James Brokenshire has welcomed the Chancellor’s 2020 Budget which delivers on the promises made to the British people and gets things done, investing in the NHS, public services and infrastructure.
The Chancellor announced a set of measures which will mean families keep more of the money they earn. Increasing the National Insurance threshold to £9,500 this April, coupled with increasing the National Living Wage by 6.2% to £8.72 means someone working full time on the National Living Wage is £5,200 better off than in 2010.
Funding for the NHS will go up by £5.4 billion for 50 million more GP surgery appointments per year and to support the recruitment, retraining and retaining of 50,000 more nurses. The Budget also set out an ambitious package to build quality homes, including £9.5 billion for the Affordable Homes Programme.
The Budget also underlined the Government’s commitment to tackling COVID-19 and public safety. The Government will ensure that public services will receive the funding and resources they need to respond to the outbreak. This includes a new £5 billion Initial COVID-19 Response Fund and £40 million of new funding for further research and testing into COVID-19. Statutory Sick Pay (SSP) will be extended to cover more people who have COVID-19 or have to self-isolate, as well as refunding small and medium-sized businesses SSP costs. The Government has also abolished business rates and offered grant funding for many small businesses, as well as setting up a Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme in order to combat the economic fallout from COVID-19.
Commenting on the Budget, James said:
“Last year’s election gave a clear verdict. Now the people’s Government is delivering a Budget which delivers on our promises to the British people – it is a Budget of a government that gets things done. “Investment will reach record levels over the next five years, as the Government commits to levelling up across the country – benefitting families.”
“I am delighted that we have set out measures to support families and help them with the cost of living, while continuing to invest in Britain’s future responsibly – laying the foundations for a decade of growth and prosperity.”
“I know that many will be worried about the impact of COVID-19, but because the foundations of the UK economy are strong, we have been able to set out one of the most comprehensive economic responses of any government anywhere in the world, to date.”
“This is the first Budget delivered outside of the EU for more than five decades. It sets out a clear, one nation, path for the Government to get things done.”