Hartlepool MP hits out during House of Commons debate

Hartlepool MP Iain Wright.
Hartlepool MP Iain Wright.

HARTLEPOOL MP Iain Wright believes the Queen’s Speech did not do enough to address the “key issues” of unemployment and a manufacturing strategy.

Reflecting on the Government’s legislative agenda, Mr Wright said the areas of legislation and priorities not included were “deeply revealing”.

Measures to control immigration were at the heart of the Queen’s Speech, at the State Opening of Parliament on Wednesday, along with plans to cap bills for social care, introduce a flat-rate state pension, extend consumer rights and cut the regulation burden on small businesses.

But speaking during a House of Commons debate, Mr Wright said: “As I said, there was no mention of engineering, there was no mention of manufacturing and there was not a word about an industrial strategy.

“There was no mention of the world-beating sectors that this country has and needs to enhance, such as aerospace, automotives, pharmaceuticals or the creative industries.”

The number of people claiming jobseeker’s allowance in Hartlepool is around 4,700 and Mr Wright said: “The single biggest social and economic issue facing Hartlepool is unemployment.

“The notion that some growth in private sector employment is cutting the jobless queue is ludicrous, bears no resemblance to the reality on the ground in my constituency and is deeply insulting for those proud men and women in Hartlepool who are struggling to find a job.

“Hartlepool wants to work, but Government policies are making it harder, not easier, for decent aspirational people to find a job.”

He said “skills, experience, talent and potential” are being lost “possibly forever, as a result of this Government’s misguided and short-term views on skills and employment”.

Mr Wright also raised concerns the speech “seems to do very little to encourage enterprise, innovation or entrepreneurialism” but he did welcome the Mesothelioma Bill, designed to help people who suffer from Mesothelioma as a result of exposure to asbestos.

It establishes a payment scheme for those people who cannot trace their employer or their employer’s insurance company, where the employer was responsible for the asbestos exposure.