01 OCT 2014

CAROLINE: WE'VE COME A LONG WAY - LET'S FINISH THE JOB AND BUILD A BRITAIN TO BE PROUD OF

In a barnstorming speech today David Cameron set out his plans to finish the work of the current Government: building a Britain to be proud of by cutting taxes, reducing the deficit, and improving public services. Under Conservative plans 30 million people will see their taxes cut; with the tax free Personal Allowance increased to £12,500, and the Higher Rate Threshold at which people start paying 40 per cent tax increased to £50,000. This would take all of those working 30 hours a week or less on minimum wage out of income tax altogether.

I was also delighted by the news that 3 million apprenticeships will be created to help give our young people the skills they need to succeed, and happy that unlike the Leader of the Opposition the Prime Minister managed to remember the deficit; pledging to eliminate it by 2018 - through spending cuts, not tax rises.

There were other excellent measures. The commitment to build 100,000 new Starter Homes is great news for those looking to get their first foot on the property ladder; while the ring-fencing of NHS spending is a reminder that it is the Conservatives who are the true party of the NHS.

The Prime Minister also set out his plans for renegotiation with Europe; including a firm line on the free movement of people. Once this has happened Conservatives in Government – and only Conservatives – will deliver that in/out referendum. In addition the Prime Minister said that a Conservative Government would never let European Courts dictate to our Parliament on issues like prisoners voting – and committed to introducing a British Bill of Rights and scrapping Labour's Human Rights Act.

The contrast with Ed Miliband's performance last week – so forgettable that he forgot it himself – was stark. There is now a clear choice for 2015: David Cameron or Ed Miliband. A Conservative Government that will cut taxes, reward hard work, and protect our public services, or a weak Labour leader whose only answers are more taxes, more borrowing, and more debt. As the Prime Minister said, if you vote UKIP – that's really a vote for Labour. On 7th May you could go to bed with Nigel Farage, and wake up with Ed Miliband.

We are now creating more jobs here in Britain than in the whole of Europe put together: 1.8 million jobs in the last 4 years. We have the fastest growing economy in the Western World. But there is still much more to do. We need to finish the job and deliver a Conservative majority in 2015 to build a Britain we can all be proud of.


30 SEP 2014

CAROLINE VISITS BASEPOINT CENTRE

Local MP Caroline Dinenage today visited Gosport Basepoint Centre for a tour of the facilities and took the chance to speak to the licensees.

The Basepoint Centre is home to a large number of fledgling businesses which are working to innovate and expand. It offers a range of office space, workshops and incubator suites as well as state of the art technology and high speed internet access.

Speaking after her visit, Caroline said:

"I always enjoy speaking to local business people and was delighted to hear about their experiences at the Basepoint Centre. It is a fantastic environment and the strong business community provides a network of support that is invaluable to entrepreneurs.

I was extremely impressed by the facilities and particularly the technology available – it is wonderful to have this cutting edge business centre on our doorstep."

Having run a business since the age of 19, Caroline is passionate about supporting small business owners. She is an active member of the Business, Skills and Innovation Select Committee and was appointed Small Business Ambassador for the South by the Prime Minister last year.


30 SEP 2014

CAROLINE TO HOLD OPEN SURGERY

Local MP Caroline Dinenage will hold an open surgery at the Gosport Discovery Centre this Friday.

Caroline's open advice surgeries give her constituents the opportunity to discuss their concerns about both local and national issues without making an appointment beforehand. By holding these surgeries, Caroline is fulfilling her pledge to reach out to people across the constituency.

She commented:

"In the past, my surgeries at the Discovery Centre have been a huge success, with people from across the area popping in to have a chat, raise problems and receive advice. I would encourage anyone who wouldn't think of coming to my Stoke Road surgery to drop in on Friday."

Caroline's open surgery will take place between 2pm and 3:30pm on Friday 3rd October. She will continue her surgery tour on Friday 7th November at Bridgemary Library.

For more information about these surgeries, please call Caroline's constituency office on 023 9252 2121.


