Last week, the Government delivered its Autumn Statement, rewarding hard work by cutting and simplifying taxes, and undertaking significant investment to bolster growth.
The Autumn Statement takes long-term decisions to reduce debt, cut taxes, reward hard work, and back businesses.
This was the biggest package of tax cuts to be implemented at a fiscal event since the 1980s, while getting borrowing and inflation down. It will mean more people across Wokingham Borough will have more to spend in our shops, supporting our local economy.
Making sure that work pays is important, it is only fair that those who work get to keep more of their hard earned money. For those who can work, the dignity, purpose and financial security that comes with that leads to better mental health. The NHS says, “stable employment is a major factor in maintaining good mental health and is an important outcome for recovery for people with a mental health problem.”
We know that children in workless households are significantly disadvantaged. Children growing up in workless families are more likely to fail at all stages of their education. Sadly, this can lead to intergenerational cycle of disadvantage which lets down children.
This Autumn Statement introduced measures to tackle long term unemployment by strengthening support for those who want to work whilst toughening sanctions for those who are not looking for work.
Those on lower incomes will receive a massive uplift. The National Living Wage will be boosted by 9.8 per cent, the largest ever cash increase. This will help bring an end to low pay and ensure hard work is rewarded.
The Autumn Statement also included help for the most vulnerable, including cost of living support for families with an increase to housing benefit. All working age benefits will increase in full by 6.7 per cent.
Pensioners will also be better off with an 8.5 per cent increase in the state pension.
We're delighted that the Government has cut taxes, for businesses and people. From January National Insurance will be cut from 12 per cent to 10 per cent. Taxes for the self employed will also be cut and simplified.
These measures will mean more money in people’s pockets and will boost the economy. A family with two earners, on average will, be £900 better off.
We know local businesses have been finding it tough, especially in our town centres where Wokingham Borough Liberal Democrat’s doubling of parking charges, supported by Labour councillors as well, are being felt. We have heard from shops in Wokingham that these increases have hit their businesses hard.
Conservatives support small businesses. They are an essential part of our local community – as employers creating jobs but also in providing other valuable services to our community. They keep our town centres busy, many offer valuable spaces to chat with friends and neighbours – something we all sorely missed during the pandemic. We don’t want to see empty shops with boarded up windows.
Measures to help small businesses include extending the Retail, Hospitality and Leisure relief, meaning 230,000 properties will benefit from almost £2.4 billion in support, protecting small businesses in our high streets and town centres.
The cut in business rates for those small businesses is good news. As a result, a typical independent café in Wokingham, for example, with a rateable value of £15,000, will get around £5,700 off their final business rates bill. Combined with the small business multiplier being frozen, they would benefit by £6,200.
We know that Labour plan to permanently increase borrowing. This Autumn Statement would not have been possible under a Labour Government. Their plans would increase debt and would not bring down inflation.
The Conservative Government is making huge progress in tackling the long-term economic challenges facing the UK, meaning a more dynamic economy that delivers prosperity.