MP welcomes Budget boost for constituency
Berwick MP Anne-Marie Trevelyan has welcomed the Chancellor's Budget as a boost to investment in housing, health, transport and technology which will help to build an economy fit for the future.
The Budget contained measures to help people on Universal Credit, support to make housing and travel more affordable for young people, and spending measures to improve lives and infrastructure in the North East.
Mrs Trevelyan said: “This Budget will have a real impact on the lives of people in Northumberland and the North East.
“The decision to raise the personal allowance in tax will mean that the average taxpayer is now over £1,000 a year better off since 2010 and the rise in the National Living Wage means the lowest paid workers in north Northumberland are now £2,000 better off since its introduction.
“Labour might use platitudes and catchy headlines to garner attention, but the Conservatives are the party who are actually improving lives with real policy measures like freezing fuel duty and raising the National Living Wage.
“I am delighted that the Chancellor has focused on some of the key issues that face our country and the next generation such as housing and the NHS.
“The Chancellor committed £44billion to housing and over £6billion in new funding for the NHS and I am continuing to work with the Department of Health on the closure of beds at Rothbury Hospital and our Accountable Care Organisation.
“It is fantastic news that there will be a new railcard which will help young people save a third on rail fares, and the decision to abolish stamp duty for 95 per cent of all first-time buyers will make a real difference to those looking to purchase their own home, allowing them to keep money to spend or save as they wish.
“Following meetings with the Chancellor and intense lobbying that I have been undertaking on behalf of north Northumberland, it was very welcome to see distinct North East policies in this Budget.
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“The North Tyne devolution deal will be a game-changer in driving innovation and allowing money to be spent according to local need, allowing us to build a distinct economic area that can innovate and grow in the North East.”
Opposition leaders have described the Budget as disappointing, out of touch and doing little to help issues in Northumberland.
Coun Scott Dickinson, chairman of Northumberland Labour Group, said: “The Budget lacked reality, doing nothing to address the country’s real needs.
“The Universal Credit U-turn didn’t go far enough and living standards of ordinary hard-working people are down. Recently, Labour representatives in Alnwick, Rothbury, Seahouses, Berwick and Druridge Bay held activities that reported people feeling much poorer under the Tories; look at the level of food banks operating in Northumberland.
“The North of Tyne devolution deal will be good for the north if the powers are exercised properly. The deals were thrashed out by the then Labour administration at County Hall despite the Tories’ pretence that they achieved this in the last few months.”
Coun Jeff Reid, leader of the Northumberland Lib Dem group, said: “The Budget was disappointing, doing nothing to address Northumberland’s problems. The Conservatives nationally say they want to build more houses but Northumberland Conservatives withdrew the council’s core strategy because they want fewer houses built in the county.”
He also said a lack of good, well-paid, jobs is the problem preventing young people getting on the housing ladder.