20 MAR 2017

Coastal Scene Column - 17th March 2017

"It has been a busy couple of weeks in Parliament. The Brexit Bill received Royal Assent, which gave the Prime Minister the authority to notify the EU that the UK is leaving, by triggering Article 50. MPs voted to pass the Bill without amendment to enable the Prime Minister to get on with the job of negotiating our future relationship with the EU. Last week, the Chancellor delivered his first Budget which redoubled our commitment to a strong economy, laying the foundations of a stronger, fairer, more highly-skilled global Britain outside of the EU. Key measures included a rise in the personal allowance for the seventh year in a row meaning you don't have to pay tax on the first £11,500 you earn; an additional £2 billion to help fund social care; a boost for technical education with the introduction of T Levels; and a further freeze in fuel duty meaning that motorists save £130 a year on average compared to what they would have paid under the pre-2010 escalator. Locally, I was delighted to see measures to help our small businesses with the introduction of a £300m business rate relief fund, a £600 cap on business rate liability for those businesses previously benefitting from Small Business Rate Relief and a £1,000 discount for pubs.

I was pleased to address the Suffolk Coast Against Retreat (SCAR) AGM recently. The January storm surge demonstrated just how prepared we are along the Suffolk coast, thanks in a large part to the local flood action groups. SCAR's concerns about the lack of information from EDF on the proposed jetty mirrored my response to the Stage 2 proposals. It is essential EDF provide information on whether the jetty will impact coastal defences and if it does, how they will mitigate that.

Finally, I was delighted to welcome the Walberswick branch of the Women's Institute to Parliament, on Budget Day, last week. They enjoyed a tour of the Palace of Westminster and were able to watch the proceedings in the House of Commons from the public gallery. If you would like to visit Parliament for a tour then contact me via therese.coffey.mp@parliament.uk"

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