Budget 2017

Today’s Budget will keep the UK’s economy on track as we prepare to leave the European Union. The Chancellor has announced a range of measures to support growth and investment throughout the country, with support for business and innovation, investment in high quality education and steps to ensure that everyone pays their fair share.

Rugby has a great history of engineering excellence and the recent success of the Manufacturing Technology Centre in Ansty, which is carrying out edge research being used by manufacturers around the country, is a great demonstration of this. To prosper our industries need the right support and this budget will deliver that, with £270 million being invested in technological research so Britain remains at the forefront of global development. One of the areas highlighted by the Chancellor was investment in developing electric vehicles and battery technology, an area that the West Midlands is leading in. Both the London Taxi Company and Jaguar Land Rover are choosing to build the next generation of electric vehicles right on Rugby’s doorstep, which will create thousands of jobs locally.

I am also excited by the announcement that the Government will implement Lord Sainsbury’s review on Technical Education and introduce new T Level qualifications for 16-19 year olds. These will finally provide parity between academic and technical courses and builds upon the 3 million apprenticeship starts we will deliver by 2020. Encouraging our young people to pursue careers in science, technology, engineering and mathematics has been a relentless focus of this Government and will help young people develop the skills they need to succeed in modern industries. These new qualifications will be provided with an additional £500 million of funding alongside high quality work placements within industry.

Fairness must also be at the heart of any budget. Since I became Rugby’s Member of Parliament, many people have approached me with concerns about making sure that everyone pays their fair share of tax. Since 2010, the Conservatives have secured over £140bn in additional tax revenue by clamping down on tax avoidance, however there is still more work to be done. That is why today, the Chancellor announced that we will raise an additional £820m by closing loopholes in the tax system. This builds on the progress made in the last Parliament with a further 35 measures to be legislated on by 2020, including introducing a tough penalty for professionals who enable aggressive tax planning arrangements later defeated by HMRC. We want Britain to be the best place in the world to do business, but that must not mean turning a blind eye when tax is being avoided or evaded.

Finally, I welcome that the Chancellor has listened to the concerns that local people have raised regarding our NHS and adult social care. The NHS is one of our most valued public institutions and this Government is committed to providing it with the support it needs. That is why, on top of the £10 billion real terms increase we are already providing, the Chancellor today announced an additional £2 billion for social care over the next three years, to help provide the joined-up health and social care system we need to ensure that everyone has dignity in their old age.

This budget cements the Conservative Party’s commitment to a strong economy and lays the foundations of a stronger, fairer, more highly-skilled global Britain outside the EU.