From MPs, to Councillors, to Conservative Party activists: this is what our members want to see in today's Budget.
Sir Gerald Howarth MP
Member of Parliament for Aldershot and Conservative Way Forward Chairman
Eliminating the UK's budget deficit must remain the Government's first priority as the £1.5 trillion national debt is both unsustainable and a threat to our national security. We saw that cutting the top rate of personal tax raised an extra £8 billion, so stick with a policy which works and raise the 40% threshold to encourage middle England. At this stage of the Parliament, small increases in tax on consumption can be justified, but protecting the most vulnerable is vital. If more departmental cuts are required, overseas aid, now accounting for £13 billion of taxpayers' money, must be the first port of call. If the world is as dangerous a place as the Chancellor suggests - and he is right - proper increases in defence spending are also essential. Again, aid should be the source.
James Cleverly MP
Member of Parliament for Braintree and Deputy Chairman of CWF's Parliamentary Council
Money is still tight so I'm not looking for giveaways from this budget. That said, we could and should look to reduce the tax and regulatory burden on small businesses as this will help them grow and raise tax revenues.An explicit commitment to continue with deficit reduction needs to be heard and a roadmap to delivery outlined. There might be a desire to deliver a popular budget but its a tough economic environment.
Christopher Chope OBE MP
Member of Parliament for Christchurch and Honorary Vice President of CWF
I hope the Chancellor will set out how he proposes to reduce the direct and indirect tax burden on consumers after we leave the EU and enjoy an annual windfall of £10 billion.
Dr Liam Fox MP
Member of Parliament for North Somerset and former Secretary of State for Defence
We were elected to continue our fiscal consolidation with an elimination of the deficit in this Parliament. We cannot continue to spend beyond our means and pass the burden on to future generations. We must also focus on wealth creation and not just economic growth as they are not the same thing.
John Redwood MP
Member of Parliament for Wokingham and Chairman of the Conservative Economic Affairs Committee
All the time the UK continues with its high migration policy of commitment to the EU’s single market with free movement, we are going to need a lot more capacity on our transport networks and in energy. Could this budget please do something more decisive to give us the future capacity we will need?
And as we want a march of the makers, can we not only generate much more cheaper power and provide more domestic cheaper energy, but can we also get the UK public sector to buy more things at home for a change? Why can’t our submarines be made from British steel? Why do we need to import technology for nuclear power when we have domestic technologies for generating power in other ways?
Councillor Greg Smith
Leader of the Conservative Group on Hammersmith and Fulham Council
Like all Conservatives, the first and foremost wish for any budget is to see the burden of taxation reduced on the individual and business. The continuation of increasing personal allowances for both basic and higher rate taxpayers is very positive, plus given the increased revenue seen from the reduction of the top rate of tax from 50p to 45p (proving the Laffer Curve), some movement back towards capping the top rate at 40p would be very welcome. From a local government perspective, setting the course for councils to be weened off central grant and become self sufficient from areas such as business rate retention needs progressing.
Dr Spencer Pitfield OBE
Director of Conservative Trade Unionists and CWF Board Member
A year ago the Chancellor announced the National Living Wage - as a result from this April the hourly rate will jump by 50 pence to £7.20 - with a view to rising to £9 by 2020. Clearly, these are difficult times in our global economy but I am very much hoping the Chancellor will be able to build on his 2015 National Living Wage announcement and do even more to reward all people who work hard, do the right thing, and aspire to move up the ladder of prosperity - especially those on lower incomes.
Communications & Marketing Professional and CWF Board Member
What I would like to see is simple: real term cuts in government spending with the state withdrawing from whole areas, not just salami slicing budgets. I would also like to see the promised programme of tax simplification and a drive towards a flat tax coupled with cuts in basic and upper rates. We must tackle the root cause of lack of supply in the housing market through lowering and simplifying stamp duty, as well as by reducing planning controls.
Molly Samuel-Leport MBE
2015 Parliamentary Candidate for Walthamstow and Six-Time Karate World Champion
We must invest in infrastructure to make a major contribution to our country’s future, and to create jobs. We need to build major rail routes across London, such as Crossrail and Crossrail 2, and in the North with HS3. We have a skills shortage because school leavers have not had the certainty of a future job. £27 billion in investment will encourage school leavers to choose a career in the building trades. One of the reasons for the housing shortage is because of this skills shortage.
Senior Public Relations Consultant and CWF Organising Committee Member
I would like to see the Chancellor announce a further increase in the Personal Tax Allowance, to allow people to keep more of what they earn. Ideally, I would like to see the Lower Earnings Limit for National Insurance increased. Benefit reforms such as changes to Tax Credits have to be counterbalanced by tax cuts, so people on low wages don’t lose out. I’m excited to see how the new Help to Save policy will work, and I hope there will be no increase in Fuel Duty. An increase in the cost of fuel almost certainly have a negative impact on employment.
Conservative Activist, Firefighter, and British Royal Artillery Reserve Officer
I would propose national insurance tax relief which reflects reservists' annual bounties (£1800 after 5 years) to any employer or business who hires a reservist. This would help us meet our policy to increase the level of reservists from 20,000 to 30,000 by 2020.
2015 Parliamentary Candidate for Redcar
I'd like the Chancellor to be bold on tax. He should announce a triple lock on tax bands, identical to that of the state pension, whereby all bands rise each year by the highest of consumer price inflation, earnings growth, or 2.5%. This would prevent more families being pulled into paying higher taxes, and into tax bands never designed for them. The Chancellor should aim to simplify other taxes as much as possible too. Merging National Insurance contributions and Income Tax would be a good place to start.