My Views

A Strong Economy

The British economy relies on businesses to grow. To unlock economic growth, we must back small businesses like those across South West Norfolk. The two most effective ways of giving businesses this essential support is lowering their tax burden and freeing them from outdated EU red tape.

Corporation Tax should be set at 19% or lower to allow businesses to grow and innovate. Calls for higher tax on corporations or an international minimum tax agreement would hurt business at home and make us less competitive internationally.

Alongside this, introducing our own, more dynamic regulations will free business owners from unhelpful and unnecessary restrictions that increase prices and waste. Businesses in South West Norfolk would benefit from us turning our back on Brussels-inspired regulations and creating a freer, more competitive environment for business here.

It is only through unleashing the potential of our small businesses, by cutting tax and restrictions, that we can re-invigorate our economy and beat the stagnation which has given us low to no growth.

Cutting the Cost of Government

The government has never been bigger or more expensive than it is now. The size and reach of the state has grown unsustainably and even with the highest tax burden since WWII, we still need to borrow to make ends meet. To stop the size of the state spiralling out of control, we must control welfare spending and streamline the complex bureaucracy of quangos.

46% of our GDP is spent by the government. We need to expand the size of the private sector to bring this figure down. We must find ways to cut red tape, control our spending and make Britain grow again.

One of the biggest items on the British taxpayers’ bill is welfare. We need to encourage people off of benefits by reducing uprating and imposing tougher work requirements. By increasing the incentive to work and taking less in tax from those who do work, we can reduce the number of people claiming benefits, increase the number of people in work and ultimately reduce our benefits bill.

We also need to get a grip on the sprawling network of quangos which suffocate free enterprise. Quangos reduce the accountability of decision-makers and make the government more bloated and ineffective.

Cost of Living

Increases in the cost of living have put unprecedented pressure on people’s wallets. Two of the biggest bills people pay are on their energy and on their homes. We must take action to cut these bills and ease the financial pressure on families.

The US has cut its energy bills by building up its own supply of energy, so it isn’t reliant on dictators like Putin. Meanwhile, the UK is set to import over two thirds of its gas by the end of the decade, which is bad for energy security, British business and families. Instead, the UK must build up an independent, home-grown energy supply by scrapping anti-investment taxes on British energy companies.

Housing has become one of the most unaffordable commodities in the UK, and soaring house prices have made it harder for younger people to get on the housing ladder. It is essential we build more houses. Local communities must be given the freedom to create zones for houses with fewer restrictions and lower taxes. This is an important part of cutting the bills in this country. Cheaper housing lowers the bills for families, businesses and the taxpayer because the amount spent on housing benefit will also fall.

Immigration

Illegal migrants entering the UK must be stopped and legal migration must be brought down to a more sustainable level. Tougher use of deportation will help us deter people coming over in small boats, and those who enter our country by legal routes must respect British values and contribute to our communities.

Illegal migration must be halted. To deter people from attempting to come over illegally the government must have decisive powers to deport illegal migrants. We should leavethe European Convention on Human Rights and repeal Labour’s Human Rights Act so that we can control our borders and prevent illegal immigrants from making spurious legal claims.

We must also take steps to reform legal migration. Current levels of immigration are too high and should be brought down to around 100,000 per year to make our system more sustainable. Unchecked migration pushes down wages and puts additional pressure on local services like schools and hospitals. Aside from the number of migrants entering the country, the values of migrants are important too. People should respect British values like democracy, the rule of law and individual liberty. Anti-democratic law breakers should not be welcomed in Britain.

Finally, we must restore accountability to the legal system after the damage done in the Blair years. 

The NHS

I campaigned for a new Queen Elizabeth Hospital at King’s Lynn and following representations to the Chancellor, that funding was secured in 2023. This redevelopment of the QEH, part of the Government’s New Hospital Programme, will cut waiting lists and offer a higher quality of care for us in South West Norfolk.

Work is underway on this vital project at the QEH’s current site and I have gained assurances from the Health Minister that it is on schedule for completion by 2030.

