How elderly will benefit from changes

East Ham MP Steve Timms gives his insight to policy behind Government plans I RECENTLY called in at a church in Barking Road for a debate organised by Newham Age Concern about the Government s proposal for a National Care Service. The people taking part

East Ham MP Steve Timms gives his insight to policy behind Government plans

I RECENTLY called in at a church in Barking Road for a debate organised by Newham Age Concern about the Government's proposal for a National Care Service.

The people taking part were elderly Newham residents who will benefit from these changes.

This is one of the measures The Queen talked about in her speech to Parliament last Wednesday. This speech is an important date in the Parliamentary calendar, allowing the Government to lay out its plan of action for the forthcoming session - and action certainly is the word this time around!


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The words that The Queen spoke on Wednesday showed that her current Government is one that is not slow to act, and is not afraid of making those actions big.

It was Labour that took the big step after the Second World War to create the National Health Service - the proposed National Care Service, vehemently opposed by the Tories, will bring together services that provide care for the elderly and disabled.

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These people will be better served by actions that meet the scale of the demands of the future.

Economy

The Government has not been slow or thought small when it comes to the economy, either. The Queen spoke about the steps taken by the Government to legislate for our plan to secure the recovery.

The decision to support our banking system and provide an effective financial stimulus was certainly a big one, and one that the Opposition would have failed to make had they been in charge.

The measures in the forthcoming Financial Services Bill will show that this support is not unconditional - we will give the Financial Services Authority, the city watchdog, the ability to tear up bankers' contracts that reward risky behaviour.

At the time of The Queen's last speech to Parliament, experts were predicting a far worse situation by now, with higher unemployment and more home repossessions, than the one we currently find ourselves in. These ceremonial events can remind us of the progress we have made in the year that passes between them.

The Government is clear that it has a purpose. David Cameron argues that society is broken, and that government should shrink.

We say that the talent and hard work of the British people is our biggest resource, and that a smart Government who can think big and act accordingly will best make use of that resource. An unequal society leads to wasted talent. For many people, government provides opportunities that society on its own cannot.

A government with big plans and an uncaring 'Big Government' are not the same thing at all. Being at that debate in the church hall reminded me that we must always try to put more power into the hands of local groups and individual people.

This is at the heart of what this Government believes will lead us into a better future - the idea that a smarter government is a government that listens.

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