26 NOV 2017

Coastal Scene Column - 24th November 2017

"This week in Parliament the Chancellor delivered a Budget which lays the foundations for a Britain fit for the future. It was a balanced approach that continues to reduce the deficit and pay off our debt (still £65,000 per household) while supporting families by increasing the National Living Wage, cutting income tax, freezing fuel duty and investing in public services we value. From April, the personal allowance will rise to £11,850, meaning the typical basic rate tax payer will be £1,075 a year better off compared to 2010 with a higher rate rise to £46,350. At the same time the National Living Wage will also rise by 4.4 per cent to £7.83, meaning full-time workers are £2,000 better off since it was introduced.

The careful management of the economy means that the Chancellor was able to find an additional £2.8bn for our NHS. £350 million immediately to allow trusts to plan for this winter; £1.6 billion in 2018-19, with the balance in 19-20, taking the extra resource into the NHS next year to £3.75 billion in total.

As we approach Small Business Saturday on the 2nd December, I was particularly pleased with the Chancellor's announcement on business rates – bringing forward the planned changes to uprating from RPI to CPI, worth £2.3bn to businesses over the next five years; a shorter revaluation period from 5 years to 3, which will reduce the size of future changes; and extending the £1,000 rates discount for pubs. Crucially, the Chancellor also announced progress on making our business tax system fairer with measures focussed on our digital economy and a commitment to find solutions on this internationally. This is a point many small business owners in Suffolk made to me earlier this year when the latest revaluations kicked in.

For young people - we are getting rid of stamp duty on all house purchases up to £300,000, benefitting those who are working hard to get on the housing ladder and we're introducing a new 26 – 30 rail card, giving 4.5 million more young people a third off their rail fares.

The Chancellor also committed to a package of measures, which are forecast to raise an additional £4.8bn on top of the £160bn we have already raised for public services by clamping down on tax avoidance and evasion. Opposition parties often talk about tough action on this but their previous record doesn't bear it out. We are getting on and doing it."

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