Karen Bradley MP welcomes today’s Budget

Karen Bradley, Member of Parliament for Staffordshire Moorlands, has welcomed the Chancellor’s Autumn Budget and Spending Review, which provides the foundations for a stronger economy in the Moorlands as the country continues its recovery from the pandemic.

The Budget prioritises 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.

Commenting, Karen said:

“Despite the unprecedented challenges caused by the pandemic, this Conservative Government is getting on with the job and delivering on the priorities of the British people.

“This Budget will make a real difference to people in the Moorlands, helping working families with the cost of living, supporting businesses with their recovery, and investing in our public services so that everyone gets the world-class hospitals, schools, and police services they deserve.

“I am delighted with the Chancellor’s award of £50,000 to fund a feasibility study and strategic outline business case for restoring services to the Leek – Stoke line.

“We have done everything we can to make our united case for the Leek – Stoke line and bring the Queen of the Moorlands back onto the rail network. I now look forward to working with colleagues in local government across North Staffordshire to get things moving.”

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.”

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