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Gosport MP welcomes business support in Budget

By Linden Grigg

GOSPORT MP, Dame Caroline Dinenage, has welcomed a raft of economic measures to support small business growth within the constituency; which were announced by Chancellor of the Exchequer Jeremy Hunt as he announced the Spring Budget in the House of Commons earlier on Wednesday (March 6).

During an hour long speech the Chancellor confirmed the Government’s plan for growing the economy; including raising VAT thresholds and cutting National Insurance contributions for workers. It is widely expected that this will be the last Budget before the next General Election that must be held by January 2025.

Other measures included a further freeze to fuel duty, an increase to the threshold at which parents start paying High Income Child Benefit Charge, and an extension of the renamed Growth Guarantee scheme. This enables access to finance for Small and Medium Enterprises with the scheme now backed by a total £200 million.

The cut to National Insurance was announced as being two pence per pound for employees and self employed workers; which joins similar reductions announced at the Autumn Statement last year. These cuts will be worth £900 a year for the average worker and gives them the lowest effective personal tax rate since 1975; which is said to be lower than America, France, Germany or any G7 country.

New VAT thresholds will also mean the UK has the highest VAT registration threshold for SMEs across the EU, and the highest in the OECD alongside Switzerland. The Office for Budget Responsibility has meanwhile forecast that inflation will hit the Government’s 2% target a year earlier than forecast, with stronger than expected growth. This will leave the UK with a faster growing economy than Germany, France, or Italy over the next three years leading into 2027.

The Gosport MP said after the Budget: “The Chancellor has done a remarkable job steering the economy through the aftershocks of the pandemic and Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.  I welcome all the measures in this Budget to focus on growing the economy and reducing the barriers to work, like the rise to Child Benefit threshold and cuts to National Insurance.”

She continued: “ I especially welcome the changes to VAT thresholds, which will do untold good to the economic regeneration of Gosport in areas like the Waterfront development and Daedalus airport, which I have long worked to promote by securing funding. With around 20,000 people commuting to work in Gosport every day the continued freeze on fuel duty was also welcome.”

Mr Hunt stated: “Because the Conservatives are sticking to the plan, with inflation down from 11.1 per cent to 4.0 per cent, we can cut taxes and put more money in people’s pockets to grow the economy. Our Budget cuts taxes and rewards work, supports small businesses, and helps more parents with the cost of childcare.

The Chancellor continued: “By sticking to the plan, the Conservatives will deliver a stronger economy to build a brighter future. Labour cannot say what they would do with the economy because they do not have a plan, and would take us back to square one.”

Readers can read the full Spring Budget document by clicking here, whilst the Chancellor’s speech can be watched on the Parliament YouTube channel. MPs will now debate the contents of the Budget over the next three sitting days (March 7, 11 and 12) before a vote; where it is expected to pass.

PICTURED BY PIXABAY: The Spring Budget was announced in the House of Commons earlier today (Wednesday), which saw a number of economic measures as part of the Government’s plan for growing the economy.