MP Welcomes the Chancellor’s Autumn Budget

Following the Chancellor’s Budget on Monday Henry had the chance to speak in the debate. As well as raising various national issues regarding the economy and Brexit he spoke about local issues too. Commenting Henry said: “I very much welcome what is in this Budget; it is certainly a balanced Budget that delivers for everyone. The increases in personal allowances and the living wage, the extra money for mental health and what the Chancellor said about enterprise are all very welcome indeed.”

Henry went on to say: “In addition to the Prime Minister’s announcement earlier this year that the Government would be increasing the NHS budget by £20.5bn by 2023 the Chancellor announced the NHS 10-year plan and an extra £2bn a year to be spent on mental health services. This will include a new mental health crisis service with comprehensive mental health support available in every major A&E, a children and young people’s crisis team in every part of the country, more mental health ambulances, more safe havens in the community and a 24-hour mental health crisis hotline.”

Commenting on the Chancellor’s commitments to the high street Henry said: “I warmly welcome what the Chancellor said about the high street. Our local high street in King’s Lynn is thriving, despite all the closures of national chains. I particularly welcome what he said about the high street fund. Furthermore, it is very welcome news indeed that the Chancellor has committed to cut business rates for firms with a rateable value of £51,000 or less. In addition to this I very much welcome the £650million announcement to rejuvenate our high streets.”

“Furthermore, this will really help my local campaign to bring forward large numbers of flats above shops in and around Lynn’s town centre. As I said in my speech in the House most of the flats used to be occupied in days gone by but now only a tiny number are in use. This really is the most dreadful waste and what we need now is for both the Council and local housing associations to take the lead in opening up these flats for both private and housing association rental. I am now confident that the Chancellor’s initiative will help make this a reality.”

Monday's Budget also included measures to help working families with the cost of living. The Chancellor announced a pay rise for the lowest paid in society with the National Living Wage rising again from £7.83 to £8.21 an hour, from April 2019.

Henry went on to say: “It is truly excellent news that the Chancellor brought forward the personal allowance rise early. Indeed, this is the eighth year in a row the personal allowance has risen, going up from £11,850 to £12,500 in April, a tax cut for 32 million people. The new threshold effectively means a £130 a year gain for workers earning more than £12,500 a year. Since 2015 we have taken 1.7 million people out of tax altogether. Indeed, the Chancellor has also delivered a welcome boost to families on Universal Credit worth £630 a year. This will mean that the government’s flagship welfare reform is now more generous than the benefit system that it is replacing.”

Commenting on the Budget’s announcements regarding infrastructure Henry said: “I gladly welcome the announcement around the roads programme. However, what we need to do now is find out as a matter of urgency whether this will benefit the A47 Just Dual It campaign. Of course, I welcome the existing £300million investment in the six schemes on the A47, but even when they are completed only slightly more than 50% of the road will be duelled. This is why myself and other Norfolk MPs will be pressing the Transport Minister very hard over the next few days.”

“All in all this was one of the most impressive budgets I have heard and I am therefore exceptionally optimistic for the future because on the back of record employment, booming exports and a falling deficit the Chancellor has laid out a really clear and very positive vision for the future of our country post Brexit.”

On Monday evening Henry took part in the budget debate; his full contribution can be viewed via the following link: