The past few weeks have seen several energy companies announcing large hikes in their gas and electricity prices. I know many household budgets are already being strained, and I have already been contacted by several constituents who are struggling to keep up with their bills.
With winter weather starting to set in these problems will only get worse, which is why it is so important we take action now to see our energy costs reduced as much as possible. With the UK Government having recently taken steps to make it easier to switch energy provider, I would recommend every Berwickshire resident take advantage of these new rules.
Even a few pence per unit could end up making a big difference so shopping around for the best price is well worth doing.
The costs of motoring have also increased in recent years, something which is especially concerning in a region such as ours. With limited public transport options, we have a lot of people who rely on their car on a day-to-day basis, and I know that a lot of them are concerned over how much it is costing to run their car.
That is why I was pleased to see the UK Government taking steps towards helping with the cost of driving. Not only have they announced a freeze on the price of MOTs, they are also taking steps to crack down on whiplash fraudsters. Every year hundreds of thousands of claims for whiplash are made following accidents, with insurers saying that these claims have cost them over £2 billion in payouts.
This inevitably leads to a rise in premiums for all other motorists, and it is simply unfair that they should have to shoulder the costs of these claims. That is why independent medical panels are being set up, to ensure that only victims with genuine claims receive the help they deserve.
It was with great sadness that I recently heard of the passing of Alastair Watson. His work as a photographer had seen him cover many of the biggest events that have happened in the Borders, and his death is undoubtedly a great loss to our region. I always found him to be a personable, enthusiastic and professional individual, and the work he has done will no doubt live on for many decades to come. He will be greatly missed and my thoughts are with his wife Meg and his children Gareth and Michelle.
My next surgeries in Berwickshire will be on Wednesday, November 20, at the Volunteer Hall in Duns at 9am and then at the Community Centre in Eyemouth at 10:30am. No appointment is necessary. Alternatively, please call my office on 01450 375 948.