Heather Wheeler has welcomed the Spring Budget which provides billions of pounds to continue support for businesses and families through the pandemic. It delivers on our promises to invest and level up the country and not to raise income tax, national insurance or VAT.
Planned rises in duties on beer, wines, spirits and fuel were cancelled but increases in the National Living Wage will go ahead in April and the £20 per week uplift in Universal Credit will continue until the end of September. Tax thresholds will also increase in April before being frozen until 2026, but it should be remembered the basic rate personal allowance is almost double what it was when the Conservatives were elected in 2010.
At the very beginning the Chancellor said he would do whatever it takes to save jobs and businesses. The Furlough Scheme has been key in the East Midlands, supporting around 700,000 jobs and 96,000 local businesses have received a share of the £3.9 billion in Government loans. To allow businesses the time to bed in after they reopen the Furlough Scheme has been extended to the end of September.
The Budget sets out an ambitious raft of measures to protect jobs and promote growth, and growth is what will play the biggest part in the economy bouncing back.
There was more money for the Vaccination Programme in recognition of the key part it will play in us getting back to normal.
There was a reduced rate of 5% VAT to help hospitality and tourism as well as extra grants for culture, arts and sports. Additional money to tackle Domestic Abuse, £10 million to support mental health services for Armed Service veterans and a lifetime commitment to fund the needs of thalidomide victims.
House building supports thousands of jobs and an additional three months for the reduced stamp duty and the introduction of a mortgage guarantee to help young people get on the housing ladder will help to keep those jobs secure.
The Chancellor announced a number of measures to help and encourage businesses large, medium and small. It is their investment which will create the jobs we need and Rishi Sunak has not been afraid to bring in measures never tried before. The pensions industry will be given more flexibility over where they are allowed to invest and there will be a new Super Deduction Scheme which will reward Businesses by reducing their tax bill by £130 for every £100 they invest in their company. There is also to be a Help to Grow Scheme aimed at medium and small businesses.
The manifesto back in 2019 promised to level up the UK and this budget followed up on that promise.
A new Infrastructure Bank will be based in Leeds and a new Treasury Campus will be based in Darlington as well as growth deals for Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.
Eight Freeports across the UK were announced and one of those will be here in the East Midlands across three sites, East Midlands Airport, Ratcliffe Power Station and a new Railhead opposite Toyota. This will create 60,000 jobs including an estimated 7,000 in South Derbyshire.
Commenting, Heather Wheeler said:
“I welcome todays budget, especially the news that the furlough scheme will continue and the creation of the new locally based East Midlands Freeport. This is a huge opportunity for our area and I am determined to grab all that can be on offer to ensure that as well as the economic benefits, the jobs, we get protection from flooding, minimise traffic, dust and noise. Further and not least to make the developers enhance the landscape and habitats around the proposed site.
“As the first ‘end user’ Toyota, have an incredibly successful record in enhancing the landscape and habitat of their existing site, they have much of their site supervised by Derbyshire Wildlife Trust and also Kew Gardens specialists. Of course the point of the exercise is to take thousands of car trailer movements off the roads once and for all, a huge win for our area and the nation.
“I am proud that the lobbying I and my local colleagues did has been successful, it’s a great day for South Derbyshire”.
Overall this will make a massive difference to people in South Derbyshire, attracting businesses and creating jobs. Todays investments show that we are delivering on our promises, whilst being honest about public finances.”
Chancellor of the Exchequer, Rishi Sunak MP said:
“Throughout this pandemic, my top priority has been to protect jobs, businesses and livelihoods. Today’s Budget reaffirms this commitment, with £407 billion to support the British people this year and next as one of the largest, most comprehensive and sustained responses this country has ever seen.
“It is thanks to successive Conservative governments that we have been able to respond to this crisis as boldly as we have. But we need to be honest about the challenges facing our public finances, and how we will begin to fix them.
“As we look ahead, this Budget lays the foundations of our future economy – driving up productivity, creating green jobs, supporting small businesses, and levelling up across the entire United Kingdom”.