Rt Hon Sir David Evennett, MP for Bexleyheath and Crayford and Vice Chairman of the Conservative Party, has praised the 2020 Budget for delivering on the promises to the British people at the General Election in December. Sir David was present in the House of Commons Chamber to listen to the Budget Statement made by the Chancellor of the Exchequer, Rt Hon Rishi Sunak MP.
The Chancellor advised the Commons that our economy will grow in each of the next five years, long-term productivity will increase, wages will continue to grow and unemployment will remain historically low.
The Budget reaffirmed the Government’s commitment to do everything possible to tackle Coronavirus (COVID-19), making it the number one priority to keep people safe. In addition to the record funding increase the NHS is already receiving, any extra resources needed by the NHS will be provided, as well as a new £5 billion Initial COVID-19 Response fund and £40 million for further research into COVID-19. Statutory sick pay will be expanded to cover more individuals who are unable to work because they are self-isolating, with those that do not meet the criteria able to make a claim for Universal Credit or for enhanced Employment and Support Allowance. The Chancellor also pledge to support businesses affected by COVID-19 by allowing SMEs and employers to reclaim Statutory Sick Pay paid for sickness absence and from 1 April there will be a new temporary Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme delivered by the British Business Bank. The Government has abolished business rates for thousands of small firms as part of emergency measures to deal with the economic fallout from COVID-19.
The Budget also delivered on promises the Conservative Party made to the British people and gets things done. Mr Sunak delivered on the commitment to increase the National Insurance threshold, which will rise to £9,500 this April, whilst also increasing the National Minimum Wage by 6.2%. He also announced the largest cash investment in affordable housing in a decade with the extension of the Affordable Homes Programme and a new multi-year settlement of £12 billion, and almost £1.1 billion of allocations from the Housing Infrastructure Fund to build nearly 70,000 new homes in high demand areas across the country.
Additionally, there were a number of measures announced to help support businesses and allow them to thrive, including £130 million of new funding to extend Start-up Loans, £5 billion of new export loans for businesses and more money for growth hubs, among other measures.
Following the Budget Statement, Sir David commented: “This is a Budget that lays the foundations for Britain to succeed post-Brexit and I welcome the Chancellor’s upbeat approach and dynamism. It is a Budget for ‘getting it done’ and implementing the peoples’ priorities.
“People are also rightly concerned about the Coronavirus and the potential impact this could have on them and their families. I am therefore certain that my constituents will welcome the measures announced by the Chancellor today to not only tackle the virus but to also support anyone affected by it.”