Inside Parliament: Lyn Brown, MP for West Ham, comments on the recession

As regular readers know, I entered Cara, my small, but perfect Yorkshire terrier, in the Westminster Dog of the Year Show.

Many of you asked me how she got on. Sadly, I have to report she did not win and was not placed in the final three.

Cara did, however, attract the most internet attention, clocking up a whopping 3,000 more hits than any other dog.

Despite that, Cara only managed second place in the popular vote, which wasn’t enough to impress the judges. Oddly, the only dog that beat her in the public vote was placed third. No more doggie beauty contests for me. The judges must be three stops past Plaistow.

Win or lose, Cara is a lucky dog. I can afford to feed and care for her. Since the start of this Recession, the number of abandoned animals has gone up a third. Much-loved pets are being handed over to rescue centres by owners too hard up to care for them. It is heart breaking.

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This week we had the good news that, with the help of the Olympics, Britain is finally out of the longest double-dip recession since World War II. Let us all hope that yesterday’s improving figures are repeated again and again.

But let’s not get carried away. There is little respite for hard-working families.

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The truth is that living standards continue to fall; tax credits are being cut, food and energy costs are rising and wages are stagnant. The bulk of the Coalition’s spending cuts haven’t hit yet and more tax rises are on the way.

The Prime Minister crowed with his customary swagger that, “The good news will keep on coming.”

Let’s hope it will. Smug government complacency won’t help. Instead, we need a sound economic plan which benefits the whole of our nation.

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