Derby Telegraph Column

As published in the Derby Telegraph on 24th January 2014

Constituents in Heanor will be aware that there is some doubt as to whether the Heanor Memorial Hospital will reopen following its closure as a result of finding asbestos in the building.

The last thing we want is the temporary closure of the hospital to turn in to a permanent one – NHS services in Heanor should be protected.

I have organised a meeting with the Southern Derbyshire Clinical Commissioning Group, which allocates health resources in Amber Valley, to pressure them to reopen the hospital.

Moreover, I’m organising a petition to Parliament that will call on the Government to ask the CCG to reopen the hospital. These are being delivered to houses in and around Heanor, but you may also sign it at www.nigelmills mp.com/heanorhospital.

I hope that with sufficient public support, we can ensure that health services in Heanor are protected and preferably enhanced.

We have had more good news on the economy in the New Year, with the announcement inflation has fallen to its target of 2% for the first time in four years.

The largest contribution to the fall in the rate came from food, meaning that this will have a real impact on the average family’s household income.

In Amber Valley, unemployment has fallen to just 2.5% – down from 4.9% at the time of the General Election.

What is particularly encouraging is that over 70% of the jobs that have been created over the past three years are full-time and not part-time, and for every one lost in the public sector, three have been created in the private sector.

With the most recent growth figures showing an increase to 0.8% for the quarter and the Government deficit falling, we can now be optimistic that the Government’s long-term economic plan is working.

The Labour Party said that all this wasn’t possible, and that our deficit reduction programme would create mass unemployment and cause economic chaos.

The reality is quite the opposite – our plan has seen three jobs created in the private sector for every one lost in the public sector, growth revised up, and mortgage rates have been kept at least £1,000 per year lower than Labour’s plan by ensuring market interest rates remain low.

In short, our plan is working and we must stick to it.

The economic recovery, falling inflation, energy tax cuts, and low mortgage interest rates all help hard-working people with the cost of living, but I think we should do more.

By April, we will have increased the Personal Allowance in Income Tax to £10,000 per year, but I think we can go further on this. I think we should raise it to the level of the National Minimum Wage – currently £12,304 on an average working week – and have it track that each year.

This would save 33,000 of my hard-working constituents a further £460 per year, and take 1,500 of them out of the tax altogether. You can sign my petition at www.12ktaxfree.co.uk.