Living Standards

Part of Opposition Day — [Un-allotted Day] – in the House of Commons at 5:30 pm on 30th November 2011.

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Photo of Jessica Lee Jessica Lee Conservative, Erewash 5:30 pm, 30th November 2011

This is a Government who have shown from the outset, within the first few weeks of their formation, a genuine commitment and a refreshing approach to how we deal with the most vulnerable children. I support what they are doing on that.

There are many other aspects that I do not have time to go through in detail. I mentioned empowering people and giving them opportunities. The Secretary of State has spent years in his work for the Centre for Social Justice examining what is wrong and where the difficulties are in society, and pinpointing the problems. He has been coming forward with radical proposals such as universal credit. We in this House may not agree on the outcomes of those policies, but it is that type of bold, progressive move that we must adopt. Such moves help families who have been trapped in cycles and years of poverty to move on, and give them opportunities that they might otherwise never have.

In the brief time that remains, I want to deal with business. Another aspect of this debate is women and how the Government are working to support them. There are many women in businesses in Erewash who are doing a fantastic job. I welcome recent policies such as establishing 5,000 mentors to help existing women entrepreneurs to develop their businesses. We all know that many women will have to struggle with child care and family commitments, but many start-ups begin at home, on laptops or round the coffee table. We need to support women much more, so I welcome those and other policies such as the Women’s Business Council.

Last week, I spoke in the House during the manufacturing debate. I happen to be the only female MP to have made a substantive speech in that debate, but manufacturing is very important to my constituency, so I want to say in conclusion that it is by supporting business, manufacturing and the policies to help families which I have mentioned that we will improve living standards.