The Treasury Select Committee is one of the highest profile committees in parliament. So I was thrilled to be elected by other MPS to serve on the committee at the start of July.
The committee which scrutinises the government’s economic policy and interviews Treasury ministers including Chancellor of the Exchequer, George Osborne, has four Labour members out of the total of 11.
Winning the election for membership of the committee is a vote of confidence from other MPs
I ran my own business for many years before becoming an MP and have become increasingly worried by the way that businesses have struggled to grow and provide the well paid jobs that we need to thrive as a country.
Unless our economy does well, we will not see rising living standards and will not be able to afford decent health, education and other public services either.
At the same time having decent public services is vital if businesses are to thrive as staff and business owners alike depend on health, education and police just like everyone else.
Getting the balance right for growth is crucial and at present there is a distinct lack of balance in economic policy.
The Treasury Select Committee has a crucial role in holding the government to account for its economic policies and making sure that it supports business to create good well paid jobs.
The committee will also look at the banks and how they need to work for the good of the wider economy and I intend to play my full part in making sure that evidence is presented to the government about what it should be doing to ensure the success of our economy.
My previous experience in business will come in very handy when asking government ministers and other witnesses who give evidence to the committee what they believe we should be doing as a country.
It is clear that we need to develop better skills, improve the transport and other infrastructure of the country and make sure that we make the most of the high quality science and research facilities we have in the North West of England.
We have excellent businesses like Jaguar Land Rover and Vauxhall but we rely on foreign investment and one of the topics that the committee will want to explore is the impact of our membership of the European Union on that foreign investment.
One question I shall be pursuing is whether leaving the EU will harm business and jobs or not.
My priority is to make sure that we raise living standards for my constituents, so I shall focus my efforts on identifying evidence of what our government could and should be doing differently to improve those living standards.
The committee promises to be a very interesting place.