Lucy Allan MP has welcomed this weeks budget in a speech to the House of Commons. The budget was far reaching and impactful, with more money allocated to every department across Government and specific targeted measures to alleviate financial pressures on working families.
What the budget means for working people in Telford:
- Telford will receive a new Community Diagnostic Hub at the Princess Royal Hospital to address the backlog in hospital treatment.
- The Universal Credit taper rate will be cut by 8 per cent from 63 to 55 per cent. This reduction will happen no later than December 1st and ensure people keep more money in their pocket. The work allowance will be increased by £500.
- Increasing the National Living Wage by 6.6 per cent to £9.50. The NLW was introduced in 2016. This implements the recommendations of the independent Low Pay Commission, raising the pay of 2 million of the lowest paid workers; someone on the NLW will see an annual salary increase of £1,000.
- Increasing public sector pay following a period of more targeted pay.
- Freezing fuel duty for the twelfth year in a row. Due to rising global oil prices, the average cost of filling up the typical family car has gone up by £3.40 in the last eight weeks alone. Freezing fuel duty for the twelfth year in a row, a £1.5 billion tax cut, will mean the average driver has saved £1,900 since 2010.
- Simplifying alcohol duty to make the system fairer. As a result of leaving the EU, we are now able to reduce the number of alcohol bands from fifteen to just six, based around taxing alcoholic content. This will cut the price of English sparkling wine and prosecco by as much as 64 pence and cutting the tax on draught fruit ciders by 20 per cent. Until this new system is in place, the Treasury will freeze all alcohol duties for the third year in a row, including for whisky – a tax cut for families worth £500 million every year.
- A new Draught Relief will apply a new, lower rate of duty on draught beer and cider – cutting duty by 5 per cent, the biggest cut to cider duty since 1923 and the biggest cut to beer duty for 50 years. This will boost British pubs by nearly £100 million a year – and means a permanent cut in the cost of a pint by 3 pence.
- Cutting business rates by at least 50 per cent next year for 90 per cent of retail, hospitality and leisure businesses – and freezing all rates. Any eligible business – such as pubs, gyms, cinemas, restaurants and hotels – can claim a 50 per cent discount on their bills, up to a maximum of £110,000 per business. Taken together with Small Business Rates Relief, that’s a business tax cut worth £7 billion for over 700,000 eligible businesses – the biggest business rates tax cut in 30 years, and which comes on top of the £16 billion of support put in place throughout the pandemic. This will help those residents employed across this sector.
- A £500 million Household Support Fund is already in place to help vulnerable families across the country this winter.
- The West Midlands will also benefit from a share of the £2.6 billion UK Shared Prosperity Fund – focused on helping people into jobs and supporting businesses across the UK – £560 million funding for the Youth Investment Fund and National Citizen Service, and £5 billion for Project Gigabit, rolling out gigabit capable broadband for homes and businesses across the UK.
In Parliament, Lucy Allan MP said:
"I am extremely proud of this Budget. I am proud of it because it is a Conservative Budget—a Budget that supports families and incentivises and rewards work.
Like all other Members—whether they will admit to it or not—I am delighted that this Budget puts more money into the pockets of the lowest-paid constituents in Telford, and specifically provides support for the struggling families whom we must support if we want to create opportunity for young people. As we all know, whether we admit it or not, these measures will make a real difference to the lives of our constituents, particularly those who struggle the most.
At the heart of the Budget are incentives and rewards for those who work. The universal credit policy that we now have is by far the most effective tool in helping people back into work. We on this side of the House do not agree with disincentives to work and keeping people trapped on benefits, and I know that many on the other side also believe in helping people back into work. The incentives in the Budget are welcome because a job gives people so much more than a route out of poverty. It gives them a sense of identity and of belonging—they are part of a community—and of personal responsibility, and they are surrounded by a support network which is particularly helpful in tackling the mental health issues that so many people have experienced during covid. That is why I am so grateful to the Chancellor for, since the start of the pandemic, prioritising jobs and skills as key to our economic recovery.
I particularly want to draw the Chancellor’s attention to the fantastic work being done at Telford College in my constituency in respect of skills such as engineering, HGV training, digital and maths. In almost every sector one could think of, the college is delivering opportunity across our community, and, vitally, providing local businesses with the skilled people whom they need in order to succeed. I invite the Chancellor to come to see this inspiring college for himself: I know how impressed he will be by students and teachers alike.
I must also thank the Chancellor for the levelling-up money that has been coming to Telford. Earlier in the year we were awarded £22.3 million, and an additional £1 million for an exciting programme of projects that will build opportunity across our community. The jewel in the crown was a digital and maths hub to provide access at every level to all who want to improve their skills. My thanks must go to the town deal board for its work on this, and to our excellent council officers, who are as dedicated as I am to Telford’s future. The Budget has also confirmed the provision of a diagnostic health hub at the Princess Royal Hospital to tackle the backlog. That is desperately needed. While the health challenges that face Telford are perhaps a subject for another debate, there is no doubt that this will change lives, and we are truly fortunate to have been selected as one of the areas to receive such a hub."
You can read Lucy's full speech in Hansard here.