Post- Brexit Bri­tain is poised to pros­per

North East Hamp­shire MP Ranil Jayawar­dena talks mar­riage al­lowance, Brexit and trade deals

Star Courier (Surrey & Hants) - - OPINION -

FAM­I­LIES are blocks of so­ci­ety.

That’s why I be­lieve that it is the re­spon­si­bil­ity of all gov­ern­ments of what­ever hue to re­move the ob­sta­cles that might dis­crim­i­nate against fam­i­lies to cre­ate a so­ci­ety that works for ev­ery­one.

Last week, I was pleased to host, along with the Bishop of Ch­ester, the launch of a new re­port into how dif­fer­ent coun­tries dis­trib­ute the tax bur­den be­tween fam­i­lies and in­di­vid­u­als.

Af­ter years of see­ing no recog­ni­tion, I was pleased that HM Gov­ern­ment in­tro­duced a Mar­riage Al­lowance in 2013, to take ef­fect in 2015, al­low­ing cou­ples to trans­fer 10% of their un­used per­sonal al­lowance to their spouse, sav­ing up to £ 220 in the tax year 2016- 17.

De­spite this wel­come the build­ing change, last week’s re­port showed how Bri­tish fam­i­lies are dis­pro­por­tion­ately taxed, com­pared to those from other OECD coun­tries.

And the sys­tem re­mains rigged against those fam­i­lies with, for what­ever rea­son, only a sin­gle- earner.

I am in the process of fi­nal­is­ing my own in­de­pen­dent anal­y­sis on the suc­cess and fail­ure of the mar­riage al­lowance, hav­ing al­ready met the Chan­cel­lor of the Ex­che­quer on the topic, in or­der to best sup­port fam­i­lies who are just about manag­ing in the fu­ture.

The emerg­ing ev­i­dence shows that ex­tend­ing the al­lowance would give those fam­i­lies a wel­come break and un­der­line this gov­ern­ment’s com­mit­ment to fam­i­lies at the heart of our so­ci­ety.

As well as a de­tailed, proac­tive, look at pol­icy like this, I’ve also been keep­ing up to date with emerg­ing gov­ern­ment pol­icy on Bri­tain’s re­la­tion­ship with the EU.

On June 23 last year, this coun­try made a his­toric de­ci­sion. What­ever your view on this im­por­tant sub­ject, I be­lieve it is in­cum­bent on all politi­cians – and in­deed the wider public – to come to­gether, re­spect the coun­try’s de­ci­sion, and make sure the United King­dom suc­ceeds on the global stage.

Our Prime Min­is­ter, Theresa May, has now laid out her ‘ 12 Point Plan for Brexit’ giv­ing peo­ple greater cer­tainty over what Brexit will look like.

We are leav­ing the EU, but we are not leav­ing Europe. As a mem­ber of the In­ter­na­tional Trade Com­mit­tee in Par­lia­ment, I be­lieve it’s re­ally im­por­tant that we look be­yond the hori­zon to trade with the whole world – Europe and fur­ther afield.

To that end, last sum­mer, soon af­ter the ref­er­en­dum, I was pleased to visit the United States as part of a del­e­ga­tion hosted by the US State Depart­ment.

In my meet­ings with con­gress­men, sen­a­tors and oth­ers, we dis­cussed new op­por­tu­ni­ties for trade and in­vest­ment – fos­ter­ing greater re­la­tions be­tween our coun­tries and strength­en­ing our his­toric ‘ spe­cial re­la­tion­ship’.

In that light, I was de­lighted to hear the positive news this month from across the pond. Se­nior repub­li­cans in the USA have con­firmed to the For­eign Sec­re­tary, Boris John­son, that the United King­dom is in the ‘ front seat’ for a new trade deal – ex­actly what was con­firmed to me when I vis­ited.

I be­lieve that by work­ing with our in­ter­na­tional al­lies, friends and part­ners – in Europe and fur­ther afield – the United King­dom is well equipped to not only suc­ceed, but pros­per, in the years ahead.

If you would like to con­tact me on any is­sue, please email Ranil@ Tel­lRanil. com or write to me at the House of Com­mons, Lon­don, SW1A 0AA.

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