Chancellor George Osborne said his budget would help people on the Fylde and would help create new apprenticeships for young people in Lancashire.
Speaking at BAE Systems, Warton, the day after his Summer Budget – the first since the coalition government – he said people would have to bear a cut in welfare but would benefit from a rise in the minimum wage.
He added that measures in the budget would cut tax for businesses allowing them to grow and create more jobs.
And he hailed the announcement of 2,000 new apprenticeships that the defence firm aims to recruit.
He said: “This budget offers a new contract for the country and offers, I think, a good deal for Lancashire which is this to businesses – we say you are going to need to pay higher wages but we are cutting your business taxes; to people we say you are going to get a bigger pay cheque but there’s going to be less welfare; for the country we are saying there will be less spending but we are going to live within our means to deliver economic security and therefore more jobs.”
He denied accusations that changes to Universal Credit and Tax Credits will hit Fylde families on low income such as those in the tourism, retail and care sectors. Blackpool Council Leader Coun Simon Blackburn said the benefits cap reduction and other cuts would be a “great challenge” in Blackpool. He said: “The benefits system should only be a safety net but where the jobs are going to come from when local people do come off benefits is a great concern.”
But Mr Osborne said: “Jobs are being created in Blackpool and we have a lot of investment in the roads and infrastructure around Blackpool as well.
“For people working full time on minimum wage, with the new national living wage, and taking into account that we have cut peoples’ income taxes, with more free child-care, those families will be better off.”
BAE’s recruitment news came a day after the Chancellor announced a major shake- up to how Britain’s biggest companies can help deliver millions of apprenticeships, with the introduction of a new apprentice levy.
The radical plan aims to get big employers to pay into a ring-fenced scheme to improve apprentices and create three million apprentices by the end of the Parliament.
Mr Osborne said: “Britain’s great businesses have a hugely-important role to play in training up the next generation and I was delighted to visit BAE systems, a company right at the heart of the Northern Powerhouse, to hear about their plans to create 2,000 new apprentices.”
Nigel Whitehead, from BAE Systems, said: “It was a pleasure to host the Chancellor at Warton to see first-hand the investments we are making to keep our company and employees at the forefront of productivity and technology development.BAE Systems designs, builds and supports some of the most complex capabilities for armed forces and security services in the world.
“Our employment of 2,000 apprentices by 2018 shows our commitment to ensure our workforce remains the best trained and qualified in our sector.”