The Kent economy has grown over the last four years but not due to the Government’s austerity policies and not due to the Conservative policies on Kent County Council.
Too much of Kent’s economic growth is driven by population increase that stretches our inadequate infrastructure and by consumer spending that is fuelled by high levels of personal borrowing. We need a revival of manufacturing, especially in those parts of Kent, the coastal districts and the Thames Gateway towns, where too many communities feel left behind.
There is too much inequality in Kent, reflected in people’s earnings but also in the social infrastructure around the most deprived areas. There is still too much income inequality based on gender.
Kent faces major infrastructure challenges. The transport links at present are neither adequate to deal with the County’s though traffic not to meet the needs of local economies.
More needs to be done by Kent County Council and by elected Members of Parliament in Kent to secure the infrastructure funds that should be provided by central Government.
Much of Kent is covered by Thames Estuary Project. We need strong political pressure to guarantee investment in Kent. Spending on infrastructure is investment not debt.
Labour says that the growth funds available from Government would be better managed by an Enterprise Partnership based on Kent and Medway, rather than the remote and unwieldy South East set up by the current Government.