Dear Plymouth Moor View,
Thank you very much for the overwhelming comments this week both before the debate on Tuesday and afterwards. I do try and respond to all – but because so many are about the same subject, on this occasion I will not be able to.
I knocked on over 27,000 doors this year to become your voice in Westminster, whatever the personal cost. I did it to understand our communities and how we can as a City start to fulfil that enormous potential we all agree we have. The day would always come when I would have to step forward and be your voice despite it being easier not to. Yesterday that happened and I am grateful for the many kind emails, telephone calls and comments in person today.
I want to be very clear on the process that has been undertaken in relation to reform of tax credits as I know first-hand how confusing they can be! Last night’s motion was a non-binding Labour Party motion to oppose all reform to Tax Credits. I clearly could not support this and I believe I made it clear in my speech of the need for reform of the tax credit system. However, it is my primary job to be YOUR voice in Westminster, and I will be. That is why I called on the government to do more to help mitigate the impact of these reforms. There are policies in place already that are set to benefit constituents in Plymouth Moor View although; we are yet to see the full-effects of them and that is a concern to me. What I want to see is tax credit reform, but policies in place to mitigate the impact of the lessening of a policy that has grown out of hand, burdened the state with a £30bn+ financial responsibility and allows employers to underpay their staff.
As your MP I am interested in one thing and one thing only – representing the people of Plymouth Moor View on the floor of the House of Commons. I am not interested in Social Media Campaigns against me that fundamentally miss the point of a vote such a last night. I am not interested in personal campaigns against me and my family which never bothered me in the General Election, and I suspect never will.
I am interested in working night and day to mitigate the effects of these reforms on the hardest hit in Plymouth. That includes personally speaking directly to the Chancellor and Prime Minister about these reforms. It includes having the courage to speak up with their voice when those around me would rather I didn’t. It does not include voting for a motion that can have no effect and is diametrically opposed to any reform of the Tax Credit system which is out of control.
I am always prepared to meet anyone who would like to chat in person about these reforms – my door is always open.
Finally – the word people always associate with our great City is “potential”. There is a reason we have not fulfilled it. We must strive for a higher politics – one of focus on the greater good, not short-sighted opportunism for personal gain at our great City’s cost.