Wokingham Times

This week we are awaiting some important figures to tell us whether the UK economy went forward in the first three months of this year or not. We already know that prices went up more than the Bank forecast, that wage increases are very low and household budgets are still being squeezed.

I have been stressing to government Ministers that more needs to be done to ease the pressure on family bills, and more needs to be done to move the economy forwards more rapidly. I welcome the measures the government has taken to keep Council Tax down for the last two years, and welcome the increase in Income Tax Thresholds. Every little helps. Our local Council has to work hard to keep its bills down when it receives much less grant than many other Councils for services other than schools.

This week the Liberal Democrat Chief Secretary to the Treasury has come out with an important paper striving to get more value for every pound spent by national government. He rightly thinks a lot more can and should be done to ensure public money is spent wisely, and confined to those things which only the public sector can do and where there is general public enthusiasm for the public service. I aim to keep the costs of my Parliamentary office well below the level of the average MP, to show that you can run parts of the public sector for less and still deliver a good service. I am hoping it was around half the average last year.

I do not think this year is a good time to be discussing setting up a new House of Lords, with salaried Senators backed by expensive offices putting a new charge on the taxpayer. I have been urging Ministers to delay any such idea. I have also had numerous emails against any change to the marriage laws. I recommend that all who feel strongly about it should respond to the government’s consultation. Again, I am not keen to see such contentious legislation coming forward as a priority when we need to concentrate government energy on securing a good economic recovery.

I am getting used to my blue bag for the refuse. It turned out to be bigger and tougher than some feared, and seems to do the job just fine. It is good to have weekly recycling collections, so you can keep more materials for reuse without space and bin problems.

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4 Comments

  1. Dan Fuller
    Posted April 25, 2012 at 3:57 pm | Permalink

    Mr Redwood, you know every budget, cost cutting exercise is simply creative accounting. Wokingham borough council keep council tax the same as last year but now charge £60 a year to collect green waste. I do try to be positive but losing the will.

  2. Sue
    Posted April 25, 2012 at 8:00 pm | Permalink

    Utility bills are breaking everyone, they’re absolutely unreal. We’re being taken advantage of by foreign countries that own our water, gas and electric supplies. The EU has stopped us using alternatives because of “climate change”. Pensioners dying from hypothermia and families attempting to keep warm, matters not, as long as they get their VAT. Their institutions and paying tens of thousands of civil servants comes first.

    The matter of access to hot water is crucial for keeping a nice clean house and healthy children. Bin collections don’t help that particular area either. I don’t have weekly recycling collection, so when the bin is full… what am I expected to do with the rest of the rubbish? I’m certainly not storing it with two babies in the house.

    This government needs to lower petrol prices too. How are we expected to get to work, let alone into the high street with extortionate fuel prices and ridiculous meter charges and fines?

    The mere fact that the government is dabbling with our constitution yet again just really goes to show that you have nothing more important to do. You are not in a position to represent us any longer except for dabbling in the minutiae of what powers we have left. Elected mayors, just another strata of government interference and a waste of public money heavily disguised as “democracy”. What makes you think they’ll be any less corrupt than the rest are? The mere fact that I see thieves and crooks “supposedly” representing us on the news is enough to make my blood boil. Politics it seems, is the only profession where you’re not penalised for stealing, infact most of the (questionable-ed) “expenses’ (MPs ed) still have their jobs.

    Until you can show an iota of sense, credibility and loyality to those that pay your wages, please leave our traditional institutions alone (as well as everything else). We know you’re bored and have to justify your existence now but don’t mess with things that aren’t necessary please.

    It’s not as though you are doing a good job “working for us” is it? You work for the EU and so do we, it seems. I’ve never felt more like an ignored cashcow with a big bully stealing my money for things I abhor, than I do now. I am quite livid, at the end of my tether. Even blogging sends my blood pressure through the roof. I have to purposely ignore the news for days on end now as I am sure it is doing my health no good whatsoever. When I had children, I thought I was bringing them up in a fair and democratic society. How wrong can you be?

    The complete joke of it is, that this will be the second referendum that the Liberal Democrats have insisted upon but an EU referendum would be too expensive we are told. I do wonder what hidden power the Libdems have over the Conservatives, they are now the 4th party in the UK. I expect will find out one day, after all, British politics (like the EU) is not short of embezzlement, bribery, sleaze, cheats, liars and blackmailers.

    Reply: The Mps guilty of theft were prosecuted

  3. Hugh
    Posted April 26, 2012 at 12:59 pm | Permalink

    John,
    You are too modest. Most of your regulars believe that you run a premium service, free at the point of consumption. Leading by example , thank you.

  4. Patrick Loaring
    Posted April 26, 2012 at 2:03 pm | Permalink

    JR , I salute your example on parliamentary expenses. I just hope more of your parliamentary colleagues follow your example but I fear you’ll still be the very small minority.

  • About John Redwood


    John Redwood won a free place at Kent College, Canterbury, and graduated from Magdalen College Oxford. He is a Distinguished fellow of All Souls, Oxford. A businessman by background, he has set up an investment management business, was both executive and non executive chairman of a quoted industrial PLC, and chaired a manufacturing company with factories in Birmingham, Chicago, India and China. He is the MP for Wokingham, first elected in 1987.

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