Today, the Chancellor of the Exchequer, Philip Hammond, delivered the Autumn Statement.
I have picked out the ten main points that will be of most interest to residents of Witney & West Oxfordshire:
A National Productivity Investment Fund has been announced, worth £23 billion, that is the backbone of the government's industrial strategy. Every penny will be earmarked for high value generating infrastructure and research, including an extra £2bn per year by 2020-2021 for additional development in Research & Development.
A new £2 billion Housing Infrastructure Fund will support 100,000 new homes, and an additional £1.4 billion to deliver 40,000 more homes that people can afford; unlocking housing where it is needed most.
The Roads Fund, funded by Vehicle Excise Duty, will continue its work to secure a reliable transport network for the UK. It will invest £1.1 billion more in local transport and £220 million to address pinch points on strategic roads.
£110m for East West Rail and commitment to deliver Oxford to Cambridge Expressway.
A further £1 billion will be invested into our digital infrastructure and businesses will receive 100% rates relief on new fibre infrastructure to support the further roll out of broadband to homes and businesses. These changes will help Britain become a world leader in 5G technology, with a full fibre-optic network, providing a significant step up in speed, security and reliability. This is essential in enabling businesses to achieve their potential to grow and expand.
Corporation Tax is set to fall to 17%, making it by far the lowest in the G20. The business rates reduction package worth £6.7 billion will be implemented, alongside an increase to Rural Rate Relief to 100%. This will give small business in rural areas an additional rate saving of up to £2,900 per year, supporting the small businesses that are the lifeblood of our rural communities.
The government will deliver on its commitment to raising the personal allowance even further to £12,500, and the higher rate threshold to £50,000 by the end of Parliament.
National Living Wage will increase from £7.20 to £7.50 in April 2017 – a further pay rise for 1.3 million people, worth over £500 a year for a full-time worker.
A new, market-leading savings bond will be launched allowing people to deposit up to £3,000, benefitting around 2 million savers.
The fuel duty rise that is scheduled for April is cancelled – keeping it frozen for the seventh consecutive year.