The Chancellor made three key pledges yesterday – to lower taxes, raise wages, and cut welfare. Behind these pledges are two fundamental Conservative principles: that work should always pay, that a something for nothing benefits culture doesn’t work and that people deserve to keep more of the money they earn.
This is a budget that I’m excited to take to the hard working people of my constituency of Romford; for these are the people that work hard to provide for the family and to have good life. They don’t ask for much, except for the government to get off their backs and let them keep their hard earned cash. This budget provides a much needed and long awaited break for so many millions of people up and down the country.
One of yesterday’s biggest announcements was that the personal tax allowance would go up to £12,500 – taking around 1m people out of tax. This is a vital step forward.
Bolstering this was a key pledge on wages. From April next year, the government will introduce a new statutory Living Wage of £7.20 per hour, which will rise to £9 by 2020. At the heart of any increase in wages is one key idea – that if we want a society in which work pays - it must pay.
Helping people save is also a vital part of building a strong economy and strong society. In this regard, the Chancellor today had three key announcements - changes to pensions, making it easier to buy a first time home and an increase in the inheritance tax threshold.
Pending consultation, pensions will be radically altered to make them more like ISAs: you pay in from taxed income, pay no tax when you take it out and are provided with top-ups along the way. This proposed reform will make saving for the future much easier.
In Romford we’re fortune enough to have a high rate of home ownership, but there are many young families who struggle to buy. Thankfully with the introduction of a Help to Buy ISA; a commitment to building more homes and rebalancing the playing field between buy to let and buy to live mortgages, we are making it easier for those families. With the Chancellor’s pledge to increase the inheritance tax threshold for married couples to £1m, we’re finally dismantling the inheritance tax burden and giving home owners peace of mind when leaving a property to loved ones.
This was a budget designed with hard working people at its heart. As a nation, we’ve come a long way since Labour’s 13 year horror show and this budget makes it clear just which party is the real workers’ party!
Andrew Rosindell is the Member of Parliament for Romford.
Follow him on Twitter