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Commons Unemployment Debate

October 7th 2008

(1)  Commons praise for Sandys` Business Rates Campaign

North Thanet`s MP, Roger Gale, has tonight (Tuesday) praised the business rates campaign being waged by South Thanet`s Laura Sandys with the local Chambers of Commerce.

Speaking in a debate on unemployment the MP said:

"We need to look to the future - to the day when we come out of this recession.  Already, housebuilding and the jobs that go with it  is dwindling.  The construction of new business, industrial and retail premises and those jobs are on hold. And because of this government`s policy of charging 100% business rates on empty properties some buildings that will be needed  in the future are actually being pulled down.  Laura Sandys, working with the Chambers of Commerce, recognised this danger before I did and before many Members of this House woke up to what is happening.  This was a policy dreamed up three years ago for a very different economic circumstance.  The minister - the Government - has the power to change the policy at the stroke of a pen and he must do it now, before it is too late and before more damage is done".

(2)  Unemployment - the Fear of the Elderly

Elderly people are living in fear of retirement says North Thanet`s MP, Roger Gale.  Speaking in a Commons debate on unemployment the MP said:

"We tend to think of unemployment as a problem that affects the young but the recession and the economic crisis is having its impact upon older people as well.  Only today I took a call from a dignified elderly lady whose husband, well past retirement age, is stacking shelves in a supermarket because he fears for the value of his shares, his pension and his money and he is not prepared to see his wife suffer financially.  That is the real economic impact of the situation that we face today and that is the kind of effect that it is having upon those that we represent".

(3)  Unemployment - MP in Jobcentre plea to Minister

North thanet`s MP, Roger Gale, has this (Tuesday) evening launched a Commons appeal to Work & Pensions Minister Jonathan Shaw to review the  government`s programme of proposed jobcentre closures.

Speaking in the debate on unemployment the MP referred specifically to the proposal to close the jobcentre in Whitstable.

"This closure is opposed by the MP for Canterbury (Julian Brazier) and local councillors" said the MP "and I am concerned because if it closes another 220 people and rising will have to travel to Herne Bay for their jobcentre services.  That`s about another 500 journeys a month and it will place a strain on the Herne Bay staff serving my own constituents needs.  I do not blame the area Manager for seeking to maximise her resources but I understand that theis is part of a much wider programme of closures and I have to say that the start of a recession with rising unemployment is not the time to start closing Jobcentres: he must think again"

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