Update 28th November

Pre-Budget Report

In my role as a PPS (Parliamentary Private Secretary) in the Treasury the Pre-Budget Report was the key event in Parliament this week. This is a time of uncertainty none of us have experienced before in our lifetimes and I think it is clear that the Government needs to do what it can to help the country through this.

Essentially there were two key strands in this week’s announcement. Firstly there were measures to boost the economy to make sure we come out of the downturn sooner and stronger – these included a reduction in VAT (worth £275 for an average household and putting £12.4bn into the economy), help for small businesses (on tax and to provide them with temporary loans) and bringing forward £3bn of public spending planned for future years.

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Appointment to EEC Committee and House magazine article

In the recent reshuffle a new Government Department was created to deal with Energy and Climate Change. These issues had previously been dealt with separately but, recognising the close link between them with respect to meeting our emissions targets, the Government saw that there was a need for these areas to be more closely co-ordinated.

This means a new Select Committee has been created to monitor the work of the department and I will sit on this committee when it starts work in the new year.

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John Robertson MP Update from Parliament 13th November 2008