Thursday, 26 May 2011
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Thursday, 7 April 2011
I believe that the British taxpayer should not contribute to an EU bail-out for Portugal and that the Leader of Conservative MEPS, Martin Callanan, with Parliament in recess, speaks for the Party on this when he said that the UK should refuse to accept any liability for Portugal under the EU Mechanism.
Article 122 of the Lisbon Treaty states that other member states may be expected to help when another state experiences “difficulties caused by natural disasters or exceptional occurrences beyond its control”. The chronic issue for Portugal is that it has only been able to grow at 0.7% per year since joining the Euro and has failed to control it’s spending, so Article 122 cannot apply to this situation.
This is a matter for the Eurozone and I cannot see any basis whereby we could properly use the Mechanism to bail-out Eurozone countries. To use the Treaty this way is simply not lawful. Britain decided not to join the Euro, so we should not be asked to bail-out countries that did join. I don’t see how we can ask the British taxpayer to prop up a supranational European currency they do not want and they did not ask for.
Monday, 4 April 2011
The Government has a clear plan to cut crime through reforming the police and the criminal justice system. They have already abolished all the complex targets that Labour imposed from Whitehall and set the police just one goal: to cut crime.
Communities also have an important role to play in the fight against crime. The www.police.uk website, launched in February, gives local people real information in map form about exactly what crime is happening in their areas and allows them to hold the police to account for their work.
Further reforms include:
• Introducing, from next May, directly-elected Police and Crime Commissioners to restore the link between the police and their communities.
• Driving out bureaucracy that wastes police time so that officers can be crime-fighters not form-writers.
• Reforming and strengthening the powers to tackle anti-social behaviour.
Mark Reckless MP said:
"I fully support this commitment from Government and Baroness Newlove to harness the great energy of communities across Medway in the fight against crime.
"Crime and anti-social behaviour are not someone else's problem but a real issue that we all must work together to address. I want to see streets right across Medway reclaimed by the people who live here".
Sunday, 3 April 2011
Friday, 1 April 2011
Spending on healthcare in our local area this year will total £435 million overall. The increase follows the decision by the Coalition Government to protect NHS investment over the next four years – investment vigorously opposed by Labour.
Across England as a whole, over £89 billion will now be spent on doctors, nurses and frontline services in the NHS – an increase of more than £2.6 billion over the year before.
Welcoming the increases in NHS funding, Mark Reckless said:
"We recognise just how important the NHS is to this country – and to patients here in Medway. That’s why the Coalition Government is protecting the NHS not just today, but for future generations.
"Next year alone, our constituency will benefit from an extra £12 million of investment going straight to doctors, nurses and other frontline services.
"Under Labour, billions of extra spending was swallowed up as the number of managers increased at five times the rate the number of nurses. Their plans would have meant cutting the NHS, denying patients the improved services we are putting in place.
"Their approach – to spend less and keep things as they are – would leave the NHS in crisis."
Wednesday, 30 March 2011
Monday, 28 March 2011
Wednesday, 23 March 2011
Key measures in the Budget to boost growth include:
• Tax cuts for businesses and entrepreneurs
• Scrapping burdensome regulations
• Radical reform of the planning system
• New investment in science and innovation; and
• More support for young people with additional apprenticeships and work experience places.
To help families facing the rising cost of living, the Budget also will:
• Immediately cut fuel duty by 1 pence per litre and delay April’s inflation rise in duty to next January. This means fuel duty is 6 pence lower than it would be under Labour.
• Introduce a Fair Fuel Stabiliser to tax oil companies more to stop above inflation rises in fuel duty
• Increase the Personal Allowance from by a further £630 from April 2012. That’s another real increase of £48 extra per year, or £126 in cash terms. Together with this year’s rise, that means a total of £326 extra each year for those working hard to support their families. And it means, just ten months into office, this coalition Government has taken 1.1 million low paid people out of tax altogether.
Welcoming the Budget, Mark Reckless MP said:
“Last year the Chancellor in the Budget brought Britain back from the brink of bankruptcy and I am delighted that the Chancellor didn’t have to come back for more today.
Instead this year’s Budget sets out plans to back enterprise and get Britain making things again. By cutting fuel duty immediately and cutting income tax for millions the Chancellor has done what he can to help families now.
Constituents have written to me about 40p a mile approved mileage allowance not being sufficient to offset the cost of driving and I hope they will be pleased that the chancellor has listened and increased this to 45p per mile.
This Budget has put fuel into the tank of our economy.”
Tuesday, 22 March 2011
Mark Reckless MP is delighted that, during education questions yesterday in the House of Commons, Michael Gove, the Secretary of State for Education, accepted his invitation to open Strood Academy when construction is completed in 2012.
Mark, who attended the Turning of the Sod ceremony at Strood Academy on Thursday 17th March alongside fashion designer Zandra Rhodes, asked the Education Secretary:
On Thursday, I saw the beginning of construction for Strood academy in my constituency. Does the Secretary of State appreciate the extent to which confirmation of that investment is appreciated in the local community, and would he visit my constituency to open the academy when construction is completed next year?
To which Michael Gove responded:
My hon. Friend makes a good point, and I should be delighted to accept his generous invitation.
Monday, 21 March 2011
It is also important that MPs exercise oversight of how our Armed Forces are kitted out. To do this we need appropriate information from the government, so we can seek to ensure that the right procurement choices are made.
On Friday I asked the Prime Minister about the decision to decommission our current aircraft carrier capability, and whether this should now be reconsidered:
Simon Hoggart wrote up the exchange as follows in his Parliamentary sketch:
Then the laudatory slathering. Labour's Mike Gapes offered congratulations. So did the Tory Richard Ottaway, "as one of the doubting Thomases", now praising a "remarkable diplomatic success".
It was left to Mark Reckless, another Tory, to point out that the Ark Royal filled with Harriers would be the perfect weapon, except that they are being decommissioned. Mr Cameron had little response to that, except to say that other countries weren't using aircraft carriers.
I was surprised to read in yesterday's Sunday Times both that:
France, which had 20 aircraft in the air last night, will send its only aircraft carrier, the Charles de Gaulle, into acton today.
At RAF high command in High Wycombe, Buckinghamshire, senior officers concluded that the most flexible rapid response force would be aircraft stationed on a carrier off the Libyan coast. But there was no carrier nor any planes to fly off one since the Ark Royal's Harrier GR9 jump jets had been retired in December. So the planners considered another possibility.
They wondered whether they could bring some of the Harriers back into service and deploy them on a former container ship, the Royal Fleet Auxiliary Argus, making vertical take off and landings.