Vale of Clwyd MP Welcomes Budget

Vale of Clwyd MP, Dr James Davies, has welcomed today’s budget, in particular the extra funding for social care and the focus on keeping the economy strong. The Chancellor’s budget also provided an additional £200m of funding for the Welsh Assembly Government.

Measures included help for families with the cost of living and investment in technology to boost the economy and jobs.  These were announced alongside growth forecasts of 2% in 2017 and real wage rises. Further progress will be made in reducing the deficit and growth will be encouraged with a cut in corporation tax to 17% by 2020 while the effect of business rates revaluation will be cushioned including for 90% of local pubs in England, which will receive a £1,000 discount on their business rates bill.

The budget hailed a rise in the National Living Wage, which will increase again to £7.50 in April. The personal 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. As regards childcare, announcements include the roll-out of the Tax-Free Childcare policy and the doubling of free childcare for working parents with three or four year olds in England.

Commenting James said, “I wrote to the Chancellor urging him to increase social care funding as per the findings of a Health Select Committee inquiry that I was involved with.  I am very pleased with this response and hope that the increased funding that the Assembly Government will receive as a consequence is used for the same purpose. We also need to boost the economy and encourage high end growth businesses and jobs to ensure we have an economy that can fund our public services. The only way to sustainably improve living standards across this country is to improve our productivity performance – currently 35 per cent behind Germany. Higher productivity means an economy that offers better jobs, with better pay.

“The £270 million to ensure that Britain remains at the forefront of technological advancement, supporting cutting-edge research in Artificial Intelligence and robotic systems, battery technology and electric vehicles is good news, as is the allocation of £290 million to support new PhD places, focused on STEM subjects. Also positive are the first steps to establish a National 5G Innovation Network, providing £16 million for UK research institutions to cooperate on a new 5G facility. Equally helpful are locally-led projects to roll out full-fibre with an additional £200 million fund, so people have access to the fastest and most reliable broadband and businesses can compete and grow in a modern economy.”