Worcester MP Robin Walker believes Chancellor Rishi Sunak's Autumn Budget and Spending Review, presented today in the House of Commons will provide the foundations for a stronger economy across every part of the United Kingdom including Worcester as the recovery from the Coronavirus pandemic continues.
Robin was pleased that the Budget prioritises included helping working families and vulnerable households with the cost of living, including through a significant tax cut for low-income families by reducing the Universal Credit taper rate from 63 per cent to 55 per cent, a 6.6 per cent increase in the National Living Wage to £9.50 an hour – giving a £1,000 pay rise to 2 million of the lowest paid – lifting pay restraints for public sector workers, a freeze in fuel duty for the twelfth consecutive year, and a freeze in alcohol duty – alongside radical reform to make the system simpler, fairer and healthier.
Businesses will also benefit from new measures, including a 50 per cent cut in business rates next year for 90 per cent of retail, hospitality and leisure – alongside a freeze of all rates – the creation of new business rates relief to encourage green technologies and improvements to properties, and a doubling of creative industries tax reliefs for the UK’s world-leading theatres, orchestras, museums and galleries.
Other measures to drive economic growth include record investment in our roads, railways and broadband; supporting innovation through a record £20 billion spending on R&D; and a huge uplift in skills training through T-levels, Institutes of Technology, and apprenticeships.
As part of the three year Spending Review delivered alongside the Budget, total government departmental spending will increase by £150 billion by 2024 – a 3.8 per cent annual real terms increase – the largest real terms increase this century, and record levels of capital investment not seen in 50 years.
This funding increase will help to deliver on the Conservative Government’s key manifesto promises, including building 40 new hospitals, recruiting 20,000 police officers, and raising per pupil spending in schools to record levels.
Underpinning these measures, the Budget strengthens the country’s public finances and will get debt falling again, following the £400 billion package of support put in place during the pandemic. The new fiscal rules set out today by the Chancellor will require the government to only borrow to invest and get debt falling by 2024, in line with the Conservative Government’s 2019 manifesto commitment.
Commenting after the announcement, Robin said:
"I am delighted that the stronger growth than anticipated and strength of recovery has allowed the government to spend extra on health and education. There are some crucial steps beig taken in this Autumn Budget to invest across public services, drive up apprenticeships and support further economic and social recovery from the pandemic."
"I am also delighted with extra help on business rates which can support the continued recovery of the High Street and even stronger economy in the future"
“Despite the numerous challenges caused by the pandemic, this Government is getting on with the job and delivering on the priorities of the British people."
Commenting, Chancellor of the Exchequer Rishi Sunak said:
“One year ago, this country was in the grip of the biggest recession in 300 years. Thanks to our Plan For Jobs, we are today recovering faster than our major competitors, more people are in work, and growth is up. But uncertainty in the global economy means that recovery is now under threat."
“That is why this Budget and Spending Review delivers a stronger economy for the British people – strengthening our public finances, helping working families meet the cost of living, supporting businesses, delivering stronger public services, and driving economic growth."
“This is a Budget which will level up every part of the United Kingdom. It is a Budget which provides the foundations for a stronger economy.”
Notes to Editors
For more information on the Autumn Budget 2021, please see:
For the Chancellors full speech, please see: