As I write this column the Budget has just been delivered by the Chancellor of the Exchequer, Rishi Sunak. This year’s budget is like no other, coming not only at the height of the global economic crash brought on by the Covid, but setting the terms of our recovery as we embark on the roadmap to freedom. This is all made possible by the amazing vaccine rollout programme which has currently delivered 21 million vaccines across the UK.
The budget delivered on many of the changes I have been lobbying for on behalf of the residents of Radcliffe, Whitefield and Prestwich.
The cancellation of planned increases to both alcohol and fuel duty will mean an average driver in Bury will save £1600 against Labour’s Fuel Duty Escalator. For brewing and distillery sectors here in Bury, a freeze on alcohol duty is very welcome news. And for those like me who are looking forward to visiting our local pub when they reopen shortly this is also good news.
For home buyers in Bury, there was also heartening announcements that the Stamp Duty holiday has been extended by 3 months to ensure those who are in the process of buying will get the benefit of the reduction. Young people trying to get on the property ladder will be freed from generation rent with Government backed 95% mortgages to ensure everyone can have the security of owning their own home.
For Bury businesses help continues with the business rates holiday extended to the end of June, with a reduced payment for the remainder of the financial year, whilst also extending the VAT reduction for hospitality and tourism businesses until October. We are helping businesses build back as they reopen following the lockdown by offering Business Restart Grants to allow them to hit the ground running.
The Chancellor announced that the Levelling Up Fund is now open for applications from all areas of the UK. Over the next few weeks and months this will be my focus, working with the Council to put in the best bid possible to regenerate town centres and high streets in Bury South. Securing this funding will be essential to my ambition to improve our towns so they can be an even better place to live, work and go to school.
This budget will ensure we can recover from the Coronavirus pandemic by delivering for jobs, apprentices, business, home buyers and will help boost world leading investment programs. In driving forward these spending plans we really can Build Back Better for a stronger Bury.