One of the many aspects of the democratic process affected by COVID-19 has been political party conferences being held remotely. These remain a time for political parties to outline their plans going forward, and the Conservative Party Conference led on numerous policies with the concerns of people in Crawley very much in mind.
I am acutely aware that too many people find it tough to own their own home. Two million people cannot currently afford a deposit, but would be able to meet mortgage payments. The Prime Minister has announced that Government will work to introduce long-term mortgages with deposits of just five per cent to help more people realise the dream of owning their own home.
As part of the Plan for Jobs, the Work & Pensions Secretary announced a new employment programme worth more than £230 million to support people back into work.
Job Entry Targeted Support (JETS) is set to launch in Sussex on Monday (19th October), which will help to support local people into work.
Assistance will be made available for people who claim Universal Credit to ensure they can return to work quickly, including specialist advice on moving into growing sectors, as well as CV and interview coaching.
As a member of the Conservative Environment Network I spoke at an event on the issue of sustainable aviation; one of many issues affecting this sector which I continue to pursue with ministers.
The Government needs to work with industry to agree a plan which supports the sector’s commitment to net zero by 2050 with match funding on sustainable fuels, and airspace modernisation which would provide the potential to reduce future CO2 emissions by up to 20 per cent by 2050.
The creation of green jobs, and aviation being part of a green recovery, can lay the ground for a greener industry in the years and decades ahead.
This issue was one of the ten points in the Aviation Recovery Plan I submitted to the Transport Secretary earlier in the year.
One of the other subjects included in this plan was the introduction of COVID-19 testing at airports to help increase confidence in this sector.
In recent days the Department for Transport has set up a Task Force to consider how a testing regime for international arrivals could be implemented and what more can be done to facilitate business and tourist travel. This body will be reporting to the Prime Minister in the weeks ahead. As Crawley MP and Chair of the Future of Aviation Group I will be following their work closely and urging for a solution which supports Crawley and Gatwick workers, businesses and consumers alike.
Henry Smith MP