23rd Oct, 2016

Harriett Baldwin MP

Evesham Editorial 19th Dec, 2014 Updated: 20th Oct, 2016

AS Christmas approaches, I hope you will all enjoy a peaceful time with family and friends celebrating the birth of Jesus Christ.

As our troops return from duties in Afghanistan, let us remember all those in our armed forces who are in active service around the world during Christmas.

The country faces a severe terror alert, so let’s also thank our local police who will be working round the clock to keep us safe at home.

The fire brigade, ambulance teams and doctors and nurses in the NHS will all be working through the holiday season to take care of us.

Remember to avoid drinking and driving and take care when the roads are muddy and icy.

There are many more families in work than this time last year as unemployment has fallen locally by 38 per cent since last Christmas.

In fact, across the country, a record number of working age households have someone in work. I hope this will give more people the security of a bit more money to spend this Christmas.

On the subject of spending, with the threshold for income tax up to £10,000 this year, anyone working full time on the minimum wage has an extra £705 to spend this year compared to 2010.

With a warm autumn so far, I hope you have had the chance to fill up your oil or gas tank at lower prices and your energy supplier is passing on the savings to you.

If you drive a car, I hope you are enjoying the lower fuel prices, saving an average £11 per tank for a family car.

So there’s some room for Christmas cheer, while acknowledging that there’s a lot more work for me to do for you in 2015.

To all Observer readers, Happy Christmas and Best Wishes in 2015.

Harriett Baldwin

MP for West Worcestershire