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West Sussex County Times Article
Last week I went to visit the Aldingbourne Trust's Country Centre. The Trust does valuable work helping people with learning difficulties.
They, like many, are concerned about the possible impact of spending reductions.
I stressed to them that whilst we must make savings to tackle the country's record budget deficit, we all want to do this in a way that protects essential local services.
It is important we don't lose sight of the context.
We have the largest deficit in our peacetime history. We are spending £120 million every day just to pay the interest on the national debt. This is simply unsustainable.
The truth is that we have to reduce spending. Indeed, even the Opposition's plan for this financial year would cut £9 for every £10 the Government is cutting. So to suggest that there is an easy way out of this crisis is horribly misleading.
Furthermore, failing to tackle the deficit would be the biggest obstacle to economic growth, meaning higher interest rates and a harsher climate for new enterprise.
Business is the engine of growth and we must ensure an environment in which they can thrive. It is business that creates wealth.
As Sussex Enterprise have stressed, create the right conditions and "business will do what it does best - creating wealth and jobs, innovating to deliver strong companies and, in doing so, provide much needed growth."
This is at the heart of our strategy.
As the Prime Minister said at the weekend, "we must be on the side of the doers, the grafters, the entrepreneurs and that's why this Government is doing everything possible to get behind them."
That's why we must break down the barriers to business growth - cutting corporation tax, gripping regulation, bringing in an enterprise allowance to help those who are unemployed set up their own business.
I'm sure we will hear more about this in two weeks time when the Budget is unveiled. We must be pro-enterprise and pro-business because ultimately that is where the resources to fund public services will come from.
10 March 2011
"I pledge to work hard for everyone in the constituency, to stand up for local people, and to be a strong voice at Westminster for your concerns"