Reply to Parishioner’s Election Questions from Sir Peter Bottomley

This is the reply to questions from parishioners from Sir Peter Bottomley
As a concerned advocate for the well-being of my constituents in Arun and Worthing, I am acutely attuned to the financial strain faced by some members of our community. Drawing upon expert guidance from Citizens Advice when I visited their Worthing office.
I pressed the Chancellor to ensure that benefits were adjusted in line with inflation in the Autumn Statement.
I remain committed to supporting our most vulnerable residents and working towards targeted assistance for those disproportionately affected by cost-of-living pressures. While I acknowledge the vital role food banks play in alleviating hardship, I am pleased that the majority of households in the UK enjoy sufficient food security, thanks in part to rises in the National Minimum Wage. On 1st April 2024, the Government delivered a cash boost to the National Living Wage. This year, in accordance with advice from the Low Pay Commission the National Living Wage rose by 9.8% for over 23s, and 12.4% for over 21s. I am pleased that this has made a positive contribution to a huge number of households.
The unexpected hardship for so many because of the impact of the energy crisis and rises in cost-of-living costs across the globe cannot be underestimated.
In the past year, we have seen inflation drop substantially. The Government has worked patiently and consistently to get the economy back on the right track and the national debt reduced.
If re-elected, I will continue to press the Government to ensure the country’s finances can be placed on a sure footing.
I have consistently emphasised my unwavering support for upholding our international commitment to allocate 0.7% of our national income as official aid. As I explained in my article for The House magazine – see…/by-cutting-foreign-aid…, I believe this is essential for enabling poorer countries to break the cycle of poverty and for our country to continue setting an example in global development assistance. I have pledged to collaborate with colleagues across the House to challenge this decision and advocate for a reversal.
While I acknowledge the significant economic challenges posed by the pandemic and Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, I firmly believe that cutting back on our development commitments overseas was an ill-advised move. The impact of this cut is being felt most acutely by the world’s most vulnerable populations, including millions of children at risk of famine and women without access to essential healthcare services.
I am committed to working with like-minded colleagues to restore our commitment to the 0.7% target, as promised to the people of Worthing West when I was first elected in 2019.
I believe human rights in the workplace are essential, encompassing the right to a safe and healthy environment, fair compensation and equal pay for equal work, collective bargaining, and protection from forced labour and trafficking. Building on existing regulations, such as Section 172 of the Companies Act, I encourage all businesses to adopt a responsible approach by considering their environmental and social impact. Many companies have already committed to the UN’s Race to Zero campaign, and I urge others to follow suit and set targets for achieving net zero emissions. As a strong advocate for a fair and open society, I will continue to champion these values both in and outside of Parliament.
The UK played a key role in the COP15 negotiations, building on our country’s presidencies at COP and G7, including the Leaders’ Pledge for Nature, which saw world leaders commit to sustainable food production, ending illegal wildlife trade, and addressing climate change. The G7 Climate and Environment Ministers have also pledged to swiftly implement the Global Biodiversity Framework (GBF) and provide international climate finance for nature-based solutions.
It is crucial that our democracy has a symbol of strength and stability at its core. As your representative, I am a fierce advocate for your concerns, priorities, and opinions, amplifying your voice above all others. As Father of the House, I have had the privilege of being a powerful voice for Worthing and Arun, consistently placing our local issues on the national agenda

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