling

Of course March is also Budget month. After weeks of feverish speculation (which I always advise everyone to ignore) we finally get to hear the Chancellor’s plans for the economy. This was a budget which showed how far we have come in the last year. The independent forecasts confirmed that inflation has fallen back towards the targets set by the Bank of England and the economy is recovering better than expected from the pandemic and Putin’s war in Ukraine.

Barton in Fabis meeting

This is a huge relief. Inflation makes everyone poorer, so the Prime Minister and Chancellor were right to make tackling it their first priority. With that progressing well, this budget was an opportunity for the Chancellor to start cutting the tax burden for families across the country.

I was pleased to see the announcement of significant cuts to National Insurance contributions, which started yesterday. These build on the reductions announced in the Autumn Statement. It is good to see taxes being brought down and I hope future measures will allow people to keep far more of their hard earned money every month.

I was also pleased to see a continuation of the fuel duty freeze until March 2025, while pubs, breweries and distilleries saw a further freeze to alcohol duty until February 2025.

More than half a million families are set to benefit through our changes to the High-Income Child Benefit Charge. We are raising the threshold for the High-Income Child Benefit Charge from £50,000 to £60,000, taking 170,000 families out of paying this tax charge. The rate will also be halved so that Child Benefit is not repaid in full until you earn £80,000.

We have also protected pensioners with an 8.5% increase in state pension payments from next month, meaning pensioners will receive up to £900 more a year. It is important we give people dignity in retirement. The Government has increased the state pension by £3,700 since 2010, helping to lift 250,000 pensioners out of poverty. I’m delighted that, this month, the Chancellor has committed to keeping the triple lock in the Conservative Party’s manifesto for the next General Election.

This was a budget which balanced tax cuts with investment, such as the £200 million extension of the Growth Guarantee Fund, helping 11,000 small businesses to access the finance they need and an increase in the VAT registration threshold from £85,000 to £90,000, which will take around 28,000 small businesses out of paying VAT altogether.

In Rushcliffe, we had a surprise guest join us at the City ground for the launch of Nottingham Forest’s ‘Vision for Sport’ in Nottinghamshire. The Prime Minister dropped in to hear about Forest’s plans to encourage more grass roots sports across the county and to try his hand at refereeing.

We also had the good news that kerbside glass collection is coming to Rushcliffe. As part of the Government’s Simpler Recycling Scheme, councils across the country will be required to collect a standard set of materials from kerbsides outside homes. This includes glass. This will mean that by 2026, kerbside glass collection will be rolled out across the country, giving councils enough time to invest in new technology and infrastructure to make this happen.

Rushcliffe Borough Council has a fantastic record on recycling and has one of the highest recycling rates in our region. They have already planned to implement their Simpler Recycling scheme in partnership with Nottinghamshire County Council and other councils in Nottinghamshire.

Getting glass added to your recycling collection was one of the key commitments I made when I became your MP and I am delighted it will now be delivered.

Parliament is currently in recess for Easter. I am back in Rushcliffe, where I’ve been attending a public meeting to fight the application for a gravel quarry in the beautiful countryside outside Barton in Fabis, visiting residents in Sutton Bonington who have been flooded and knocking doors across Rushcliffe to hear your views.

I hope you all had a wonderful Easter. We have been spending some time with the newest members of our family. Walter and Badger, two of Clemmie’s litter, who are staying with us. After eight energetic charges, even two seems somewhat relaxing!



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