15 MAR 2018

Spring Statement

Kent Messenger Column – 15-03-18

Deficit, debt, productivity and growth are dry and abstract terms, but having a handle on them nationally really matters, because they are critical to the cash in our pockets, the price of the weekly shop and the public services upon which we all depend.

This week, the Chancellor gave his Spring Statement in which he provided an update on our nation's economic outlook. The overall picture was positive with growth better than expected and unemployment at record low levels.

Importantly, thanks to the hard work of people up and down the country including here in Maidstone and the Weald, the deficit has now also been eliminated. This means the Government is no longer borrowing money to finance everyday spending. The landmark is not just about numbers on a spreadsheet because it means that less money is now spent on servicing the interest upon our national debt and more cash can therefore be afforded for worthwhile priorities such as health, social care and our schools.

Whilst the overall news is good, we still have more to do to ensure our economy is able to make the maximum out of our departure from the EU. The Government have already, for example, introduced measures to improve the output we produce per worker, such as a focus on technical education and a comprehensive industrial strategy.

It has taken an enormous and somewhat uncomfortable national effort to restore our national finances following the 2008 financial crisis. We must be cautious not to lose our grip, because when the economy fails it is the most vulnerable amongst us who are hit hardest.

As we begin to feel the benefits of sound economic management however, I will continue to work with my colleagues in Government to make sure Maidstone & The Weald, and Kent generally, gets its fair share of our national product.

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