Protecting wildlife is a priority

I was disappointed to receive a high number of click and sign campaign emails generated by the RSPB charity last week as they were suggesting the Government was reneging on environmental protections and legislation.

These had been prompted by the Chancellor announcing the setting up of Investment Zones in England.  Yet, there was no suggestion environmental commitments would change. 

The campaign is sadly light on facts and heavy on fiction. We drove through the Environment Act in parliament just a few months ago and the net zero commitment is enshrined in law.

The criteria for Investment Zones clearly show planning policy will only be streamlined in areas which are specially-designated for development to build homes and create jobs.  Local councils will decide too.  

The UK has a very good record on environmental issues. Improving our natural environment is a national mission – something I do with my support for the WWT at Slimbridge.  There is always more to do for the planet but constantly criticising the UK and ignoring this country’s successes under this government is counterproductive.

Pressure groups should make their point but deliberately using inflammatory language and misleading graphics rarely gets parliamentarians or the public on side in the long run.

The Chancellor announcing he will not abolish the 45p tax band was the right decision as many people struggle with the cost of living.

There is much to be applauded in the mini budget but such a change in the higher tax band was putting me in the position of potentially being unable to vote measures through.  

The positives in the Growth Plan are many, including lowering the basic rate of income tax to 19p and not increasing corporation tax as local businesses wanted.  These are announcements that seem to have been lost in the noise.

The fact is the tax burden for everyone is too high. Our public services like the NHS need the country to achieve growth after the pandemic and part of doing that means reducing the tax burden for everybody and increasing productivity.

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