VIEW FROM THE HOUSE

Buckinghamshire Advertiser - - NEWS - CH­ERYL GIL­LAN MP for Che­sham and Amer­sham

AS you can imag­ine, all the fi­nan­cial and sta­tis­ti­cal in­for­ma­tion which is com­ing in after the UK voted to leave the Euro­pean Union is be­ing ex­am­ined with more than usual in­ter­est.

It is giv­ing in­for­ma­tion about how the UK Is per­form­ing, what ac­tions the Bank of Eng­land is tak­ing, how busi­ness here and out­side the UK has re­sponded – and it ac­tu­ally in­cludes ev­ery one of us who go out to the shops as well! We prob­a­bly all re­mem­ber those graphs on June 24 which showed the value of the pound ster­ling tak­ing a nose­dive. There was tur­bu­lence on the stock mar­kets too. What has hap­pened sub­se­quently, though, is that the mar­kets have set­tled down, with share prices re­cov­er­ing to the level be­fore June.

The Bank of Eng­land has cut the in­ter­est rate. Whilst this af­fects peo­ple with sav­ings, it is help­ful to those with mort­gages. It is cheaper for busi­nesses to bor­row if they want to ex­pand their op­er­a­tions. There were con­cerns that con­sumers might not want to spend money, but in July 2016 re­tail sales were higher than they were at the same time last year. Em­ploy­ment is one of the key mea­sure­ments and here the fig­ures show that a record 31.75 mil­lion peo­ple are in work.

Un­em­ploy­ment is at a ten-year low at 4.9%. In Che­sham and Amer­sham, this July, there were 265 peo­ple claim­ing JobSeeker’s Al­lowance and 89 peo­ple claim­ing Universal Credit. The to­tal is nine lower than this time last year. To put it another way, this fig­ure was 0.8 per cent of the eco­nom­i­cally ac­tive pop­u­la­tion (peo­ple aged 16 to 64). The equiv­a­lent UK claimant rate was 2.4 %.

Na­tion­ally, there has also been crit­i­cism in the past that these jobs are not “real” jobs, but in the past year nearly two-thirds of the rise in em­ploy­ment has come from full-time work.

Lastly if we felt we might lose our self-con­fi­dence as a na­tion after vot­ing to leave the EU let us just pause for a mo­ment and re­flect on the Great­ness of our Olympic Cham­pi­ons. If ever there was a sig­nal that this coun­try is strong and in­de­pen­dent it was the re­sults in Rio. We can be proud of our coun­try and par­tic­u­larly proud of these fan­tas­tic men and women that car­ried our flag in an in­ter­na­tional arena and tri­umphed. Let us all try to em­u­late their suc­cess in the fu­ture.

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