My Response to the 2017 Autumn Budget

I warmly welcome the Budget delivered today by the Chancellor of the Exchequer. Having previously been Parliamentary Private Secretary to the Chancellor, I know that he is committed to responsible management of our economy while responding appropriately to the challenges we face. I was particularly pleased to see the focus on providing a boost to housing, including the removal of stamp duty for first time buyers purchasing a home up to £300,000. This will be a helpful development in Salisbury and South Wiltshire where the house price to salary ratio is very high.

The Budget also delivers help for small businesses with changes to business rates. Future calculations will use CPI instead of RPI – this will now happen two years earlier than expected. Measures to freeze the fuel duty for the 8th consecutive year will also be a positive development for companies looking to keep transport costs down.

Extra investment in the NHS and a number of changes to Universal Credit will be welcomed by claimants, including the ability to get 100% advance payments within five days from January, an increase in the period of repayment from six to twelve months, as well as an additional advance for housing payments.

Today we have seen yet again that it is only a Conservative Government that delivers responsible economic leadership and management of our finances whilst investing carefully in measures to promote economic growth.

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