Burt from the Benches: Alistair Burt MP on Affecting Change And Finding Initiatives

THERE is little doubt what is on the minds of people at present.

By The Newsroom
Tuesday, 11th October 2011, 10:54 am

From Bedfordshire, to the United States, through Europe – everyone is worried about the economy and about jobs.

Party conference season in the UK coincided with increasing concerns about money, debt and what appeared to be the crash of the world’s economy around the ears of several governments.

But people are resilient. They have worked through difficult times before, and will do again. This week has brought signs that this will happen.

Firstly, local things matter - collectively they add up to the big things.

Doing things, either as individuals, or a community can affect the bigger picture.

The coalition government here is boosting apprenticeships, making it easier for people to get into work, and has just announced a new childcare package for lower income parents working part-time, to help juggle the demands of work and family.

I was at a business breakfast recently at Wyboston listening to their concerns, because we are all aware that the growth and success of small and medium-sized businesses will be the way in which more people locally find work, and ensure the economy turns again.

I will be supporting Bedford and Kempston MP Richard Fuller’s excellent idea for business growth and mentors throughout Bedfordshire.

This is another way in which locally, by working together, we can give our local and regional economy that is well placed geographically, an extra push.

And secondly the confidence in the UK through the way it is tackling the debt left to it keeps the nations credit rating high, and our interest rates low, which again helps business.

We see in the Eurozone what happens when such confidence goes. But there are other parts of the world, where our exports go, where the growth picture is very different and where local companies can take advantage.

This will be a tough year, but with the right decisions and some confidence, perhaps this will be the year to get things right.