THE most recent figures from the Office for National Statistics show that our long-term economic plan is working with unemployment dropping below seven per cent for the first time since the recession. Inflation also fell again last month. Jobseekers Allowance (JSA) statistics show a huge decrease in Staffordshire of 34 per cent over 2013/14.
The number of JSA claimants has fallen significantly in every district and borough in Staffordshire over the last 12 months.
On HS2 matters, when Parliament returns on Monday I will oppose the High Speed Rail (London - West Midlands) Bill on second reading. I have signed two amendments which have been put down to the Bill and I oppose the Bill because of its implications in terms of compensation.
I am opposing this Bill because although it is from London to West Midlands, it is a prototype and the compensation element is a prominent part. It provides inadequate compensation to those blighted by the route and those whose property is subject to compulsory purchase orders. The Bill fails to make proper provision for compensation.
On the application of the Charter of Fundamental Rights – the subject of considerable media, judicial and political interest – the European Scrutiny Committee, of which I am chairman, launched an inquiry last year, which was completed on April 2.
The committee’s inquiry has revealed that the Charter does apply in the UK and will affect how existing fundamental rights are applied here.
The committee concluded that the only effective answer, as we stated, would be “primary legislation be introduced by way of an amendment to the European Communities Act 1972 to disapply the Charter from the UK”, in exercise of Parliamentary sovereignty to put matters right.
To change one word of European legislation, you need a majority in Westminster – only the Conservatives can do this. UKIP cannot and will not. If UKIP take enough votes from Conservative marginal seats, they will let in Labour and the LibDems and there will be no referendum and no change at all in European legislation. Please remember this fact.