THIS year has been truly magnificent, one we are unlikely ever to forget. We have celebrated the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee, welcomed the world to watch the spectacular Olympics and Paralympics and we saw our athletes win more medals than ever before.
Britain has shined and the memories of street parties, royal processions and the Union Jack hanging everywhere you went will certainly remain with me.
While it was a year of triumph for the country it is fair to say it has been a challenging year in politics. On gaining office in 2010 the government knew that difficult decisions were going to be needed. We are having to make the tough long-term decisions that we as a country and indeed city needed, trying to mend the damage both economically and socially which was made in the past.
We haven’t gained political capital from the decisions taken but you need only look at the results that we are starting to see to show they have been the right decisions and they are beginning to pay off.
The deficit has been cut by a quarter in two years, national unemployment is at the lowest rate it has been since 2001 and 50,000 more people are in work now than they were this time last year. There are 1,000 new academies and one million new jobs have been created in the private sector since the government gained office in 2010.
Undeniably it is hard at the moment, I would never claim to say our job has been completed but we are getting there. So often it is easy to focus on the negatives and considering the size of the task we have had bestowed upon us it can feel like we are standing still, but let me reassure you, better times are on their way.
We are extremely lucky here in Milton Keynes as the city is leading the way nationally for economic recovery. Experian recently announced that MK was the top growth borough with fantastic prospects for the future. With a large working population Experian believes that MK “has the skills and knowledge-base to support a broad and prosperous spread of businesses. This all adds up to continued employment growth and a strong economy for Milton Keynes in the coming years.”
This is an incredible vote of confidence in our local economy and something we should all be very proud of.
An achievement of the governments which we will see come into force not only in Milton Keynes but also nationally in April, is the introduction of the Universal Credit. This is a drastic change in the way benefits are administered and it will see benefits paid monthly in one lump sum.
The government have also been particularly keen to see an end to the benefits culture which seems to have become so prevalent in our society and I am really proud they are making work pay, rewarding those who do work through tax relief while at the same time supporting the weakest within our society and those who can’t work.
2013 is going to see a great many changes and no doubt it will be another year of hard choices in politics. But we are on the right track, it is paying off and here in Milton Keynes we are better placed than anywhere else in the UK to experience a brighter future.
Mark Lancaster canbe contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org or on 01908 686830.