After last week’s Autumn Statement, it’s clear we’re now firmly on a path to cutting taxes, growing the economy, shrinking the size of the state, and continuing to reform welfare.
It’s no secret Government has had to make tough decisions the last couple of years, in the wake of Covid and the Energy Crisis, to stabilise the economy and protect jobs. It’s why the Prime Minister made three of his five pledges last year to halve inflation, grow the economy and reduce the national debt.
I’m pleased that in the Autumn Statement the Chancellor was able to confirm we’ve exceeded all these measures. The economy is 1.8 per cent larger than it was pre-Covid, the national debt is falling faster than anticipated, and inflation has halved over the last year.
The plan is working, and I’m pleased that because of this, we’re now able to look at cutting taxes, investing more in business, and doing more of what people in Mansfield want to see – letting people keep more of their money, and investing in higher-skilled, well-paid jobs.
From January, employee National Insurance contributions will be cut from 12 to 10 per cent, giving 27 million people a pay rise of £450 a year on average, in April the National Living Wage will rise to £11.44 an hour, giving the lowest paid an additional pay rise just months later.
Many constituents drawing a pension have also been in touch with my office in recent months about the Pensions Triple Lock, so it’s fantastic news for them that this will stay in place too, ensuring that Pensions rise by 8.5 per cent, a rise worth £900 a year.
I know that these announcements will be warmly welcomed by so many people who have had to make tough choices recently – like I say, having made tough decisions over the last couple of years, we’re now on the right path where we’ll be able to deliver more like this in the future.
It’s also been good news for businesses too, particularly across our region, with more investment into the types of future tech being developed here.
There’s billions more going into nuclear fusion, hydrogen and advanced manufacturing, as well as a new Investment Zone which comes with £160m worth of capital funding and incentives to bring businesses to our area.
This is something that I’ve been calling for and has the potential to bring thousands of new jobs to our region, particularly in highly-skilled manufacturing, while also securing tens of millions more in support for economic growth.
The measures announced last week equate to the biggest tax cut since the 1980s for businesses, I know small and medium sized businesses across Mansfield will see this as a vote of confidence in them.
There’s loads more to talk about, but all in all, a fantastic budget that lays the groundwork for the years to come and one that I hope has gone down well with people across Mansfield!