I wanted, belatedly, to write something about David Cameron's speech yesterday on meeting the challenges of a growing population. I very much welcomed the speech - it is important that we don't shy away from discussing these issues especially as grown up debate needs to occur on what our infrastructure needs should be to cope with population growth.
With Britain's population set to rise to 71 million by 2031, David explained that increases in life expectancy, net immigration, and household formation were the principal drivers of demographic change. He laid out a strategy to ensure firstly, that our population grows at a rate that's sustainable and secondly, that we're prepared for this level of growth. To achieve a sustainable level of growth, David re-iterated Conservative policy of controlling net immigration with annual limits, reforming welfare to get people into work and reduce the demand for migrant labour, and tackling family breakdown. And he also explained how a Conservative Government would ensure the country is prepared to deal with population growth in the key areas of housing, public services and transport.
These are very important issues in Chatham & Aylesford and the speech is well worth reading in full. It can be found HERE.