Harlow MP Robert Halfon praises chancellor’s first budget

Politics / Wed 8th Mar 2017 at 04:16pm

HARLOW MP, Robert Halfon, has reacted to the budget delivered by the chancellor of the exchequer, Phillip Hammond on Wednesday afternoon.

Mr Halfon said: “This is a budget that will help build an even better Harlow, boost skills and apprenticeships in our town, protect our NHS and social care, and cut the cost of living. It is a worker’s budget for hardworking Harlow families.”

Cutting the Cost of Living

After years of campaigning from the Harlow MP, Fuel Duty will be frozen again for the sixth year in a row, saving hard pressed motorists between £130 and £350, every single year.

The Chancellor is supporting Harlow’s hard-working families who, from next month, will receive up to £2000 a year towards the cost of childcare for each child they have under 12. From September, working parents with three and four year olds will also get their free childcare entitlement doubled to 30 hours a week.

On top of this, the National Living Wage will rise again to £7.50 in April, meaning a full time worker on a lower income will earn over £500 extra this year.

With the tax-free personal allowance due to rise to £11,500 this April, this budget means that hard-working Harlow residents, particularly lower earners, will get to keep more of their own hard-earned money.

Building an Even Better Harlow

£690 million will be given to local authorities to spend on improving our county’s transport and infrastructure. For Harlow, this comes on top of Government support for our new junction and an additional £5 million to improve our existing roads ahead of the development.

The Government’s new business rate proposals will see an 8% reduction in business rates across our town to ensure that businesses get fair rates and are encouraged to bring apprenticeships and jobs back to our town.

Championing Apprenticeships, Education and Skills

The Chancellor has pledged to spend an extra £500 million a year to improve technical education with brand new ‘T-levels’. This accompanies £216 million to rebuild and refurbish existing schools, £320 million to build new schools and create thousands more school places and £80 million to extend opportunities to children with disabilities or special educational needs. Spending on apprenticeships will also double by 2019/2020.

Harlow has already benefited from this with Harlow College’s brand new Advanced Manufacturing Centre, built with over £2.8 million of Government investment. Last academic year, 890 people took up apprenticeships in Harlow, an increase of over 200% from 10 years ago.

Protecting our NHS

To reduce pressure on our NHS, the Government is spending an extra £2 billion on social care over the next 3 years. This will free up beds at Princess Alexandra Hospital and reduce waiting times for patients. We are still spending an additional £10 billion a year in real terms on the NHS on top of this, the amount that NHS England requested.

For our hospital, this has meant an increased care budget of £200 million this financial year, as well as an additional £8 million for capital investment. Since 2010, there has been an upgraded eye clinic, a new kidney dialysis unit, and an upgraded maternity unit. This year, our hospital has also received an extra £800,000 to cover increased pressure on A&E over the winter.

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1 Comment for Harlow MP Robert Halfon praises chancellor’s first budget:

2017-03-08 20:58:17

Hardworking familes mentioned twice but omitted the increase in NI for self employed,strange that.

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