“I’ve just come from listening to the Chancellor deliver the budget in the House of Commons. I thought I’d send you a quick note to let you know what this budget means to you.
There are a couple of things that I’d like to highlight:
The first is improved support for new businesses. Businesses which occupy properties with a rateable value up to £6,000 will have a year free of business rates from October. When I’m out and about I speak to a lot of people who own and work in small businesses and I know how difficult it has been to keep going in the economic downturn. This suspension of rates will help small businesses rebuilding as the economy moves further out of recession.
Another issue that affects people in the local area is the winter fuel payment. Now that spring is upon this is less pressing than it was a few months ago, but we need continue to plan for the future. Next winter, we will repeat the additional payment alongside the winter fuel payment, which is worth a total of £250 for all pensioner households (£400 to a household with someone over 80.)
Green issues are also high up in the budget. A new Green Investment Bank which will help channel capital funding into sustainable projects. I hope this will help benefit the green industries which are springing up in Basildon and East Thurrock, like local transport being built at Ford Dunton, the Ultra pods at Arrk and the green vans at Abby Couriers in Basildon.
This was always going to be a difficult budget – we had to get the balance right between taking action to pay off some of the deficit, whilst at the same time investing in the businesses and jobs of the future and not making spending cuts that would damage the recovery.
I believe this is a budget which will continue to help the country put the economic downturn behind us, and one which will directly benefit the people of Basildon and East Thurrock.”