As the evenings draw in and the weather gets colder, I always enjoy my weekends at home in the constituency when I can light the wood burner to warm up. My son is always especially keen to get involved in adding more logs to make the fire burn brighter, and as a family we are looking forward to bonfire night. First celebrated in 1605 as a thanksgiving that Guy Fawkes had failed to succeed in assassinating King James I, his council allowed the public to celebrate the King’s survival with bonfires, so long as they were “without any danger or disorder”. I regularly walk past the spot in the Palace of Westminster which was hired by Guy Fawkes! I hope that you all have the chance to enjoy the fun, but please do stay safe, and take care with fireworks.
As we get closer to Remembrance Day, more and more people will be wearing poppies to remember those who lost their lives in conflict. As well as remembering those who died more than a century ago, we also honour those who have given their lives in more recent conflicts. It is important that we do not forget the sacrifices made by men and women for this country. However you choose to observe Remembrance Day, it is important that the enormity of the debt of gratitude we owe to our armed forces – both past and present – is remembered, both now and for generations to come.
One of the things that I try and do as an MP is to keep people informed of government policies that may benefit them. One such policy is the transferable tax allowance for people who are married or in civil partnerships. This lets you transfer £1,100 of your Personal Allowance to your husband, wife or civil partner – if they earn more than you. This can reduce their tax bill by up to £220 in the tax year. To be able to use this, one of you must have an income below £11,000 or less, and the other must not earn more than £43,000. You can calculate how much tax you’ll pay as a couple and find more information by following the links on my website. Please do apply if you are eligible.
I also have links on my website to a number of public consultations. As you may have seen in the news, you are being asked for your views on changing the structure of local councils. In addition, the Boundary Commission are asking for views on changing the Parliamentary constituency boundaries. The consultation proposals include reducing the number of MPs from 650 to 600, and changing the sizes and areas of the Dorset constituencies. If you would like to contribute to the consultations, follow the “Have Your Say” link on my website www.michaeltomlinson.org.uk
I will be continuing my regular surgeries around the constituency; please do get in touch if you would like to meet or need my help with any particular issue. You can email me on firstname.lastname@example.org or contact my office on 01202 624216. You can also follow what I’ve been doing on Twitter @Michael4MDNP or Facebook www.facebook.com/michael4MDNP