Henry Smith MP welcomes a Budget for hard-working people in Crawley

Crawley MP Henry Smith has welcomed the Chancellor of the Exchequer’s Budget (on Monday, 29th October), which includes a real terms increase in investment for public services, cuts to income tax, backing for the high street and support with the cost of living.

On commitments to the NHS, Henry said;

“NHS funding will be increasing by £20.5 billion per year in real terms by 2023-24; an average real growth rate in the NHS budget of 3.4 per cent annually.

“I welcome the Chancellor’s confirmation yesterday that there will be £2 billion more per year for mental health.

“The Ten Year Plan will commit further funding to help achieve parity of esteem between mental and physical health services – a cause which this Government is committed to.

“Anyone experiencing a crisis can call NHS 111, 24 hours a day. There will be more mental health ambulances, increased community support, and comprehensive support at every major A&E by 2024.

“More details of future NHS investment will be outlined at the launch of the NHS Plan, which is why I’ve been calling on the Prime Minister in the House of Commons to ensure the return of local services is at the heart of these proposals.”

On school support, Henry said;

“Under the new National Funding Formula, schools in West Sussex are set to receive a funding increase of £28 million (on average over 10 per cent extra for Crawley).

“I welcome the Budget’s additional £400 million across England for school equipment this year; around £10,000 per primary and £50,000 per secondary school.”

On tax cuts, Henry said;

“The Budget fulfils a manifesto promise on income tax – and does so a year early.

“From April 2019, the tax-free Personal Allowance will increase to £12,500 and the Higher Rate Threshold goes up to £50,000 one year early, saving a typical basic rate taxpayer £130 compared to 2018-19 and £1,205 compared to 2010-11.

“Such support is good news for Crawley families, and offers a reminder that Jeremy Corbyn’s programme of irresponsibility would cost some £3,500 per household per year.”

On support for local councils;

“An additional £1 billion of funding will see support for local authorities with £650 million for social care, £84 million for children’s social care programmes over five years and £420 million to tackle potholes this year.

“These are causes I’ve pursued with the Government and I’ll continue to stand up for Crawley and West Sussex.”

On backing for the high street, Henry said;

“Small retail businesses will see business rates bills slashed by a third for two years from April 2019, saving them over £900 million.

“Local high streets will benefit from £675 million to improve transport links, re-develop empty shops as homes and offices, and restore and re-use old and historic properties. A new High Streets Taskforce will also support local authorities to implement plans for the transformation of a high street.”

To help with highways over the coming winter, Henry added;

“An extra £420 million to fix potholes over the coming cold and wet months ahead is forward planning I hope Crawley motorists will welcome.”

On Universal Credit, Henry said;

“This Budget invests an additional £1.7 billion per year to support working families on Universal Credit.

“The work allowance will increase – the amount families can earn before losing benefits – by £1,000, worth £630 per year to those households.”

On protecting our nation, Henry said;

“I welcome the £1 billion allocation to the Ministry of Defence to help protect this country against ever-changing threats such as cyber-attacks and the resurgence of state-based threats.

“Additionally, £160 million on counter-terror police funding next year represents the biggest one-off funding boost since 2015.”

On help with the cost of living, Henry said;

“People in Crawley on the National Living Wage will see an almost 5 per cent pay rise, with the NLW increasing from £7.83 to £8.21. This will benefit around 2.4 million workers.

“It delivers a £690 annual pay rise to a full-time worker, taking the total annual pay rise since its introduction to £2,750. 

“Fuel duty is being frozen for the ninth year, saving the average car driver a cumulative £1,000 since 2010.

“There’s also a freeze on beer, cider and spirits duty for another year, supporting patrons of the Great British pub and saving people 2 pence on a pint of beer and 30 pence on a bottle of Scotch or gin. I’ve been contacted by a number of Crawley residents in this regard and look forward to meeting with the North Sussex branch of the Campaign for Real Ale (CAMRA) again shortly.”

On Brexit, Henry said;

“It’s right that funding to help Government departments prepare for Brexit is being increased further.

“With the Chancellor’s announcement of an additional £500 million of funding, the amount to be spent on Brexit preparations now totals £2 billion.”