MP’s Column: The future is looking bright

I am sure that, like me, you have been greatly enthused by the birth of Prince George.

Every birth is an occasion to be celebrated, and to express one’s gratitude for the health of the mother and child on a safe delivery.

Still, royal occasions such as this are cause for particular celebration and we’re privileged to have lived through an extraordinary past few years. In 2011 we celebrated the wedding of William and Kate.

Last year we had the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee, topped off in my opinion by one of the most successful Olympic Games in living memory.

Now we look deep into the future, brimming with cautious optimism, to the day when this little prince will be king. Previous governments saddled the country with a level of borrowing that, if continued, would fasten a millstone around the necks of the generation now, like Prince George, being born.

It is immoral and irresponsible to live profligately off of borrowing and to expect our children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren to pick up the bill. This is why the current coalition Government is trying to rein in the pervasive culture of massive spending which has infected the bureaucracy of the state in this country.

I can attest to the level of government waste because for two parliamentary terms I was Chairman of the Public Accounts Committee charged with uncovering it.

We found colossal overspending on state projects, with the price tag varying quite widely between the proposal stage and the calculation of the final cost.

“The Government” as such, does not have any money: what it does have it collects from you and me, and they have a responsibility to make sure that money is spent in a fair, efficient, and equitable way.

Since the 2010 election, we have already cut the deficit by a third. Meanwhile, 1.3 million new jobs have been created in the private sector, with the addition of 250,000 small business to the marketplace.

Benefits are being capped while council taxes are being frozen, and 24 million people will experience an average tax cut of £600, while 2.2 million will be taken out of tax altogether.

In the NHS – where we’ve refused to cut overall spending – we have hired nearly 6,000 more doctors while cutting over 6,000 middle-managers.

By 2015, we will have abolished or defunded over 200 quangos, saving £2.6 billion in taxpayers’ money.

These are real achievements, but there is still more work to be done, and Conservative MPs are pushing hard to make sure we can keep the Coalition in line and on track to deliver a better deal for Britain’s taxpayers.

As this is my last column until September, I would like to take this opportunity to wish all the residents and working people of the Gainsborough constituency a happy and joyful summer.

I hope we will all get at least a little time to enjoy the sunshine and a bit of free time with our family, friends, and those we love.

Edward Leigh

MP for Gainsborough