The Autumn Budget 2018 announced that public finances have reached a turning point, and spending on public services will grow. Some of the key measures announced include:
- Employment is at a near record high and forecast to keep growing, including an increase in the National Living Wage, the tax-free Personal Allowance rising to £12,500 and the Higher Rate Threshold increasing to £50,000.
- There will be £1.7 billion invested to increase existing work allowances in Universal Credit, specifically targeting claimants who are working parents, those with disabilities and those repaying debts.
- NHS funding will also increase, including more spending for mental health and a further £650 million in social care funding next year.
- There will be £400 million extra for schools, which will be £10,000 for the average primary school and £50,000 for the average secondary school.
- There will be £30 billion to improve our road network, £420 million to local authorities to fix potholes and bridges and £150 million to improve local traffic hotspots such as roundabouts.
- Fuel duty will remain frozen for the ninth year in a row, as will duty on beer, cider and spirits.
- From April 2020, large social media platforms, search engines and online marketplaces will pay a 2% tax on the revenues they earn which are linked to UK users.
Stuart said: “I have received a lot of emails and letters from my constituents and I noted that they were particularly concerned about the NHS, digital firms, education, transport and beer duty and those are the issues I raised with the Treasury ahead of the Budget. I am delighted that the Treasury have listened and that most of these concerns have been addressed. The important 2019 Spending Review is approaching and I will be pressing for more funding for schools and transport.
There is more to be done but it is fantastic that the hard work of my constituents and indeed the rest of the UK is finally paying off and we are beginning to see the end of austerity and a huge boost in public spending.”