Budget boost for people of the West
THE Budget offered plenty of good news and encouragement for people and businesses in the West.
The economy is in a healthy position, with growth for 2019 revised upwards, employment set to increase by 800,000 by 2023 and wages forecast to rise above inflation in each of the next five years.
This vindicates the Government’s balanced approach to the economy and means we are in a strong position to boost our vital public services and help people immediately with the cost of living.
In our region, the biggest single announcement was the £23 million investment in transport projects in the West of England, which will help to boost productivity and spread prosperity.
Perhaps the most striking announcement nationally was the decision to cut income tax a year early, in spring 2019, enabling millions of people to keep more of what they earn.
I was also pleased to see the increase in the National Living
Wage, the freezing of fuel duty and the additional £1.7 billion a year to help working families on Universal Credit, not to mention the extra
£20.5 billion for the NHS.
Another stand-out was the decision to cut business rates for smaller retailers by a third, providing a welcome boost to our high streets.
With the economy recovering well following Labour’s mismanagement before 2010, it’s important we maintain the discipline and avoid the prospect of Jeremy Corbyn taking us back to square one by raising taxes to the highest level in peacetime history and sending debt soaring.
Peter Booth, chairman South West Conservatives