This week the Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan extends the Ultra-Low Emissions Zone (ULEZ) across all London Boroughs. Whilst this is an issue that mostly affects people living in London, many local residents in Kent regularly drive into the outer London boroughs, like Bromley and Bexley, either for work or to visit family members. This expansion of the ULEZ could cost drivers of older vehicles up to £4,500 a year, as cars, motorbikes, vans and larger vehicles that are not ULEZ exempt will need to pay an additional £12.50 per day to drive anywhere in London.
For many people driving for work is a necessity not a choice, particularly for those who need to make deliveries or transport equipment with them from place to place. Anyone driving a car or van that is not Euro 4 compliant for petrol engines or Euro 6 for diesel will have to pay the charge. This typically means that exemptions start for petrol cars or vans first registered in 2005/06 or later, and diesel cars or vans registered in 2015/16 or later. You can find out more and check if your vehicle is compliant at the Mayor of London’s website. The Mayor has stated that he is expanding the ULEZ charge to improve air quality, but his own research shows that this is already getting better in London. ULEZ appears to be an unnecessary tax on motorists at a time when people can’t afford it.
Last year the Prime Minister, Rishi Sunak, set out his priorities for the government, to half inflation, reduce debt and get the economy growing. These are all necessary measures that have a direct impact on people’s standard of living. So far, the latest forecast from the Bank of England expects inflation to be less than 5% by the end of this year, down from over 11% at its peak in October 2022. We have seen big falls as well in household energy bills, which are on average £580 lower now than they were in April. By bringing down inflation we can ensure that the pound in your pocket goes further. We have also acted to help working families with the biggest ever expansion of hours of free childcare. You can read more about these changes and how you could benefit from them by visiting the government website childcarechoices.gov.uk
It’s traditional during August for Members of Parliament to write about the publication of results of A levels, T levels, GCSE’s, B-TECs and other public exams. We send our best wishes to students and their families for what we know from memory is a nerve-wracking time. This year I had even more of an interest as our daughter Claudia received her GCSE results, so my wife Sarah and I made the transition of waiting to hear the news, rather than receiving it directly. We all hope that hard work gets its rewards, but whatever the grades received there are always options to reassess or retake examinations if necessary, to get the qualifications needed to move on to the next level. I would though like to send my congratulations to all students and teachers, and the families that support them, for all their work in the past year.
On the August Bank Holiday it was great to enjoy the sunshine and watch Folkestone Invicta defeat Margate 2-0 at the Alcaline Stadium. It was great to see such strong support in the ground and I'd like to wish the club, and in particular its new management, sponsors and players, all the best for a successful season.
Published: Tuesday 29 August 2023