26 SEP 2014

CAROLINE WELCOMES DISCRETIONARY INCOME INCREASE

Gosport MP Caroline Dinenage has welcomed news from the Asda Income Tracker showing that last month, the discretionary income of the average UK household is fast approaching its all-time high.

In August 2014, the average family had £172 per week of discretionary income, in comparison to the high point of £174 per week last seen in January 2010. The August increase marks the biggest annual increase in the Income Tracker for five months.

Caroline commented:

"Hearing that discretionary incomes are up £5 a week on the same time last year is really good news for households across the Gosport peninsula. That additional money will make a real difference to families, reducing the pressure on their household budgets.

The increase will also boost spending power thus helping to accelerate the recovery of the British economy."

The Asda Income Tracker measures how much families have left to spend each week after paying for essentials such as electricity and fuel, food and housing costs. It is based on research by the Centre for Economic and Business Research (CEBR).


24 SEP 2014

CAROLINE CELEBRATES FA SKILLS SUCCESS

Local MP Caroline Dinenage this month attended an event in Parliament to celebrate the success of FA Skills, The FA's flagship coaching programme for 5 to 11 year old girls and boys.

At the event, Caroline met former England and West Ham United midfielder, Sir Trevor Brooking who played a key role in establishing FA Skills back in 2007. The programme enables children to get active, learn new skills and enjoy football both in and out of school. It is delivered by 158 full-time coaches in England.

Speaking after the event, Caroline said:

"I was delighted to join Sir Trevor to celebrate the huge progress that FA Skills has made since it began seven years ago. With six million children already having benefited from the initiative, I am confident that it will continue to flourish in the years to come, giving children the chance to have fun with their peers and refine their football technique."

Caroline is a keen advocate of getting children into sport. She is a Parliamentary Sport Champion and has worked closely with community sport providers to help them deliver the best sporting opportunities for people in Gosport.

FA Skills is free to primary schools thanks to funding from The FA, the National Lottery and the Government through Sport England. For more information please visit http://faskills.thefa.com/.


22 SEP 2014

CAROLINE BACKS FIGHT AGAINST BREAST CANCER

Gosport MP Caroline Dinenage has joined the fight against breast cancer by taking part in Breast Cancer Campaign's flagship fundraiser, 'wear it pink' day.

On Friday 24 October, people across the country will come together to wear pink in the office, at home or at school in order to raise vital funds for lifesaving breast cancer research. The initiative coincides with Breast Cancer Awareness Month which is held every October.

Caroline said:

"It is devastating to know that 12,000 women and 80 men die from breast cancer each year in the UK. That is why we need to support Breast Cancer Campaign's fundraising efforts to facilitate world-class breast cancer research that saves and improves lives, giving people quicker diagnoses and more effective treatments.

I hope that people across Gosport, Stubbington, Lee-on-the-Solent and Hill Head will join me by 'wearing it pink' on Friday 24 October and showing their support for breast cancer research."

For more information or to register for 'wear it pink' and receive your fundraising pack visit www.wearitpink.org.


19 SEP 2014

CAROLINE WELCOMES NO VOTE & CALLS FOR MORE POWERS FOR ENGLAND

Gosport MP Caroline Dinenage has this morning welcomed the news that the Scottish people have voted against independence and is calling for a review of the existing devolution framework.

Yesterday's landmark referendum rightly gave the people of Scotland the opportunity to decide on their own future, however, learning that the country will remain part of the United Kingdom comes as welcome news to many.

In response to the referendum, Caroline is backing the calls to give English people more power by revising the devolution framework that was put in place by the last Labour Government.

"I am pleased that the Scottish people have voted to remain part of the United Kingdom. The UK is stronger with Scotland, and Scotland is stronger as part of the UK.

However, following this referendum, Scotland will have new powers; so should England. It is absolutely right that English MPs should be the only elected representatives with the right to vote on issues that only affect English people.

The majority of the letters that I have received on the issue of the Scottish Referendum were asking if, in the case of a yes vote, shipbuilding would return to Portsmouth. That's symptomatic, not of an area that doesn't fully appreciate the historic ties that mean we are better together, but more a reflection that English people feel it's time we were allowed to put our own interests first."

