James Grundy MP: The Government is working hard to deliver a better future

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Last week I was very pleased to hear the Chancellor Jeremy Hunt set out his spring budget.

Despite enormous global challenges, the UK economy is proving the doubters wrong.

The difficult decisions the government has taken to restore stability after the economic turmoil caused by Covid and Russia’s illegal war in Ukraine mean that we have avoided recession and growth is forecast to return.

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We are working hard to deliver on the government’s priorities to halve inflation, grow the economy and reduce debt so we can create better paid jobs and opportunities across the United Kingdom, guaranteeing a better future for the next generation.

Leigh MP James GrundyLeigh MP James Grundy
Leigh MP James Grundy

The Chancellor set out his ‘Budget for Growth’ by focusing on the four themes of: “Enterprise”, “Employment”, “Education” and “Everywhere”.

The government has pledged to extend 30 hours of childcare a week to working parents of children aged nine months to four years, paying Universal Credit childcare costs upfront rather than in arrears and introducing reforms to the childcare sector including changes to staff to child ratios.

Furthermore the government will be introducing a £25 billion three year tax cut for business investment, increasing the annual pension allowance to £60,000 and abolishing the lifetime allowance to encourage highly skilled staff not to retire early.

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We will also be establishing a new Universal Support programme for disabled people and the long-term sick, abolishing the Work Capability Assessment and increasing the Administrative Earning Threshold to 18 hours.

Finally, I am pleased to say that the government will be extending the Energy Price Guarantee at £2,500 for a further three months and freezing fuel duty for the 13th year in a row, which will save the average driver around £200 this year.

The government is also delivering a Brexit Pub Guarantee so draught duty in pubs will always be lower than duty in supermarkets.

By doing all of this the government will remove the obstacles that stop businesses investing, tackle the labour shortages that stop them recruiting, break down the barriers that stop people working and harness British ingenuity to make us a science and technology superpower.

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I am particularly pleased about the announcements around childcare. I recently spoke in Westminster Hall on this issue due to a large number of my constituents adding their names to a Parliamentary petition asking for the issue to be debated so I’m delighted that they went even further than I asked for in that debate.

It was also great news for Greater Manchester to be named as one of 12 ‘Investment Zones’ by the Chancellor during the budget.

Each site will be backed by £80 million of funding over five years, while the region will also be in line to share an extra £100 million with Glasgow and the West Midlands to help them become globally competitive centres for research and innovation.

The Investment Zone will also include generous tax incentives while the funding can be used to improve skills, provide specialist business support, improve the planning system or for local infrastructure.