Brighton Conservative MP welcomes Chancellor’s autumn statement

Posted On 25 Nov 2015 at 3:01 pm

Brighton Kemptown Conservative MP Simon Kirby has welcomed the Chancellor’s autumn statement this afternoon (Wednesday 25 November).

Mr Kirby, a government whip, said that he particularly welcomed the mention during the Chancellor’s House of Commons speech of the fully funded modernisation of the Royal Sussex County Hospital in Brighton.

The Chancellor George Osborne

The Chancellor George Osborne

It came as the Chancellor, George Osborne, promised extra spending on the NHS. To read the speech in full, click here.

Earlier this month Mr Osborne approved the final business case for the £484 million redevelopment of the Royal Sussex.

Mr Kirby said: “This additional investment in the NHS together with the approval of the final business case for the £484 million redevelopment of the Royal Sussex County Hospital is great news for our city and the wider area.”

He flagged up other highlights from the Chancellor’s autumn statement – the annual announcement of government spending – including the focus on economic and national security.

Mr Kirby said that the government would

  • Protect our economic security – taking the difficult decisions to live within our means and bring our debts down. The public spending plans set out in the spending review suggest that Britain will have a surplus of £10.1 billion in 2019-20. This year the forecast is for a budget deficit of more than £70 billion.
  • Protect our national security by defending our country’s interests abroad and keeping our citizens safe at home. The Chancellor said that there will be no cuts in the police budget, with real terms protection for police funding.

In total, the spending review commits £4 trillion pounds over the next five years. Mr Kirby said that it was “a huge commitment of the hard-earned cash of British taxpayers” and he added: “The Conservative Party knows we have an obligation to make sure it is well spent.

“Our approach is not simply retrenchment. It is to reform and rebuild with

  • Full funding of the Five Year Forward View put forward by the NHS itself as the plan for its future with the first £6 billion delivered up-front next year.
  • The biggest real-terms rise in the basic state pension in 15 years. Thanks to our commitment to the triple lock, next year the basic state pension will rise by £3.35 to £119.30 a week.
  • The biggest house-building programme by any government since the 1970s with a doubling of the housing budget to over £2 billion a year. Our bold plan to back families who aspire to buy their own home will deliver 400,000 affordable new homes by the end of the decade.
  • The phasing out entirely of the local government grant. By the end of the parliament local government will keep all of the revenue from business rates. We will abolish the uniform business rate so councils will be able to cut rates to attract new businesses. But because the amount government raises in business rates is much greater than the amount we give to local councils through the local government grant we will phase that grant out entirely and devolve additional responsibilities.
  • New apprenticeship levy to deliver three million apprenticeships. This will ensure large businesses share the cost of training but businesses with a wage bill below £3 million won’t have to pay. We will also increase funding for apprenticeships to make sure they are high-quality apprenticeships.
  • Real-terms protection of the schools budget. We will maintain funding for free infant school meals, protect rates for the pupil premium and increase the cash in the dedicated schools grant. We’re also going to open 500 new free schools and university technical colleges and invest £23 billion in school buildings and 600,000 new school places.
  • The largest ever investment in free childcare so working families get the help they need. From 2017, we will fund 30 hours of free childcare for working families with three and four year olds. We’ll support £10,000 of childcare costs tax-free and, to support nurseries delivering more free places for parents, we’ll increase funding for the sector by £300 million.
  • The improvement in the nation’s finances used to help on tax credits.  Because of the improvement in the public finances, the simplest thing to do is not to phase these changes in but to avoid them altogether. Tax credits are being phased out anyway as we introduce universal credit.
  • Average saving of £30 from the projected energy bills of 24 million households by introducing a cheaper domestic energy efficiency scheme.

Mr Kirby said: “This autumn statement delivers on the promise we made to working people in Brighton Kemptown and Peacehaven that we would put their security first, protecting our economic security by taking the difficult decisions to live within our means and bring our debts down.

“And protecting our national security by defending our country’s interests abroad and keeping our citizens safe at home.”

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