This investment in local healthcare is welcome, and in the long term the NHS must be reformed. More freedom and decision-making on the front line will be important in building a sustainable NHS for the future.

Providing better dentistry services in South West Norfolk is also a priority. A new dental clinic could relieve pressures across the region and draw more qualified dentists to offer appointments nearby.

Transport

Making improvements to Ely Junction is a priority in improving transport links in South West Norfolk. 

Ely Junction is currently operating at full capacity, and the announced improvements would double passenger services and increase the freight train capacity from 6.5 to 10 trains per hour. The upgrade is expected to remove 98,000 lorry journeys each year from roads in the region, particularly the A14.

RAF Marham

RAF Marham is an important military base in South West Norfolk and the UK more broadly, employing 3,600 people locally and playing a vital role in our national defence. I mounted a successful campaign to prevent the closure of RAF Marham in 2010, and following this the base became the future home of the RAF’s F-35B jets.

An investment of £500 million was secured to prepare the base for the new jets. Now an additional £76 million investment to support a new pilot training centre will help further secure the long-term future of the base in South West Norfolk and contribute to the preparedness of RAF pilots in an era of increasing global competition.

Crime

Police officers play a vital role in fighting crime and keeping our communities safe: they must be given the tools they require to do that important job.

Police should not have to wade through reams of paperwork in the name of ticking boxes when the public expect them to focus on the job of preventing and solving crime and protecting our towns and villages. We need to crack down on rural crime and extreme animal rights activists.

I back the use of stop and search to help root out criminals carrying weapons and support tough measures to clamp down on anti-social and anti-British protests and demonstrations.

Farming

Farming is an essential industry in the UK, but too often farmers find themselves tied up in red tape and under pressure from environmental special interests. 

Steps must be taken to increase the competitiveness of British farming and improve food security. Cutting regulation will allow our farmers to grow more, sell more and export more.

Additionally, farmers must be allowed to focus on farming –growing crops and raising livestock that feed this country.

Net Zero

The Government has taken a step in the right direction by delaying the deadlines on a number of its Net Zero policies. But Net Zero policies are hitting the working person unnecessarily hard.

Working people in this country should not be footing the bill for a Net Zero world when they live in a country that is already making huge progress, decarbonising faster than any G7 country.

Hard-working Britons should not be forced to subsidise multi-billion pound companies through green levies which increase energy bills. The average family is handing over £200 a year on Net Zero costs.

Common Sense Values

We must take a stand against extreme gender ideology that has led to biological males being allowed to compete in women’s sports competitions and being put in women’s prisons. I believe a man is a man, and a woman is a woman.

We should protect single-sex spaces such as toilets and changing rooms on the basis of biological sex. Additionally, children under the age of 18 should not be able to make irreversible decisions about their bodies involving drugs and surgery. I promoted a Bill in Parliament to put these common sense measures into law.

Local Services

Plans for 15-minute towns and 20 mph speed limits must be abandoned.

This controlling, anti-motorist agenda which restricts where and how people can drive is wrong and lacks the consent of local people.

The government and banks should recognise the importance of cash in the real world, outside of London, and ensure access to cash for all.

The move to a card-only society risks leaving behind many in our community when cash still plays an important role in our economy.

Being able to access cash, free of charge, is essential in supporting businesses and consumers alike. Covid led to 6,000 ATMs closing down across the UK, as bank branches disappear from high streets too. My campaigning ensured the opening of a new Banking Hub in Downham Market after the last bank branch closed there, allowing residents to access in-person banking services in the town every weekday.

We’ve helped coordinate the funding for the complete restoration of the Swaffham Assembly Rooms – returning them to their former glory and reinstating them as a pride of the town that the community can use and enjoy.

We’ve also secured £20 million in funding for Thetford through the Government's Long-Term Plan for Towns programme, which supports regeneration and growth. This cash will fund a raft of improvements in the town centre, better safety measures and a revamp of the railway station.