Mel Stride

    CENTRAL DEVON MP Mel Stride has praised the Autumn Budget delivered by Chancellor of the Exchequer Philip Hammond on Wednesday (23/11/16). Among the key announcements were a rise in the National Living Wage, £1.4billion to deliver 40,000 extra affordable homes, a Fuel Duty freeze for the seventh year in a row and a delay in the length of time it will take for the Government to eliminate the national deficit.

    Welcoming the budget as a whole, Mr Stride said:

    “The Chancellor has rightly made the decision that in the wake of Brexit, eliminating our national deficit by 2020 is no longer realistic. It still remains the Government’s goal but it will take longer to achieve. This has allowed targeted investment of more than £2.5billion in two hugely important areas – housing and infrastructure. I was also pleased with the announcement of funding for 2,500 more prison officers and that the personal tax allowance will be raised from £11,000 to £11,500.”

    Mr Stride also highlighted aspects of the budget that he says are especially good news for Devon:

    “Freezing fuel duty for the seventh year in a row will benefit businesses and commuters in highly rural counties like Devon and since wages in the county are below the national average but house prices above average, investment in more affordable homes is also a welcome move. Arguably the biggest positive though is that Rural Rate Relief will be increased to 100%, giving small businesses a tax break worth up to £2,900.”