The spring budget: MP’s response.

Today (15 March) the chancellor, Jeremy Hunt, unveiled his spring budget. Mr Hunt said the Office for Budget Responsibility (OBR) now predicts the UK will avoid a technical recession – two straight quarters of falling GDP – and that inflation will more than halve by the end of this year.

Within the Budget Mr Hunt announced the Government will:

  • extend the Energy Price Guarantee at £2,500 for three months.
  • extend 30 hours of childcare a week to working parents of children aged 9 months to 4 years.
  • pay Universal Credit childcare costs up front rather than in arrears.
  • make £8.8 billion for additional local transport funding in England.
  • introduce a £25 billion three-year tax cut for business investment.
  • increase the annual pension allowance to £60,000 and abolish the Lifetime Allowance.
  • establish a new Universal Support programme for disabled people and the long-term sick.
  • abolish the Work Capability Assessment and increasing the Administrative Earning Threshold to 18 hours.
  • freeze fuel duty.

Further within the chancellor’s plans £6,581,600 is being made available to fix potholes in North Yorkshire. Also benefitting from the announcements will be the 3,770 public houses and bars across Yorkshire and the Humber through Draught Relief helping the hospitality industry with higher costs.

Harrogate and Knaresborough MP, Andrew Jones, said “The chancellor has laid out a balanced budget with a clear focus on growth and the country’s priorities.

“I am pleased that the UK, according to the OBR’s prediction, will avoid a technical recession and that inflation will more than halve by the end of this year. I am pleased too the Government is extending the Energy Price Guarantee to continue to protect households from high energy costs.

“It is important that it is not only households who feel the benefit of this good economic news but businesses too. That is why I welcome measures to remove the obstacles that stop businesses investing and barriers that stop people working.

“Investment is key to our future growth and the chancellor announced a £25 billion three-year tax cut for business investment.

“Last week in the House of Commons I raised with ministers issues around helping disabled people into work. Therefore I was encouraged by today’s announcement of the Universal Support programme in England and Wales to match people with disabilities and long-term sickness with jobs and provide support and training to help them succeed.

“As a former minister in the Department for Transport I am keen to see more investment in our public transport network. The more people we can encourage to use public transport the faster we can reach our net zero targets and reduce congestion on our roads. Today’s announcement of £8.8 billion for additional local transport funding in England is a welcome step in that direction.

“So a positive budget. Despite global challenges the UK economy is coping well with the pressures it is facing.”

You can read the full budget on the Government’s website here.