HELLO and welcome to my weekly View from the House for Tamworth Informed – the last of 2018.
Well, here we are. It has been quite some year in Westminster. Everything from Brexit to banning Ivory has been discussed and decided. Although there is a lot of noise from time to time in Westminster, the work of Government continues on a daily basis and I thought it may be helpful to highlight some other achievements we have had that don’t involve the ‘B’ word.
Firstly, we have set out how we will provide an extra £20.5 billion for the NHS by 2023-24 as part of our long-term plan for the NHS – that’s £394 million extra a week for the NHS as part of a historic five-year budget settlement. This is an average real terms increase of 3.4 per cent a year to 2023.
We have cut income tax for 32 million people helping them to keep more of what they earn. A year earlier than planned, we are raising the level of personal allowance to £12,500 meaning that a typical basic rate taxpayer will pay £1,205 less tax than in 2010. This will increase the number of tax payers taken out of income tax altogether since 2015-16 to 1.74 million.
We have frozen fuel duty for the ninth year in a row. Fuel duty has been frozen since 2010-11, saving the average driver £1,000 by 2020.
We have introduced a cap on energy tariffs and ending rip-off energy prices for millions of families this winter. Ofgem will set a cap on the Standard Variable Tariffs protecting up to 11 million households. The cap will tackle the amount consumers have been overpaying, which the Competition and Markets Authority found to be £1.4 billion a year.
In the workplace, we have announced the biggest package of reforms for 20 years to ensure that workers’ rights keep pace with the changing world of work. Our new reforms will ensure that workers aren’t left behind, ensuring that everyone has the right to fair and decent work.
We are continuing to fix the housing market and have delivered more than 222,000 new homes – the highest in all but one of the last 31 years, helping people onto the housing ladder.
Also importantly for drivers, we have announced the biggest ever single cash injection to improve England’s roads helping people to get to where they need to be. We will allocate £28.8 billion to the National Roads Fund from 2020-25, improving journeys for businesses and families. The West Midlands, and particularly Staffordshire, will see a significant share of this.
On the environment, we have set out our 25 Year Environment plan to protect our spaces for future generations. Our 25 Year Environment Plan sets out how we will tackle the scourge of plastic, deliver cleaner air and water and use the opportunity Brexit provides to develop our own agricultural and fisheries policies.
We have also increased the National Living Wage further giving the lowest paid a pay rise. This will deliver a £690 annual pay rise to a full-time worker, taking the total annual pay rise since its introduction to £2,750.
Finally, on the wider economy since 2010, we’ve backed business and taken a balanced approach to the economy which created over 3.4 million new jobs averaging 1,090 jobs a day.
I’ll be back in the New Year having had one or two days off (hopefully) and ready to give you further updates about what is going on and what it means for you as we approach the crucial Brexit deadline in March.
Until then, have a great and restful Christmas and New Year.