Last Updated: 06 April 2018
Created: 06 April 2018
North Swindon MP Justin Tomlinson has welcomed a package of changes to support families & businesses which come into force today.
The measures, which formed part of the Chancellor's Budget and which were passed into law recently, are designed to reduce the cost of living, give people greater financial security, help businesses grow, and provide new opportunities to get on the housing ladder.
Taken together, they form a part of the Conservative Government's balanced plan to grow the economy, reduce our debts and ensure everyone shares in the proceeds.
These changes are in stark contrast to Labour’s stated plans which would see debt spiral to more than 100% of GDP leaving our economy vulnerable to shocks, forcing us to waste billions more on debt interest and handing the next generation an unmanageable burden - just as Labour did before. To pay for Labour's plans, taxes on families and businesses would rise to their highest level in peacetime history – with ordinary working families left to pay the price.
The changes coming into force today include:
- Increasing the tax-free Personal Allowance from £11,500 to £11,850. This means that a typical basic rate taxpayer will pay £1,075 less in income tax in 2018-19 than in the last year under Labour. Since 2010, we have cut income tax for over 30 million people, lifted half a million taxpayers out of the higher rate and taken 4 million of the lowest paid out of tax altogether.
- Giving over 2 million workers a pay rise by increasing the National Living Wage (NLW) and the National Minimum Wage (NMW). We are increasing the NLW from £7.50 to £7.83, which means that full-time workers will earn £2,000 more per year than they did when the Conservatives introduced the NLW in 2016. We are also making the biggest increase in 10 years to NMW rates for young people.
- Increasing the full basic State Pension by 3% to £125.95 per week (more than £6,500 per year), giving pensioners greater security in retirement. This is £1,450 higher than we inherited in 2010. We are also raising the full rate of the new State Pension to £164.35 per week (more than £8,500 per year).
- Freezing fuel duty for the eighth successive year at 57.95p per litre, taking the saving for a typical car driver to £850 and the average van driver to over £2,100, compared to Labour’s plans.
- Freezing all alcohol duties. After the cuts and freezes we have made to beer duty since 2013, the tax on a typical pint will be 12p lower than it would otherwise have been. Compared to plans from 2014, we have reduced the average tax on a bottle of Scotch by £1.19, on a bottle of wine by 15p and on a pint of cider by 3p
- Cutting stamp duty for 95% of first time buyers, to help people realise the dream of home ownership. Over the next 5 years, this tax cut will help over a million first-time buyers get onto the housing ladder. An estimated 60,000 first time buyers have already benefited.
- Increasing the threshold at which people begin to pay back their student loan to £25,000. That figure will continue to rise in line with changes to average earnings to help those starting out in their careers. This increase will benefit around 600,000 graduates in 2018-19 by up to £360 each.
- Backing the high street by switching the business rates indexation two years earlier than planned. This will save a typical high street shop £800 by 2022-23 and a typical restaurant over £1,600 in the same period. In addition, we are offering pubs a £1,000 discount on business rates if they have a rateable value of £100,000 or less. Up to 36,000 pubs could benefit.
Justin Tomlinson MP said: "Individually these changes are important, but taken together they represent major Government action to reduce the cost of living, give people greater financial security, help businesses grow, and provide new opportunities to get on the housing ladder. By growing the economy in a balanced way, we are able to ensure that hardworking families, pensioners & businesses across Swindon benefit. Only a Conservative Government can deliver these vital changes."