As government business restarted following the period of national mourning, we announced Our New Plan for Patients which will help people receive easier access to NHS services and social care during this winter and the next. We know this winter will be especially difficult for our NHS, but we are determined to act now to help patients get the care they need. Putting Our Plan for Patients into action will ensure that we are prioritising the services that matter most to people in North Cornwall - including improving access to GP practices so that all patients who need one can be seen by a GP within two weeks, and patients with the most urgent needs on the same day. This is just the first step in our work to bolster our NHS and social care services so that patients always get the care they need. I will continue to update you over the coming weeks.
You may have seen the Prime Minister address the United Nations General Assembly last week as she called on democracies to step up cooperation on economic growth and security in the face of global threats. For the first time in recent history, a large-scale war of aggression is taking place in Europe – fracturing the principles of sovereignty and self-determination. That is why the Prime Minister used her address to the UN General Assembly to set out how we are protecting the UK and our allies - by increasing defence spending to 3 per cent of GDP and calling on fellow democracies to step up cooperation on economic growth and security in the face of global threats. I believe that this rise in defence spending is necessary to protect the United Kingdom and fulfil our international obligations and it has my full support. I am also pleased that we are building new partnerships around the world and together with our allies, we will continue to champion freedom, sovereignty, and democracy.
The cost of living remains a top priority for me. We have announced plans to cut energy bills for businesses, charities, and public sector organisations – protecting jobs and livelihoods by supporting them through the winter. We have seen an unprecedented rise in energy prices following Putin’s illegal war in Ukraine, which has affected consumers up and down the country and businesses of all sizes. The Energy Bill Relief Scheme will provide businesses, charities, schools and hospitals with a discount on wholesale gas and electricity prices worth up to half the price of expected energy prices this winter, giving business owners in North Cornwall certainty on their bills until the end of March 2023. This, alongside the measures we are taking to boost the amount of domestic energy we produce, will increase growth, protect jobs, and support businesses with their bills this winter. At the time of writing the Chancellor was preparing an emergency budget to be delivered on Friday the 23rd of September. I will give my full reaction to this on my website www.scottmann.org.uk.