Thursday, 7 April 2011

Eurozone, Not Britain Should Pay For Portugal 'Bail-out'

European finance ministers are meeting today to discuss a request from Portugal to provide financial assistance to the country following previous ‘bail-outs’ of Greece and Ireland. The Treasury has failed to make clear so far today whether any UK contribution will be limited to that which may be entailed by our membership of the IMF or whether, indefensibly, it is proposed to use the EU natural disasters Mechanism.

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

Mark Reckless: Tackling Crime through Community Activism

Mark Reckless MP welcomed the report of Baroness Newlove, the Government’s Champion for Active Safer Communities, which sets out a radical new approach to community activism. As she suggests, there needs to be a change of culture so neighbourhoods no longer view crime, anti-social behaviour and disorder as a problem for someone else to solve. Services and local agencies need to go beyond just asking communities what their problems are – they must see local communities as equal partners in tackling issues.

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 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

Mark Reckless MP Discusses Personal Debt


Friday, 1 April 2011

Mark Reckless Welcomes £12 Million Extra For NHS In Medway

From today – 1 April – the NHS in Medway will enjoy an extra £12 million, to support key Government priorities such as the Cancer Drugs Fund, investment in talking therapies for those with mental health conditions, 4,200 extra health visitors, and support for carers’ breaks.

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."