Growth, growth and more growth for the UK - Simon Hughes

Growth, growth and more growth for the UK


More economic good news for Britons today as the World Economic Forum pushed the UK up to 9th in a list of the world’s best performing economies – we were previously 10th.

It is yet another announcement that proves the tough decisions Liberal Democrats in government have made over the last four years are paying off.

Most importantly, though, people in our area are starting to feel the benefits of our ever accelerating economy.

Businesses are starting to spring up around Bermondsey and Old Southwark, and London firms in general are thriving on an increase in demand for their services and products. Small and Medium-sized local businesses are benefiting directly from our work in government, as they now have better access to money that helps them grow, and fewer burdens on them when it comes to tax and National Insurance.

The residents of Southwark are also finding jobs, too, with unemployment figures continuing to fall. The number of people claiming Job Seekers Allowance has not been so low since the end of 2008, an incredible achievement and one that I hope will begin to relieve the stress the area felt collectively in the darkest days of the recession.

Of course, these successes will not stop me from confronting the challenges we face as residents of Bermondsey and Old Southwark. The Rotherhithe broadband campaign and the extension of the Bakerloo line are two examples of such challenges, and I will continue to campaign strongly for both. I want to help create more opportunities for people in Southwark, particularly getting more local women into employment, where we are lagging behind the UK and London.

But the news is good news, and we should be proud that we’ve come through the deepest recession since records began in 1948, becoming one the fastest growing economies in the world. Growth that would have been impossible under Labour, growth that is creating a fairer society than the Conservatives would have done on their own, and growth that promises much for the future of Bermondsey and Old Southwark.