Fylde coast MPs reaction to the post-pandemic Autumn Budget
Fylde coast MPs have given their verdict on the Budget unveiled by Chancellor Rishi Sunak
Blackpool North and Cleveleys' Conservative MP, Paul Maynard, said many of the Chancellor's policies would help the coast's visitor economy and support tourism businesses for the next year as they recover from the hit delivered by the coronavirus lockdowns.
He said: “This week’s Budget took place against the backdrop of some of the most exceptional economic circumstances since World War Two.
"Nonetheless, the Government has focused on providing financial support to the NHS – some 44 per cent of all government spending goes on the NHS, compared with 27 per cent back in 2010.
"With further investment in regional economies such as ours, the business rate holidays and a 12 month extension of VAT cuts for our local hospitality sector businesses are all designed to give our visitor economy the very best chance it has to maximise the high number of visitors we see right now."
Conservative MP for Fylde, Mark Menzies, said it was a budget about supporting jobs and helping people back to work.
He said: “I’m pleased to see reform to business rates which will help ensure the system is fairer and will make it easier for companies to invest in improvements. This will undoubtedly support regeneration on our high streets.
“Support for the hospitality sector is particularly vital and I’m pleased the Chancellor has recognised the importance of shops, hotels, pubs, restaurants which are so important to Fylde’s economy.
“When Small Business Rates Relief is taken into account this is a tax cut worth £7bn.
“In addition, the simplification of alcohol duty and rate relief on draught beers and ciders will help local pubs which are still recovering from the impact of the pandemic.
“I welcome £20bn of investment to support research and development which will help our high-tech employers in Fylde deliver new innovations.
“There is help too for hard working people, with fuel duty frozen and changes to Universal Credit which will almost immediately put money in the pockets of the lowest earners.”
But Lancaster and Fleetwood's Labour MP, Cat Smith, said the Government should have done more to tackle the immediate problems which will affect most households this winter with gas prices rocketing, inflation set to rise further and tax rises imminent as well as the loss of the £20 uplift to people on Universal Credit.
She said: "It's going to be a tough winter, with rising costs, inflation and empty supermarket shelves. People are feeling the pinch. Revelations from yesterday’s Budget that households will pay £3,000 more tax by 2026/27 than when Boris Johnson became Prime Minister are staggering.
"The increase in the national minimum wage is a positive step, but the Government needs to go further and faster. With costs rising, taxes going up, and the Universal Credit cut starting to bite, it’s give with one hand and take with the other.
"There are three big problems with this budget. Firstly, the Conservatives have no plan to tackle the growing cost of living crisis, secondly, they have no plan to remove the enormous tax burden they have placed on working people and businesses and finally they have no plan for growth, which is crucial to boosting our economy.
"Labour has a plan to ease the pressure on households and businesses right now. We’d abolish VAT on domestic energy bills for 6 months to help people get through the winter months, and we’d cut Business Rates next year."
Conservative MP for Blackpool South Scott Benton said: "The Budget prioritises helping working families and vulnerable households with the cost of living, including through a significant tax cut for low-income families by reducing the Universal Credit taper rate from 63 per cent to 55 per cent, a 6.6 per cent increase in the National Living Wage to £9.50 an hour – giving a £1,000 pay rise to 2 million of the lowest paid – lifting pay restraints for public sector workers, a freeze in fuel duty for the twelfth consecutive year, and a freeze in alcohol duty – alongside radical reform to make the system simpler, fairer and healthier."
He said businesses would also benefit from the 50 per cent cut in business rates next year for 90 per cent of retail, hospitality and leisure and the freeze of all rates and a doubling of creative industries tax reliefs for the UK’s world-leading theatres, orchestras, museums and galleries."