MP for North Swindon

Justin Tomlinson MP

Swindon Advertiser Column: This Budget Invests More Than Ever In Public Services & Puts More In The Pockets Of Hardworking People


On Monday, the Chancellor delivered a ‘Budget for Britain’s future’ which confirmed the strength of the country’s economy, announced significant investment in our public services, and put more money into the pockets of the strivers, the grafters and the carers who are the backbone of our communities.

The Budget always presents an opportunity to present the latest state of the UK economy. With growth up, employment up, wages up and the national debt down; we are finally reaching the light at the end of the tunnel after Labour’s Great Recession.

With our economy growing again and with more people in work and paying taxes, the Government has been able to announce some of the biggest investments into public services than ever before.

We will build on our record funding for the NHS with a new long-term plan backed up with major investment in frontline services. It will be the single largest cash commitment to our public services ever made by a peacetime Government—an £8.4 billion five-year deal for our NHS (50% more than Labour offered the NHS at the last election) which will see an historic £20.5 billion real-terms increase for the NHS in full over the next five years.

We also announced an extra £2 billion a year boost for mental health services. This will help find more specialist ambulances, increased community support and comprehensive support at every major A&E by 2024. Our ambition remains to ensure that mental health is treated equally alongside physical health.

Schools are set to receive £400 million more this year than was previously planned, with £10,000 to the average primary and £50,000 to the average secondary to help schools buy the equipment they need. This additional “in-year” funding will build on the record education funding in England this year of more than £40 billion, and the Chancellor confirmed that there will be more announcements on further investment in schools at the Spending Review in the New Year.

Elsewhere, we are also taking action to back the High Street by reducing business rates by a third, exempting three million small businesses from paying VAT and announcing plans for a new Digital Services Tax on large social media platforms, search engines and online market places, to address the disadvantage that High Street shops face compared to those online. 

As well as record investment, the Chancellor also announced plans to allow hardworking people to keep more of the money they earn with an income tax cut for 32 million.

Under Labour, a person started paying tax when they earned anything over £6,475. Today that amount stands at £11,850 and from April it will jump to £12,500 – a tax cut which benefits the lowest paid and middle earners.

The National Living Wage will also increase again in April by 4.9% - a change that will see a £690 pay rise for a full-time worker. The Chancellor also announced a continuation of the freeze to fuel duty for the 9th year in a row – something which has saved the average car driver a cumulative £1,000 since April 2010.

Taken together, these changes will make a real difference to the money people have in their pockets and will ensure our vital public services continue to receive record amounts of funding.

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