Peterborough MP hits out at East Anglia elected mayor plans

Peterborough MP Stewart Jackson has hit out at plans for an elected mayor for East Anglia.

Tuesday, 22nd March 2016, 5:29 pm
Updated Tuesday, 22nd March 2016, 5:37 pm
Peterborough MP Stewart Jackson. Photo: Peterborough Telegraph

Mr Jackson, speaking in the House of Commons today, said of the devolution plans: “I think at the moment they don’t stack up. I think we have not had enough information. We need more information about this, it has been rushed in order to get in the Budget statement.

“It needs to be finessed, we need to carry businesses with us - as I understand both local enterprise partnerships do not agree with it, a majority of councils are at best ambivalent, including Cambridge City Council which have refused it - we need to look at it again.

“It may be that there are synergies between Lowestoft and Peterborough or between Norwich and Ipswich, but I’ve yet to see them.”

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Mr Jackson raised the issue in a debate about the Budget, which was announced by Chancellor George Osborne last week.

He said pensioner benefits need to be reassessed, warning it is “wrong morally” to transfer large amounts of wealth from the young to the old.

He said: “I think we need to look again at pensioner benefits. You cannot discuss welfare without looking at things like the triple-lock and pensioner benefits.”

Mr Jackson added: “You can’t see this in a vacuum and it’s important we look again at means-testing and pensioner benefits.

“It’s wrong morally I believe to make large-scale transfer of wealth from the young to the old, and I think there has to be a consensus.

“One of the suggestions I would make is that if you are going to means-test pensioner benefits that you perhaps ring-fence that to the most acute societal issue that we have at the moment, which is adult social care.”