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Harlow MP, Robert Halfon backs Chancellor’s Autumn Statement

News / Wed 3rd Dec 2014 pm31 02:17pm

HARLOW MP Robert Halfon (and economic advisor to George Osborne) has issued a positive response to the autumn statement.

Mr Halfon said:

“Today the Chancellor, Rt Hon George Osborne MP, delivered the Autumn Statement 2014 to the House of Commons, with the news that the deficit has been halved, and although the economy is recovering faster than had been forecast, but that the job is far from done.

The Chancellor confirmed that the deficit has been cut by half, and that borrowing is lower than it was predicted in the last Budget. It is predicted that there will be a £23 billion surplus in 2019/20.

Impressively, the economy has grown over 8% in this Parliament – the third fastest of any major economy since 2010, and 2.5 times faster than Germany. Furthermore, business investment is up 27% since 2010.

And in good news for Harlow, employment is up and unemployment is down. Over half a million new jobs are forecast to be created this year. Unemployment is predicted to fall from the 8% we inherited to 5.4% next year. This can be seen in Harlow, where employment has nearly halved since 2010.

Furthermore, earnings are rising and inflation is lower. The OBR predicts ‘meaningful wage growth’ will pick up next year and grow above inflation for the next five years – and this year, people who had been in work for over a year received a 4% pay increase. Inflation forecasts are significantly revised down to 1.5% this year and 1.2% next year.

Robert Halfon said: “This Autumn statement is a workers’ budget for hardworking people. There are increased help for apprenticeships, tax cuts for lower earners, boosts for small businesses, help for pensioners and those who want to get on the property ladder. I am also delighted to see over £3 billion extra going to the NHS, benefiting the Princess Alexandra Hospital and GP services in Harlow.”

“The Chancellor is also refunding VAT for hospices – a move which will really benefit our fantastic hospice in Harlow, St Clares Hospice.”

“This Government has a relentless focus on working people and helping those on a low income. These new measures mean that families will be better off. The increase in personal allowance will mean that people can choose how to spend their own money, and means that the average worker will be £800 better off than they would have been under Labour’s plans”.

The measures announced in the budget include the following:

This Autumn Statement sets out the new steps in our long-term economic to do this:

REFORMING STAMP DUTY – A TAX CUT FOR 98% OF THOSE WHO PAY STAMP DUTY. The slab system distorted the market with big jumps in taxes when house values climbed into a new band. Our new slice system will work like income tax, so you only pay the higher rate on the part of the property that falls within that band. 98% of buyers who pay stamp duty will pay less. The buyer of the average family home (worth £275,000) will pay £4,500 less. Of people who pay stamp duty in London, 91% will pay less. This is a tax cut of £800 million a year.

BACKING THE ASPIRATION TO WORK AND SAVE. When the holder of an ISA dies, a husband or wife will be able to inherit their partner’s ISA and keep its tax free status. We will abolish National Insurance Contributions for employers who employ an apprentice under 25 to back young people get the skills they need to get on in life.

CUTTING INCOME TAX. The tax-free Personal Allowance will now increase to £10,600 in April and this will be passed on in full to higher rate taxpayers – the first increase in the higher threshold in line with inflation for 5 years. This is a down-payment on our commitment to raise the higher rate threshold to £50,000 by the end of the decade.

CUTTING AIR PASSENGER DUTY FOR CHILDREN. From May, APD for under 12s will be abolished and from 2016 it will be abolished for under 16s.

SUPPORTING SMALL BUSINESSES WITH ACTION ON BUSINESS RATES AND MORE HELP FOR THE HIGH STREET. We will again extend the doubling of Small Business Rate Relief and continue to cap the inflation-linked increase in business rates at 2%. The £1,000 discount for shops and cafes on the high street will increase to £1,500 and there will be a full review of the structure of business rates to report before Budget 2016. We will increase the R&D tax credit for SME firms to 230%, the maximum allowed and extend the Funding for Lending scheme by another year – focusing it entirely on small businesses.

SUPPORTING SCIENCE WITH HELP FOR POST GRADUATES. Student loans of £10,000 for young people undertaking post-grad masters degrees will be backed by the government for the first time.

TACKLING TAX AVOIDANCE. We will introduce a 25 per cent tax on multinationals that artificially divert profits, and limit how much banks can offset previous losses against profits. We will increase charges for non-doms so everyone pays their fair share.

UPDATED CHARTER FOR BUDGET RESPONSIBILITY. We will publish this next week to lock in discipline over our public finances for the future.
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