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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

Henry Smith MP: Armed Forces Day 2020

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This year, Armed Forces Day falls on Saturday 27th June, with the Armed Forces Day flag being raised the previous Monday across the nation, including at Crawley Town Hall.

The COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted the role of the armed forces at home as well as abroad.

Around the country there are more than 100 mobile testing units which are operated by the armed forces. These provide testing where it is needed, enabling key workers and their households to be tested, with results within 48 hours.

I am particularly grateful to the 7 Rifles Reservist soldiers, who are based at Gatwick Airport and operate testing units around West Sussex. Our town appreciates your work, and the part you are playing in ensuring life can return to a semblance of normality.

It is important, however, that we show our gratitude not only on Armed Forces Day, but all year round.

One of the freedoms which our armed forces stand for is the freedom of protest. This does not, it should be said, extend to having permission to vandalise memorials to the fallen.

I am supporting the Desecration of War Memorials Bill which not only designates a specific offence relating to unlawful damage to a war memorial, but would also see an exemption of damage to war memorials from the existing £5,000 damages threshold, see a maximum fine replaced with an unlimited fine, as well as a maximum custodial sentence of 10 years.

It would, of course, be up to the judiciary to decide on sentences for each individual case. This Bill would remove some of the barriers to ensuring justice in such a scenario.

Henry Smith MP
Crawley Constituency

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