Stuart Andrew was pleased to welcome today’s Budget, which delivers on the Government’s promises to the North of England.
Stuart said: “This Budget delivers on our promise to level up every region and nation and invest in communities across the country, generating the prosperity this country needs to invest in its public services.
We are investing in infrastructure in towns and cities across Yorkshire and the Humber, investing in its people and in its communities. This ranges from a devolution deal with West Yorkshire to receive £38 million per year for 30 years for local priorities, as well as a five-year transport settlement for Sheffield City Region and West Yorkshire Combined Authority.
Last year’s election gave a clear verdict, and now the Government are delivering on the promises made to my constituents, so that everyone can have the same chances opportunities in life and that no area is left behind.”
Key budget announcements for Yorkshire and the Humber include:
Investing in transport…
• Providing a five-year, intra-city transport settlement for Sheffield City Region and West Yorkshire from a new £4.2 billion fund to improve local transport. Starting in 2022-23, we will improve intra-city transport.
• Boosting spending on major strategic roads by £400 million between 2020 and 2025. This includes building the A63 Castle Street improvement in Hull. We will also develop plans to upgrade the Doncaster bypass and to finish turning the A1 in Yorkshire into a motorway.
• Delivering £53 million in additional funding for local road maintenance. Yorkshire and the Humber will receive £53 million more funding through the Potholes Fund in 2020-21.
• Providing £166 million for Sheffield City Region to improve bus and tram services. The funding, from the Transforming Cities Fund, will be used for a new Bus Rapid Transit Link in Barnsley and a new tram stop on the Tram-Train line to Rotherham at Magna.
• Providing £317 million for to improve transport links in West Yorkshire. As part of the Transforming Cities Fund, we will provide £30 million for sustainable travel across Bradford, £39.9 million for Halifax to deliver a new bus station and other travel schemes.
Devolving powers with a directly-elected Mayor…
• Establishing a West Yorkshire Combined Authority with a directly-elected Mayor. The region will receive £38 million a year, for 30 years, to improve transport, planning and skills provision.
Improving flood defences…
• Improving flood defences to protect more homes from extreme weather events. We are providing £20.5 million for Cleethorpes, £26 million for Goole and £25 million for Sheffield to protect over 9,500 properties.
Investing in digital infrastructure…
• Providing £1 million to connect more people to full fibre broadband in East Riding. The funding is part of the third wave of the Local Full Fibre Networks Challenge Fund.
Supporting a new hospital…
• Supporting a new hospital in Yorkshire and the Humber. We are committed to funding Leeds Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust.
These build on the support we’ve already given Yorkshire and the Humber:
• Ensuring Yorkshire and the Humber benefits from a share of the £2.6 billion additional funding for schools in 2020-21. 115 secondary schools in the West Midlands will see per-pupil funding levels up to at least £5,000 next year and 384 primary schools will level up to at least £3,750 per pupil.
• Upgrading facilities and equipment in hospitals across the South West. South Yorkshire and Bassetlaw Integrated Care System and Leeds Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust will both receive funding to provide major hospital upgrades and improvements.
• Committing to deliver the Northern Powerhouse Rail. This will transform rail services between the great cities of the North and the Prime Minister has committed to fund the Manchester to Leeds route as the first phase.
• Providing Yorkshire and the Humber with £1.3 billion from the Local Growth Fund to spend on local priorities. Projects receiving funding include redevelopment of Harrogate station/centre and a new employment site at Pickering to allow the expansion of the high-tech engineering sector.
Other Budget measures for hardworking families in Yorkshire and the Humber:
• Investing in further education, the arts and sports in schools to ensure everyone gets the best start. We will invest £1.5 billion over five years to refurbish further education colleges. The Budget also provides £29 million a year by 2023-24 to support primary school PE teaching, ensuring children are getting an active start to life and £90 million a year to introduce an Arts Premium to secondary schools in England – averaging out as £25,000 per secondary school for three years.
• Committing to a new £3 billion Skills Fund to ensure people gain the skills they need to get rewarding well-paid jobs. We will consult with people and employers on how to target the fund in the best way.
• Putting more money in peoples’ pockets with an over £200 tax cut for the typical family. We will increase the National Insurance threshold to £9,500 this April, benefiting 31 million people with a typical employee saving over £100 in 2020 – the first step to reaching our ambition to increase the threshold to £12,500.
• Increasing the National Living Wage to boost the wages of the lowest paid. The National Living Wage will increase by 6.2 per cent to £8.72 from April. The Budget commits to a new ambitious target for the National Living Wage to end low pay and extend this to workers aged 21 and over by 2024.
• Helping people to keep more of their hard-earned money by leaving full-time workers on the minimum wage £5,200 better off than in 2010. Thanks to our changes to the National Living Wage and National Insurance Threshold, someone working full time on the National Living Wage is £5,200 better off than in 2010. Our decision to freeze fuel duty for ten consecutive years has also saved the average car driver £1,200 – meaning an average worker could be up to £6,400 a year better off than in 2010.
• Axing the tampon tax now we have left the EU. We will reduce the cost of essential sanitary products for women in the UK, abolishing the tampon tax from 1 January 2021.
• Freezing fuel duty for a tenth year in a row to help with the cost of living. We will freeze fuel duty for the tenth year in a row saving the average car driver a cumulative £1,200 compared to Labour’s plan.
• Freezing duty rates on beer, spirits, wine and cider helping with the cost of living. This will be only the second time in almost 20 years a government has frozen all these duties.
• Creating an entitlement to Neonatal Leave and Pay to support parents with the stress and anxiety of having a baby in neonatal care. For employees whose babies spend an extended period of time in neonatal care we will provide up to 12 weeks paid leave.
• Setting out an ambitious package to build quality homes this country needs. The Budget announces £9.5 billion for the Affordable Homes Programme helping to prevent homelessness and help people to get on the housing ladder and taking the total funding to £12.2 billion from 2021-22. This will be the largest cash investment in affordable housing in a decade. We will also publish a White Paper on planning in line with our aim to support at least a million more homes
• Creating an additional £1 billion fund to remove unsafe cladding so residents feel safe and secure. Having taken expert advice, we will provide this additional funding for buildings above 18 meters to ensure people feel safe in their homes.