Rory responds to chancellor’s budget

Rory welcomed the Budget Speech of the Chancellor of the Exchequer, George Osborne,  in particular the good news for small and medium-sized enterprises and localism initiatives.

Rory said, “In Penrith and the Border, where SMEs employ 92 per cent of the private sector employees in Penrith and the Border, the Chancellor’s announcement of the employment allowance for every business and charity, which removes £2000 from every employers’ National Insurance bill is very good news. It will mean that many Cumbrian businesses can take on their first employee at £22,000 or four employees on the minimum wage, without paying jobs tax.

He added, “The further reduction of corporation tax to 20 per cent from April 2015 and the reduction of working families’ childcare bills, as well as the freezing of the fuel tax rise planned for September will also help Cumbrian small businesses, where so many businesses and individuals rely on the car.” From April 2013 pump prices will be 13p per litre lower than under the previous government’s plans and a small business could have saved £340 in total over the last two years, and will continue to save at least £340 a year.

Rory added that SMEs would also benefit from the government’s endorsement of Lord Heseltine’s proposals for local enterprise partnerships (LEPs). “This is crucial for localism, as local authorities will have more freedom to plan and budget effectively for the long term, benefitting local housing projects and rural broadband initiatives, for example.”

Rory also welcomed the announcement that the beer duty escalator was to be scrapped, and hoped that that the ‘penny off a pint’ measure would mean fewer rural pub closures, and a boost to beer drinkers as well as brewers.

“A number of my constituents have written to me about the collapse of Equitable Life. They will be cheered by the Chancellor’s announcement that ex-gratia payments of £5000 will be made to customers who bought with-profits annuities prior to 1992.”

“The Chancellor has shown us that his main focus is to get public finances back under control, building on the reduction, so far, of the deficit by a third. His measures will restore sanity to British public finances, which is very important in the long term.”

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