CHANCELLOR PRIORITISES PRODUCTIVITY AND INFRASTRUCTURE

The Chancellor of the Exchequer, Philip Hammond, today delivered his Autumn Statement to the House of Commons. Local MP, Caroline Dinenage, has welcomed the prioritisation of investment to improve productivity and ultimately living standards.

Highlighting the role infrastructure investment plays for transforming growth potential and people’s daily lives, the Chancellor announced £1.1 billion investment in local transport networks, including £220 million to address pinch points on strategic roads. The Chancellor also announced a new National Productivity Investment Fund worth £23 billion, earmarked for high value-generating infrastructure and research.

£683 million to Local Enterprise Partnerships in the South West, South East and London was announced, with individual allocations to be announced shortly.

In other highlights, a further £102 million of LIBOR bank funds will be made available for Armed Forces and Emergency Services Charities. To help working families, the Chancellor has cancelled the fuel duty rise, saving families £130 per year. The personal tax-free allowance will rise to £12,500 in April 2017, when tax-free childcare will also be introduced. The National Living Wage will be increased from £7.20 to £7.50 per hour, worth an additional £500 per year for full time workers.

To support enterprise, Corporation Tax will fall to 17% next April. The Government will implement the business rates reduction package worth £6.7 billion.

Commenting, Caroline said:

“Productivity in Britain is too low, so I am delighted that this Autumn Statement prioritises investment to transform growth potential and support businesses. In particular, I am pleased it prioritises investment in transport infrastructure, which is so essential for unlocking economic potential and improving people’s daily lives. This is a big issue in our local area and I earnestly await news as to whether the Stubbington Bypass will be funded.

“In addition, the measures to support ordinary working families and improve living standards are very welcome. The fact that this Government is able to raise the National Living Wage, increase the personal tax-free allowance and deliver on its manifesto commitment to provide tax-free childcare despite fiscal pressures proves this Government’s competence and commitment to social justice.”