Richmond Park News: 02 September 2022
Updated: Sep 7, 2022
By Monday, the country will know who their next Prime Minister will be. Whether it is Rishi Sunak or Liz Truss, they will have a monumental task ahead of them. With the rising cost of living, runaway inflation, and the effects of the war in Ukraine to contend with, I know that all sides from across the political aisle hope that they have a plan to support our country through the winter.
Parliament comes back into session next week and before the House sits, I wanted to take the opportunity to discuss my national and local priorities over the next few months.
COST OF LIVING SUPPORT
As I mentioned in my previous newsletter, the rising cost of energy bills is something that I have received numerous emails and letters about from my constituents. This has included several emails from local businesses, that are not subject to an energy cap, with some facing closure as their bills rise by almost 400%.
This week, I was proud that in addition to our policy to support household energy costs, the Liberal Democrats announced a further proposal to support small businesses with the rising costs of energy. Our scheme would offer grants of up to £50,000 to shops, pubs, restaurants and all small and medium enterprises to help them cope with the impending challenges they face this winter.
Our plan would see small and medium-sized businesses offered government grants covering 80% of the increase in their energy bills for one year, up to the maximum of £50,000. For example, a typical small restaurant would receive a grant of around £10,000 to help with their bills. The plans would benefit the 1.4 million small businesses across the UK, from high street shops to local pubs and cafes. The estimated £10 billion cost of the scheme could be met by reversing the Conservatives’ planned tax cuts for big banks, which are seeing their profits grow with rising interest rates. That would include cancelling the Government’s cut to the Bank Surcharge that is due to take effect in April 2023 and restoring the Bank Levy to 2015 levels, raising £10.6 billion over the next four years.
I know the issue of rising bills is playing on the minds of everyone in the constituency, and I, therefore, wanted to highlight the recently launched Richmond Council and Kingston Council cost of living hub, where you can find advice and support going forward. You can access the Richmond Hub here and the Kinston Hub here. Should you require further assistance, please do not hesitate to contact me directly at firstname.lastname@example.org.
TACKLING DISPOSAL OF RAW SEWAGE
I am extremely concerned about the environmental damage caused by the repeated disposal of raw sewage into UK rivers and lakes and onto our coastlines. Following a drastic increase in such instances of raw sewage disposal over the Summer, I will be working alongside my Liberal Democrat colleagues to press the Government to strengthen legislation so that water companies can be properly held to account. The Lib Dems have previously called for a Sewage Tax to be imposed on sewage-dumping water companies who made over £2.8 billion in profit. We also backed amendments to the Environment Bill to end sewage discharges and will continue to look for further opportunities to force the Government to take action.
This Thursday, I have been selected to ask an oral question to the Department for the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs during their departmental questions session in Parliament. I intend to voice the concerns that constituents have raised to me and call for tougher measures to crack down on the repeated dumping of raw sewage. We have needed tougher regulations on sewage dumping for years now and I have made repeated calls on the government, you can view some of my previous work here.
SUPPORTING LOCAL POLICING