Worcester MP Robin Walker today praised the Chancellor’s Spring Budget 2017, which builds on the Government’s commitment to supporting the city’s ordinary working families in their aspirations for a better life for themselves and their children.
Chancellor of the Exchequer Phillip Hammond announced measures to improve education and training opportunities for all, support our NHS and make sure everyone has dignity in old age, and help working families with the cost of living.
Announcing the most ambitious post-16 education reforms since A-levels were introduced 70 years ago, the Chancellor unveiled investment of over £500 million in technical education for 16-19 year olds, with new T-levels set to begin in 2019 offering 15 new technical routes and a high-quality work placement for every student. This is in addition to £216 million in infrastructure funding over the next three years to maintain and upgrade school buildings. The measures give more children the chance to go to a good or outstanding school, while helping boost the long-term skills and productivity of the UK.
On transport infrastructure, allocations were announced from a £220 million fund to tackle specific pinch-points on the national road network. In addition to this, £23 million has been allocated to the Midlands to ease urban congestion – addressing a key barrier to local growth.
Reaffirming that the Conservatives are the party of the NHS, the Chancellor revealed £100 million will go to A&E departments in 2017-18, to help them manage demand ahead of next winter, and help patients get to primary care faster. This will provide immediate benefit to our NHS, and stands alongside the Conservative Government’s commitment to deliver a £10 billion real terms increase in annual NHS finding by 2020. The Chancellor further announced £2billion for adult social care over the next three years – helping councils to provide high quality social care to more people and help to ease pressure on the NHS.
On the cost of living, the personal tax allowance will rise for the seventh year in a row, benefitting 29 million people and meaning a typical basic rate taxpayer will pay a full £1,000 less income tax than in 2010. The higher rate threshold will rise to £45,000, and savers will have access to the new NS&I bond announced at the Autumn Statement. And the Universal Credit taper rate will be reduced from 65 per cent to 63 per cent – a tax cut for 3 million families on low incomes. The roll-out of Tax-Free Childcare was also announced by the Chancellor, providing up to £2,000 a year in childcare support for each child under 12, and up to £4,000 for disabled children up to the age of 17.
Speaking after the Budget speech, Robin said:
“This is a Budget that puts stability first, and that is what is needed most of all – for our economy, and for local families in Worcester.”
“The Chancellor’s Budget ensures young people can get the skills they need to do the high-paid, high-skilled jobs of the future, whilst ensuring more children have the chance to go to a good or outstanding school. It helps ordinary working families with the cost of living, and it supports the NHS and our elderly by providing substantial funding for the social care system”
“The announcement on the rise of the personal tax allowance threshold to £11,500 will be particularly welcome to local workers, bringing a much needed tax cut for many and taking more people out of income tax altogether. This is a policy I first called for in 2013 – it has now been adopted as Conservative Party policy, and delivered by a Conservative Government.”
“These are exactly the priorities that I hear from constituents every week, and I am glad that the Chancellor has delivered on the Government’s one nation ideals, ensuring that all sections of society will benefit from our long term economic plan.”
Notes to editors
To read the Spring Budget 2017 in full, please see: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/spring-budget-2017-documents
To read the Chancellor’s Budget speech in full, please see: https://www.gov.uk/government/speeches/spring-budget-2017-philip-hammonds-speech
For details of Robin’s 2013 speech on raising the personal tax allowance threshold, see: https://www.publications.parliament.uk/pa/cm201213/cmhansrd/cm130418/debtext/130418-0003.htm#130418-0003.htm_spnew39