View From the House – 24th November 2017

Thursday, 23rd November 2017

A NEW railcard for 26-30 year olds, stamp duty abolished for first time buyers, increase in the living wage and all taxpayers will earn £350 more before tax.

£44bn for housing, an extra £2.8bn on top of the £124bn this year for the NHS, fuel duty frozen and the beginning of a ‘Blue Planet Tax’ on single-use plastics.

These are just some of the many policies announced in the Budget which was delivered on Wednesday by the Chancellor Philip Hammond.

The Budget is one of the most important announcements in any Government’s calendar. It updates Parliament and the country on the economy but is also a chance to announce tweaks to certain areas such as tax and deliver new policies altogether.

Housing was the clear theme of this year’s Budget which is good news for young people and first-time buyers who are increasingly being priced out of buying their own home. The average age of a first-time buyer is now 30, with £33k being the average deposit required. This is quite frankly unacceptable and the fact is that we simply haven’t built enough houses each year for at least the last two decades.

2017 Budget Announcements

New rail card for 26-30 year olds, stamp duty scrapped for first time buyers and a rise in the amount you earn before you get taxed. What else does the Budget mean for you? I explain more here…

Posted by Christopher Pincher on Wednesday, 22 November 2017

I was very pleased to see the Chancellor announce an ambitious £44bn to spend on housing. He has taken a carrot and stick approach to housebuilders. On the one hand, he has announced a review in to ‘land banking’ by developers; the process by which house builders ‘sit’ on land which often has planning permission and not actually deliver the homes they promised. He also announced more support for Councils looking to build homes, for smaller and medium sized developers and money to train workers in the construction industry.

The Chancellor announced that stamp duty would be scrapped for first time buyers on properties up to £300k which, it is hoped, will mean more people will have the cash to buy their first property sooner. Councils will also now have the freedom to double council tax on owners that leave their property empty; ending the ‘buy to leave’ culture that takes place in some areas.

Aside from the Budget, this week has been another few days of debates late at night. On Tuesday another stage of the EU Withdrawal Bill was debated. I have received a number of messages from constituents following an article that was published in The Independent about Conservatives voting against ‘animal sentience’ because they ‘don’t feel pain’. This is fake news and could not be further from the truth. The Government has no intention of reducing animal rights once we leave the EU. On the contrary, the United Kingdom has one of the highest regards for animals in Europe if not the world and it will continue to work on the rights of animals. CCTV in slaughterhouses, ivory bans, the maximum sentence for animal cruelty increased five-fold and potentially a tax on single-use plastics. These are all policies brought in under the Conservatives and to suggest, as some have, that this is going to allow fox hunting through the back door is absolute nonsense.

On more cheerful notes, at the weekend I’ll be knocking around Tamworth and the nearby villages meeting constituents and hearing their thoughts on the Budget and wider issues. On Saturday morning I’m popping into a very successful business in Tamworth in preparation for Small Business Saturday which is on 2nd December, and on the Sunday I’ll be tree planting in Streetly Wood!

As ever if you have any issues don’t hesitate to contact me on christopher.pincher.mp@parliament.uk or 01827 312778.

Have a great weekend.