VIEW FROM THE HOUSE
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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