Local MP Steve Brine spoke up for working families, retired people and young strivers as well as the 'other side of Winchester' in the House of Commons.
The Winchester & Chandler's Ford MP was speaking in a key debate on the economy (on Wednesday 26th November) and spoke about those who live in the constituency who are not part of the visible and wealthy demographic which is often portrayed by the media.
Mr Brine said that his Winchester constituency had seen a 50% drop in the youth claimant count in the last year, with an overall fall of 64% in the number of people looking for work since April 2010, and said that when the Chancellor and the Prime Minister talk about 'hard-working families' and people who 'do the right thing' he firmly recognised his constituents.
The MP highlighted a series of Government policies; the freeze in council tax, in fuel duty and the raising of the personal tax allowance as initiatives that had been well received by his constituents, as well as the triple-lock pension guarantee and safeguarding of the key pensioner benefits.
He said: "I spent a year working at the Department for Work and Pensions with Iain Duncan Smith and our superb Pensions Minister Steve Webb. I know, as do the people I represent, that this is a Government of work AND pensions. That is very important. The employment figures for my area represent real people's lives and the youth claimant count is especially pleasing because, as well as representing many people with families who are at the same age and stage in life as me, I represent a growing university and many young people starting out in life.
"The 'dinkys' – double income, no kids (yet) - are clearly benefiting from a growing economy that is creating jobs for them to find and settle into. They have the most to lose if this country goes backwards next year. They have aspirations, such as owning their own home, driving a nice car and being able to afford a season ticket at St Mary's and I don't scoff or sneer at their ambition just because that is not what everyone in our country can afford."
He went on to say that his younger constituents are well-educated, global in their outlook and highly mobile, and love the fact Winchester is now the self-employment capital of England. He highlighted Basepoint in Winnall as an example of how start-ups are at a record high, as well as large employers such as Denplan and the opportunities created by Winchester's growing reputation as 'the' Christmas City.
Mr Brine concluded by saying that all the opportunities Winchester & Chandler's Ford has, including a £125m investment in hospital services, hundreds of new primary school places and much-needed resurfacing of the M3 would not be possible without a growing economy. "That is what is at stake at next year's General Election", he concluded.
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