Berwick MP praises Budget measures
Berwick's MP, Anne-Marie Trevelyan, has praised measures outlined in today's Budget to boost rural communities, particularly in areas on which she has campaigned, such as fairer funding packages for rural schools.
She says the freeze in fuel duty is also welcome news to those in rural Northumberland for whom a car is not a luxury, but a necessity.
Mrs Trevelyan said: “I am pleased that the Chancellor understands that, for so many of us who live in rural areas, we need our cars to get around.
“It is normal when oil prices drop for fuel duty to rise, but the Chancellor has understood our concerns and announced a freeze which is welcome news. Our rural communities also have many more small businesses, who will be delighted to hear the news that we will permanently double small business rate relief and increase the maximum threshold for relief from £12,000 to £15,000 meaning 600,000 small businesses will now never pay business rates again – a saving of up to almost £6,000 which makes a huge difference.
“The Lifetime ISA is such a good deal for those under the age of 40, many of whom haven’t had such a good deal from pensions. You won’t have to choose between saving for your first home or saving for your retirement – the Government is going to give you money to do both. For every £4 saved, the Government will give you £1, and the ISA limit for everyone has been increased to £20,000.
“With the income tax threshold being raised again, people will be able to keep even more of the money they earn and the self-employed will receive savings from the abolition of Class 2 National Insurance contributions.”
The Chancellor also used the Budget to announce a new levy on the soft drinks industry so they reduce the sugar content of their products to tackle childhood obesity. The money raised will be used to double sports funding in primary schools and fund longer school days in secondary schools that offer their pupils a wider range of activities, including extra sport.
Mrs Trevelyan, who has been in favour of Government intervention in this area said: “I have been battling for this measure for many years, and taken some flack for it too! I strongly believe that we must drive change on the consumption of sugar for the long-term health of the next generation. Obesity is a killer and we have to do better for our kids’ futures.”