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Henry Smith

Henry Smith: Securing a better future

In his article this week, Conservative Parliamentary Candidate Henry Smith talks about securing and growing jobs for all.

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One of the darkest themes of the last few months has been to witness Labour’s attitude towards business. Jeremy Corbyn just sees opportunities to increase taxation, and in Crawley the Labour-run Borough Council seeks to hike neighbourhood parade rents by as much as 30 per cent.

Such an attitude ignores the fact that our businesses are the wealth creators and the employment providers that towns such as ours should be looking for, not turning away.

Since 2010, over 7,600 more jobs have been created in our town. Our economy, employment and earnings continue to grow. Fewer regulations and lower tax burdens under a Conservative Government are what can enable companies to take on more staff.

Indeed, over the last nine and a half years we have seen the number of businesses in Crawley grow by over 1,000. Our town has one of the highest average salaries nationally with people taxed less and wages growing faster than inflation.

The Conservative Government has created 3.7 million jobs including over 466,000 more jobs in the south east of England. We must not let Labour throw all that hard work away.

Next week, our town must decide. A Conservative government led by Boris Johnson that gets Brexit done, and focuses on people’s priorities like creating jobs and backing the NHS and our schools. Or Jeremy Corbyn as Prime Minister, and an economy buckling under the strain of soaring borrowing and the chaos of another two referendums.

We know that every Labour government has left office with higher unemployment than when they came in. A Corbyn-led Labour administration would see everyone paying an extra £2,400 a year in tax to fund their reckless spending plans – this is the equivalent of an entire month’s pay for the average worker.

A majority Conservative Government will mean a brighter future. Soon after taking office, Boris Johnson announced an increase in the National Living Wage to two thirds of average earnings, currently forecast at £10.50 an hour – and widening its reach to everyone over 21.

This will mean an average pay rise of £4,000 per year for four million people by 2024.

This is the better future we can secure for our town and our country.

Henry Smith
Conservative Parliamentary Candidate for Crawley

Henry Smith

‘It is not whether help should be provided – rather how that assistance is best delivered’ writes Crawley MP

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In his article this week Crawley MP Henry Smith addresses the issue that has become the biggest debate of the last week, free meals for children in need.

As Crawley’s MP I continue to call for more help for our local area, and just last week I was able to confirm an additional £510,000 in Government funding for Crawley Borough Council. Our local authority has now received £2.38 million in direct extra support from Government since the start of COVID-19 and that money is provided to help support those most in need across our town.

It is not a question of whether help should be provided – rather how that assistance is best delivered.

This is in addition to the more than £75 million provided to support individuals and businesses in Crawley so far since March. For those amongst us who are most in need, Universal Credit benefits have been increased by an extra £1,000 per year – an additional £20 more per week. That is how I want our Government to directly support mums and dads in Crawley, extra money paid into their bank accounts to help them buy the food they need to feed their families. Money, not vouchers.

To make sure that no one goes without, £63 million has been distributed to local authorities in England to help those who are struggling to afford essentials due to COVID-19 (the school voucher scheme would only offer £20 million in help nationally). West Sussex County Council has received over £737,000 from the Local Authority Emergency Assistance Grant for Food and Essential Supplies. The County Community Hub is continuing to support the most vulnerable; if you or someone you know requires their assistance please visit: https://www.westsussex.gov.uk/fire-emergencies-and-crime/coronavirus-covid-19-advice-and-information/community-hub-covid-19/

We are all feeling the strain of the restrictions on our lives due to Covid and so many people are worried about recovering from its damaging effects on our future economic wellbeing – one of the reasons I have set up and Chair the All-Party Parliamentary Future of Aviation Group, to lobby for this critical, job-providing sector in Crawley. I am working day and night to try to secure Crawley’s future prosperity so there will actually be jobs here for our children in the years to come, and the suggestion that I personally do not care about the children of our town is just so wrong.

I chose to live in Crawley decades ago because of the strong community we are, and I love the generosity of spirit that exists here. Yes, I have previously been unemployed myself and I know the sense of worry that not having a job brings for each family in that situation. I am doing all I can to fight for Crawley right now.

Clearly, many are very unhappy with the way the Government has handled the proposal of providing free school meals during school holidays, but that should not detract from the significant support actually being delivered for Crawley’s most in need already.

I will continue to lobby for more Government-provided financial support. Let us be clear, this needs to be a policy of sustainable assistance, not a one-off gesture.  As for vouchers, the solution lies within the benefits payment system which can flex instantly. If the solution is that additional payments need to be made during school holidays then that is what needs to be put before Parliament for a vote and I will support it.

Henry Smith MP
Crawley Constituency

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