Caroline will continue to support the campaign for a review of the devolution framework.


17 SEP 2014

CAROLINE ATTENDS SOUTHAMPTON BOAT SHOW

Gosport MP Caroline Dinenage yesterday visited the Southampton Boat Show where she met with a number of local marine businesses and attended an event to commend the success of maritime apprentices.

The Southampton Boat Show takes place every year, showcasing the best of the British marine industry. Amongst the other exhibitors, Gosport's own Haslar Marina and Marine Advertising Agency were promoting their services at the event.

Caroline also met Sir Ben Ainslie who was giving out awards to apprentices from the marine sector, and speaking about his Portsmouth Harbour-based Americas Cup venture. 

Speaking after the event, Caroline commented:

"I always enjoy attending the Southampton Boat Show and particularly seeing local marine companies flying the flag for Gosport.

This year, I was honoured to join Sir Ben Ainslie at the Apprenticeship Graduation Awards and was delighted to hear about his hopes for local apprentices in the lead up to the Americas Cup. Apprenticeships are a fantastic way for young people to develop industry specific skills and Sir Ben's project will offer terrific opportunities to those in our area who are passionate about the maritime sector."

Since her election, Caroline has worked hard to promote Gosport as a world-class marine and sailing destination. She was instrumental in the formation of the Gosport Marine Scene group in 2012.

The Southampton Boat Show will run until Sunday 21st September.


16 SEP 2014

PARLIAMENTARY GROUP FOR MATHS AND NUMERACY PUBLISHES FIRST PAPER

Gosport MP Caroline Dinenage has welcomed the publication of a new briefing document on the issues of maths and numeracy in the UK.

The paper was put together by the All Party Parliamentary Group for Maths and Numeracy which Caroline established at the beginning of the year and highlights some startling facts about numeracy skills in the UK. For example, only one in five 16-64 year olds in England have numeracy skills roughly equivalent to GCSE grade C.

Caroline said:

"This Parliamentary Group was launched to shed light on the huge impact that poor numeracy has on individuals and our economy as well as to make recommendations about how the situation could be improved. With an estimated cost to the UK economy of £20 billion per year, the Group's first publication sheds light on the need to address poor numeracy urgently.

I am confident the Group's future work will continue to place pressure on policymakers, maintaining momentum in this important campaign to boost numeracy skills in the UK."

Caroline has long campaigned on the importance of numeracy and literacy. Most recently, she was instrumental in securing a landmark Business, Innovation and Skills Select Committee inquiry into literacy and numeracy which presented its findings earlier this month.

You can access the full report here: APPG Briefing Paper


11 SEP 2014

CAROLINE DEMANDS TOUGHER ACTION ON LATE PAYMENT

Gosport MP Caroline Dinenage today pushed the Government to introduce tougher measures for large companies that fail to pay their bills on time. Late payment is one of the most serious issues affecting small businesses; with research showing that in 2011, 125,000 businesses were almost put out of business by late payment; and the local MP, who is the PM's Small Business Ambassador for the South has repeatedly pushed the Government to take a firmer stance on big companies failing to pay small businesses on time.

Speaking in the chamber, Caroline said, "Businesses in my region really welcome proposals in the Small Business Bill on prompt payment but with £46 billion currently owed to businesses in the UK, up £10 billion on last year, as the bill goes forward will the Minister consider making the code even tougher, and broadening it to more companies?"

Responding for the Government, Secretary of State for Business, Innovation, and Skills Vince Cable replied:

"Well she's quite right that particularly given the overall problems with access to finance for small and medium sized companies, the issue of late payment is critical and it is on a massive scale as she describes. We will in the course of this bill be making it much more transparent; how larger companies in particular make their payments, helping small companies in that way. I'm very happy to look at how we can strengthen the code and indeed we are talking to the institute of credit management about how we can do that."

Commenting outside the chamber, Caroline said, "As a small business owner I know first-hand the problems a late payment can cause for small and medium sized firms. This Government has a good record on backing small businesses – but we need to go further in tackling a widespread and harmful culture of larger firms failing to pay smaller companies on time."


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