MP for Windsor
Working Hard For You
Ghana’s warm reception shows the opportunities for post-Brexit Britain

Having just returned from a flying visit to Ghana with the Foreign Secretary, Boris Johnson, I thought I’d make some encouraging observations about UK-Ghana relations.

My role, as the Prime Minister’s Trade Envoy to Ghana, it to boost our trading relationship with Ghana. It is notable that our Foreign Secretary chose Ghana as one of his destinations on his first visit to the region.

I am pleased to report that the meetings we held with President Nana Akufo-Addo and his Ministers were as warm and cordial as they were productive and workmanlike.

This was my second trip to Ghana in as many months, the first being in January as a representative of Her Majesty’s Government at President Akufo-Addo’s Inauguration.

Like every other Ghanaian election in recent memory, the 2016 Presidential and General Elections were universally recognised as being free and fair, and the transfer of power, despite a close result, was peaceful and successful.

Good democracies make for good trading partners and Britain’s trade with Ghana is booming. Bilateral trade re-crossed the £1bn threshold in 2015 and there is every reason to expect that figure to climb especially with the level of engagement at the highest levels of Government.

There are great opportunities for British investors in Ghana and a huge range of businesses where investors can find a home. We are world leaders across many of the sectors that Ghana seeks market expertise in; from financial, professional and technology services to the creative industries, aerospace, construction and even bridge building. There is huge potential to enhance our trading partnership over the coming years.

The new Ghanaian administration are quite clear: they want to see the private sector create the jobs and prosperity needed to boost the Ghanaian economy. This desire has be encapsulated into a manifesto commitment to see a factory in every district and the UK is well positioned to assist with both investment and expertise.

Post-Brexit Britain is very much open for business and we stand to benefit as much as the Ghanaian people.

To find out more about opportunities for UK businesses overseas visit the Exporting is Great website. 

Windsor MP welcomes tax cuts for small businesses

Adam Afriyie, the MP for Windsor, welcomes a raft of new tax cuts for small business that will encourage apprenticeships and investment.

From April small business rate relief has been doubled and the employment allowance for businesses and charities will increase from £2,000 to £3,000. It will offset the cost of the National Living Wage, which is being increased to £7.20 – a 7.5% wage increase for people on lower pay.

Fuel duty has also been frozen for the sixth consecutive year that Conservatives have been in power which has held down the costs of doing business particularly for self-employed mobile workers who make use of vans.

 

The MP for the Windsor constituency, Adam Afriyie welcomed the figures:

“These policies come from a Conservative Government that is on the side of young people, the lower paid and people who start their own businesses or take up an apprenticeship or, indeed, give something back to the community by taking on an apprentice.

“Small businesses are the backbone of the economy. They have powered Britain’s recovery from Labour’s recession and I sense that our country is back on track.

ENDS

Note to editors

  1. Adam Afriyie has written at length on education and social mobility. To see his full record please see here and here.
  2. Adam Afriyie has a strong background and interest in science, technology and innovation due to his entrepreneurial background in the IT sector and a variety of posts he has held and/or currently holds, including Shadow Minister for Science, Chairman of the Parliamentary Office of Science and Technology (POST) and President of the Conservative Technology Forum (CTF).
Widespread confidence in the Conservatives

A new poll by the Edelman Trust shows a solid vote of confidence in this Conservative government and a recognition of how divided left-leaning Labour has become.

Just 18% trust Jeremy Corbyn to do what is right, compared to 33% who felt the same way about Miliband in 2014. Moreover, 40% of the public trust David Cameron to do the right thing, up from 33% in 2014.

Windsor MP welcomes another fall in unemployment

The new figures show that in the constituency of Windsor, there are now only 425 claimants of unemployment benefit.

This represents a rate of 0.8% of the Windsor population, placing Windsor in the top 10% best performing constituencies.

Nationally, the employment rate has broken the previous record high set last month, with an employment rate of 73.9%. Inflation is 0.1%, far below wage growth of 2.4%.

The MP for the Windsor constituency, Adam Afriyie welcomed the figures:

“I’m just over the moon. This is an early Christmas present for everyone who’s got a job because work is the best route to financial security. What’s best of all is that only X young people now unemployed with youth employment having dropped by half since this time last year.

“It is at times like this that I am reminded why I joined the Conservative Party: to give people jobs, incomes and a way to improve life for themselves and their familes.

“It is important now that the Government continues with the successful policies that have brought Britain to the top of the economic tables. Let’s push on and secure a more prosperous future for everyone.

“It’s hard to believe that Jeremy Corbyn and the Labour Party want to take us back to the failed policies of 1979. I genuinely cannot fathom why they refuse to accept that the best way to create meaningful jobs and incomes is to pursue sound economic policies which means cutting government spending and taxes on the least well-off whilst getting people off benefits and into work.”

ENDS

Note to editors

  1. Total unemployment – 425
    1. JSA – 402
    2. Universal Credit but not in employment – 23
    3. Percentage of those aged 16-64 – 0.8% (equivalent UK rate is 2.4%)
  2. Ranked – 589 of 650
  3. 57 lower than November 2014
  4. 11 higher than October 2015 (figures are not seasonally adjusted)
  5. Youth unemployment (18-24)
    1. Total – 35
    2. 35 lower than November 2014
The leaders’ debate showed that only the Conservatives have a credible plan

As the election campaign kicked off, it was fascinating to watch the seven main party leaders set out their positions in the leaders’ debates. For those of us living in England, it demonstrated a clear choice between the coherent economic competence of the Conservatives on the one hand, and the chaos of the other parties.

It was clear throughout that Conservatives have a plan to get rid of the deficit, by bearing down on departmental spending and further reducing welfare, so that work really pays.

Yes, we are still spending more than we can afford as a country, but thanks to tough decisions taken by Conservatives in Government, the deficit has been cut by half in percentage terms in this parliament, and will be eliminated in the next. Conservatives believe it’s morally wrong to leave huge debts behind for our children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren to pay off.

The only way to build a prosperous future that works for everyone and provide the public services we all rely on is with more jobs and a growing economy. That’s why it’s so important that we stick to the economic plan that has made us the fastest growing major economy. It is striking to note that we have created 2 million jobs which is more than any other European country. And let’s not forget that, for all the challenges facing it, the NHS has been voted the best health service in the world.

The other parties showed that they simply don’t have the plans to deliver on growth, jobs and taxes. From what I can fathom, Labour will cost the average family about £3,000 more in taxes over the next parliament, levy a tax on homes in the South-East to give more money to Scotland and has no strategy for cutting the deficit. A Labour Government, in all likelihood propped up by the SNP, would mean more taxes, higher unemployment, and unaffordable borrowing.

The other parties have no sensible plans for deficit reduction, job creation or economic growth and none of them will be willing or able to give people their say in an in/out referendum on our EU membership other than the Conservatives.

So, I guess, if you fancy a punt based on reckless promises then a vote for one of the other parties might be in order.  But if you want a bright future with the security of a grown-up Government that sticks to a sensible economic plan that’s putting people into work and our country back on top, then I’d encourage to vote Conservative on the 7th of May.