A strong economy creates jobs and funds public services

This week new figures showed that the unemployment rate is at its lowest since 1974.

Average weekly earnings have increased by 3.3 per cent compared with a year earlier.

The unemployment rate is at 3.8 per cent, half the level it was in 2010.

In the South East region 4,608,042 people are in work, 415,703 more than in 2010.

In the Arundel & South Downs Constituency, just 625 people were out of work and claiming benefit (Jobseekers Allowance and Universal Credit) last month.  This represents a rate of 1.4 per cent of the economically active population aged 16-64.

Nationally, the number of women in work is at a record high of 15.42 million, with over 1.79 million more women in work than in 2010.

A careful, balanced approach to the economy is delivering more jobs, together with extra resources for public services such as the NHS.

This week is Mental Health Awareness Week, which this year focuses on body image and the impact it can have on mental health.

The Government’s long-term plan for the NHS delivers record investment in mental health services – an extra £2.3 billion by 2023-24 – including faster access to help for conditions like eating disorders.

The Government is committed to increasing the share of the NHS budget which is spent on mental health services and making them more accessible, as well as tackling the root causes of mental health conditions.

There is clearly more to do, as I realised when I convened a local summit on young people’s mental health in 2017.

This was in response to brave young people who came to my constituency advice surgeries to tell me about the issues they’d faced, and why they felt they needed more support.

We are becoming increasingly aware that looking after our mental health is as important as looking after our physical health.

I believe that social media also has a contributory effect on mental heath, and I’ve been concerned about online bullying of young people.

I spoke about this issue in the Commons last week, after my constituent Katie Price tabled a petition calling for the issue to be addressed.

A Law Commission report found that 28 per cent of UK internet users are on the receiving end of trolling, harassment or cyberbullying.

The social media companies have a responsibility to do more to tackle hateful content.

If you would like to get in touch with me, please e-mail me at nick@nickherbert.com.