Opposition Day — [13th Allotted Day] — Rural Communities (Recession) — 15 Jun 2009 at 19:14
I beg to move,
That this House recognises the serious impact that the economic downturn is having across the country; notes the specific impact of the recession on rural communities, with recent job losses affecting key rural industries; further notes with concern that levels of economic inactivity are higher in rural areas and believes that increased redundancies will fall particularly hard on small rural communities; further notes that rural communities, already suffering from the closure of key services and the Government's failure to provide affordable rural housing, are finding it harder to cope with rising unemployment, with those out of work lacking adequate support; is concerned that the recession is exacerbated by the burden of regulation, increased payroll costs and problems accessing credit for small businesses; believes that too little say has been given to people in rural areas with decisions taken centrally; and calls on the Government to show more respect to rural communities and return power to local people.
I beg to move an amendment, to leave out from "House" to the end of the Question and add:
"recognises the serious impact that the economic downturn is having across the country and the support the Government is providing to people, communities and businesses to come out stronger and build Britain's future; notes that the Government has introduced new measures to increase financial aid for rural businesses through the Rural Development Programme for England as a response to the economic downturn; welcomes the Taylor Report's work on making sure rural communities have affordable housing and sustainable economic opportunities; commends the work of the Homes and Communities Agency to build 10,300 rural affordable homes between 2008 and 2011; applauds the Government's commitment to connect communities and support local businesses with a minimum guarantee of 2MB broadband for virtually everyone in the country; notes that unemployment levels in rural areas remain below those in urban areas and is committed to helping maintain high levels of employment in rural areas; expresses serious concern about the impact on rural communities of the Opposition's promised 10 per cent. cut to the budgets of most Government departments that assist people in rural areas; and supports the Government's commitment to continue to work with the Commission for Rural Communities, Regional Development Agencies and local communities and businesses to help people through these difficult economic times."
The House having divided: Ayes 205, Noes 280.
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