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Norfolk MP James Wild – job security vital during cost of living crisis

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When the pandemic hit a major concern was that there would be swathes of job losses due to lockdowns and restrictions.

Due to the unprecedented furlough scheme that scenario did not happen and figures published this week show that unemployment is now at its lowest level since 1974.

The security of a job is the best way to help people who can work support themselves and their families. However, in the face of the global cost of living pressures the government has put in £22 billion of additional help with measures on energy bills, national living wage increases, and universal credit changes so people keep more of what they earn.

Empty wallet, rising cost of living.
Empty wallet, rising cost of living.

One of the measures is the £1 billion Household Support Fund and Norfolk County Council has now unveiled a £7.7 million Norfolk Cost of Living Support Scheme to help people with food, energy and utility bills, and other essentials.

Around half of this funding will support families with children eligible for free school meals, a third will be focused on people aged 65 or over, with other funding going to the Norfolk Assistance Scheme for families, young carers, and families with disabilities.

In the House of Commons this week, along with cost of living and other priorities we debated the Queen’s Speech measures on making Britain the best place to grow up and to grow old. I spoke about measures focused on the core Conservative value of opportunity. Education is key to giving people the best chance to make the most of their talents.

James Wild at Westminster Hall.
James Wild at Westminster Hall.

That’s why one of my priorities since being elected has been to visit schools across North West Norfolk to hear directly about the challenges in improving standards.

Literacy and numeracy are fundamental to young people going on to succeed so I welcome the Schools Bill ambition to have 90 per cent of children achieving expected standards in reading, writing, and maths – up from 65 per cent in the most recent year that SATs took place.

But it is all very well setting targets – there needs to be a plan to achieve them. Much will rest on the new Parent Pledge which means that any child that falls behind in English or maths should receive additional tailored support.

One of the issues most frequently raised during my school visits is access to Speech and Language therapy. Spoken language is key to learning across the curriculum. When the special educational needs green paper was published, the Education Secretary assured me that the Pledge would mean that children who need help with communication are supported.

During the debate I also raised the QEH and highlighted once again that it is the most propped hospital in the country.

I urged that now is the time to decide to build a new hospital to deliver better health outcomes in areas that the government has recognised as priority places for levelling up.

The Health Secretary acknowledged the “very powerful” case I made for investment. Now we need to see it delivered. I’ll continue to make the case.

James Wild

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