Alec Shelbrooke: Why I believe Tory Government is still delivering for Britain - despite Brexit

MP Alec Shelbrooke says living standards are continuing to improve under the Government. Do you agree?
MP Alec Shelbrooke says living standards are continuing to improve under the Government. Do you agree?
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IN the current political climate, it might be very easy to think everything has stopped for Brexit.

Newspapers and television and radio news programmes are almost all dominated by the latest developments as we try to negotiate a smooth departure from the European Union.

Alec Shelbrooke is the Conswervatrive MP for Elmet and Rothwell.

Alec Shelbrooke is the Conswervatrive MP for Elmet and Rothwell.

It could be understandable for people to think their everyday lives have been for gotten by politicians who seem to clash with each other on an almost daily basis. However, that is very far from the truth.

While it is correct MPs from all sides are focused on finding way through the Brexit deadlock, the efforts of this Conservative Government to build a country that works for everyone do not stop.

And in the last few days, those efforts have included some very big announcements which will affect everyone in Yorkshire in one way or another.

Some of these announcements have unfortunately been swallowed up by other news, but they should not go unchecked by anyone as they will have an impact – a positive one – on so many lives.

For instance, on Saturday, the personal tax allowance – how much someone earns before they pay tax – increased to £12,500.

That is a rise of £650 to almost double the rate under Labour, and it means a basic rate taxpayer will pay more than £1,200 income tax less than they did in 2010.

But not only will people be paying less income tax, but they will see their wages increase too. On April 1, the National Living Wage, for those over 25, rose by five per cent to £8.21, while the National Minimum Wage, for younger workers, went up to £6.15.

It means about 209,000 workers across Yorkshire and the Humber and 2.1m across the country will see an instant pay rise of up to £690 extra a year.

Like personal tax allowances, which have been rising since 2010, so has the National Minimum Wage.

It shows the Conservative Party is the party for workers and for people who want to make their lives and their families’ lives better.

We now have one of the highest minimum wages in the world as our economy continues to grow and I know these wage rises will be a big boost to families in across Yorkshire.

We are determined to end low pay and make sure workers get a fair day’s pay for a fair day’s work.

In fact, wages are now rising across the board for all workers in all sectors, while employment is at a record high.

Figures out last month show there are 2.6 million people in work across Yorkshire and the Humber, up 225,464 from 2010.

The Government is not just looking out for the workers. On Saturday the full State Pension also rose by 2.6 per cent this year – £3.25 a week on the basic State Pension – giving pensioners £169 more a year, as well as more dignity and security in their retirement.

The start of this month and the beginning of another tax year has also been positive for motorists too.

For the ninth year in a row, fuel duty is remaining frozen, saving the average driver £1,000 since 2010 on the cost of filling up.

Labour have made it very clear they would increase fuel duty if they got into office. Conservatives have not.

Motorists are also being helped in other ways too. Councils across Yorkshire and the Humber are receiving a total of £5.3m towards the repairing of potholes as part of a £50m national fund.

The money is a slice of a £200m investment in our roads right across the country and is part of the £6.6bn the Government is providing in the six years to 2021 to improve the state of roads across the country.

We are investing in our roads on an unprecedented scale, providing the biggest ever single cash injection to improve England’s roads, investing £29bn to boost the local economy and help businesses and families reach their destinations faster.

However, all these things can only happen because of the good management of this country’s finances since 2010.

All these things are helping to boost economies across Yorkshire and the Humber at a time, when some people would have you believe it is all bad.

No-one can possibly pretend things have been going smoothly for the past few weeks and months, but it does not mean the Government has stopped working, that departments have shut down.

In fact, on the contrary, this Conservative Government is working harder than ever to make sure people living and working in Yorkshire, and across the entire country are being supported to improve their lives.

Yes, Brexit is important, but whatever the outcome, the Conservative Party will continue to do what is right for those people who want better lives for themselves and their families.

Alec Shelbrooke is Conservative MP for Elmet and Rothwell. He is also Vice Chairman (International) of the Conservative Party.