John Biggs: My fairness resolution

By Rob Virtue on January 9, 2014 12:53 PM |

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By John Biggs, London Assembly member for City and East

So, a happy New Year to you all. A bit windy, the odd power cut and trains up the creek. It was a typical December really.

But do I detect a hint of optimism? Are the shops seeing record sales? More jobs? Happier faces? It seems a mixed story.

Part of this is about change. For example, we seem to be using shops less, and the internet more.

Many shopping centres have a difficult future but the good or lucky ones, like the malls at Canary Wharf, seem to be doing well.

Some things are less popular, others more - for example I am, selfishly, pleased ties are becoming less fashionable, but have developed a serious coffee shop habit.

And for some the jobs are better, but many others have seen their wages frozen or cut, while local graduate unemployment remains high.

My daughter finishes university this year - interesting times ahead for her and many others. Something needs to happen to the jobs market to challenge the growing divide between those with plenty, and those struggling.

There is a great underlying faith in fairness in our country, and the big challenge for politicians like me, I believe, is, without blocking change, to find new ways of re-establishing that.

So happier? For many, yes. And for more I think a greater optimism. But my New Year's resolution is to do more to tackle the remaining challenges.

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