AS the Chancellor’s Parliamentary Private Secretary, I often sit in incredibly important debates in the House of Commons, writes Redditch MP Rachel Maclean in her Letter From Westminster.

This was true for the debate on Monday (January 20) on the economy and jobs and this Government’s ambitious plans for this new decade.

From the Labour benches they painted a picture of Britain that I simply don’t recognise, and I don’t think the majority of people in this country do either after rejecting Labour’s vision in December’s election.

But now is the time our country should come together and work in the common interest of improving the lives of people up and down the UK.

And we’ve seen here in Redditch how the fundamentals of our economy are strong.

Since 2010 we’ve seen a net gain of 230 businesses here in Redditch. That’s more businesses creating jobs, employing local people and boosting our town’s economy.

There are now more people in Redditch in work today than there were in 2010.

The claimant count is down 40 per cent - that’s 1,007 people back in work, earning a regular wage and providing for their families.

Those in work are also earning more today than they were 10 years ago.

The median gross weekly pay for full-time employees has gone up by 14 per cent to £540.

Couple this with cuts to income tax for the lowest paid, the introduction and the increase in the National Living Wage, and it’s Conservatives in Government helping families with the cost of living.

The debate in the House of Commons on Monday focused on ushering in a decade of renewal by unleashing Britain’s potential.

These aren’t just words, they’re backed up by plans which will improve the lives of people in Redditch and across the country.

We heard in the debate how we will be introducing an Employment Bill which will strengthen protection for workers as we leave the EU and will make Britain the best place in the world to work.

We will be giving people greater security in their retirement through a new Pension Schemes Bill, making it easier for people to save for later life.

We’re going even further to support people with the cost of living by increasing the National Living Wage to £10.50 and cutting taxes, helping families keep more of the money they earn.

But just as importantly we need to invest in our infrastructure, not just in Redditch but across the country.

In his first Budget in March, the Chancellor will publish a National Infrastructure Strategy which will set out our plans to invest £100 billion. This will be spent on infrastructure including transport, local growth, decarbonisation, digital infrastructure, infrastructure finance and delivery.

As you can see there’s plenty to get on with in Parliament alongside the work I’m doing in Redditch to return services to the Alex, develop an ambitious Town Deal bid and improve our bus services.