- Crawley MP Henry Smith has welcomed the Government’s Autumn Budget and Spending Review (on Wednesday, 27th October), saying it will help working families meet the cost of living, support businesses’ recovery, deliver world-class public services, and drive economic growth across the country.
- Key announcements to help with the cost of living include a significant tax cut for low-income families by reducing the Universal Credit taper rate from 63 per cent to 55 per cent, raising the National Living Wage to £9.50 an hour, increasing pay for public sector workers, and freezing fuel and alcohol duty.
- Measures to help drive economic growth and support businesses include cuts to business rates, new tax reliefs, and record spending on infrastructure and R&D – laying the foundations for a stronger economy as we build back better from the pandemic.
Henry Smith MP has welcomed the Chancellor of the Exchequer’s Autumn Budget and Spending Review, which provides the foundations for a stronger economy across every part of the United Kingdom as the country continues its recovery from the pandemic.
The Budget prioritises helping working families and vulnerable households with the cost of living, including:
- a significant tax cut for low-income families by reducing the Universal Credit taper rate from 63 per cent to 55 per cent
- a 6.6 per cent increase in the National Living Wage to £9.50 an hour – giving a £1,000 pay rise to 2 million of the lowest paid
- lifting pay restraints for public sector workers
- a freeze in fuel duty for the 12th consecutive year
- a freeze in alcohol duty – alongside radical reform to make the system simpler, fairer and healthier
“Despite the unprecedented challenges caused by the pandemic, this Government is getting on with the job and delivering on the priorities of the British people.
“This Budget will make a real difference to people in Crawley, helping working families with the cost of living, supporting businesses with their recovery, and investing in our public services so that everyone gets the world-class hospitals, schools and police they deserve.
“I was elected on a promise to level up and improve opportunity for people in Crawley – and this Budget shows how the Government is delivering on that promise as we build back better.
“With Gatwick Airport a key economic driver locally I’ve long campaigned for reform of Air Passenger Duty and I welcome the announcement of a 50 per cent cut in APD for flights between airports in England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland. This is set to benefit around 9 million passengers in 2023-24 and will be delivered via a new domestic band.
“As Future of Aviation All-Party Parliamentary Group Chair I welcome the Budget extending the England Airport & Ground Operations Support Scheme (AGOSS) for another 6 months, given this sector’s ongoing challenges due to international Covid restrictions. Helpful for my airport Gatwick and all others.”
Businesses will also benefit from new measures, including a 50 per cent cut in business rates next year for 90 per cent of retail, hospitality and leisure – alongside a freeze of all rates – the creation of new business rates relief to encourage green technologies and improvements to properties, and a doubling of creative industries tax reliefs for the UK’s world-leading theatres, orchestras, museums and galleries.
Other measures to drive economic growth include record investment in our roads, railways and broadband; supporting innovation through a record £20 billion spending on R&D; and a huge uplift in skills training through T-levels, Institutes of Technology, and apprenticeships.
As part of the three year Spending Review delivered alongside the Budget, total government departmental spending will increase by £150 billion by 2024 – a 3.8 per cent annual real terms increase – the largest real terms increase this century, and record levels of capital investment not seen in 50 years.
This funding increase will help to deliver on the Government’s key manifesto promises, including building 40 new hospitals, recruiting 20,000 police officers, and raising per pupil spending in schools to record levels.
Underpinning these measures, the Budget strengthens the country’s public finances and will get debt falling again, following the £400 billion package of support put in place during the pandemic. The new fiscal rules set out by the Chancellor will require the Government to only borrow to invest and get debt falling by 2024, in line with the Government’s 2019 manifesto commitment.
The Chancellor of the Exchequer, Rishi Sunak, commented;
“One year ago, this country was in the grip of the biggest recession in 300 years. Thanks to our Plan For Jobs, we are today recovering faster than our major competitors, more people are in work, and growth is up. But uncertainty in the global economy means that recovery is now under threat.
“That is why this Budget and Spending Review delivers a stronger economy for the British people – strengthening our public finances, helping working families meet the cost of living, supporting businesses, delivering stronger public services, and driving economic growth.
“This is a Budget which will level up every part of the United Kingdom. It is a Budget which provides the foundations for a stronger economy.”