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Press Release
18 March 2015

SCOTT WOOD Welcomes Budget as another step on the road to prosperity in SEDGEFIELD Constituency

SCOTT WOOD has welcomed today’s Budget as another step on the road to prosperity in Sedgefield Constituency. The Conservatives have a plan that is working, and a Budget that works for you. It shows:

  • A growing economy – with Britain growing faster than any other major advanced economy.
  • Record numbers of jobs – with 1.9 million more people now have the security of work.
  • Rising living standards – with families an average of £900 better off in 2015 than in 2010.
  • The deficit down by more than a half as a share of the economy.
  • Our national debt starting to fall as a share of the economy – so we fix the roof while the sun is shining.

The Budget sets out the choice between the chaos of Labour, or the long term economic plan that is working. It shows how a future Conservative Government would secure a better future for you, your family and Britain by:

  • Choosing stability – committing to run a budget surplus and keep our debt share falling.
  • Choosing jobs – backing business and skills so we can achieve full employment, and supporting pubs and brewers by cutting tax on beer, cider, and whisky.
  • Choosing the whole nation – investing for a truly national recovery that is felt in all parts of the country by building a Northern Powerhouse and backing economic plans in every region.
  • Choosing responsibility – helping savers with the Personal Savings Allowance, abolishing savings tax altogether for 17 million people, and giving savers more freedoms with Flexible ISAs – so we build the economy on savings, not debt.
  • Choosing aspiration – with a new Help to Buy ISA for first time buyers. If you save up to £12,000 towards a deposit, the government will contribute up to £3,000 – helping more people realise the dream of owning their own home.
  • Choosing families – cutting income tax for 27 million people and continuing the fuel duty freeze so families can be more financially secure.

Scott Wood commented:

“We have been working through our long term economic plan, and the local economy has been steadily improving, with Hitachi, Gestamp, Ebac, Cleveland Bridge and the Phone network EE to name only a few.

“This Budget is another step on the road from austerity to prosperity – with support for savers, lower taxes for people in work and a clear plan to make sure Britain pays its way in the world.

“Five years ago, Britain was spending and borrowing too much, too many people were out of work and our economy was on its knees. That’s why there is a critical choice facing us this year: return to the chaos of the past or stick with a plan that is working and choose a more prosperous future. We must choose the prosperous future.”

North East

Helping first time buyers with Help to Buy ISAs. In the North East, this could help over 50,000 people to buy their first home in the next 5 years by giving them a 25 per cent bonus of the amount they have saved to help with the cost of their first home. Couples getting the full £3,000 will be able to receive a Government bonus worth 28 per cent of their deposit.

Backing savers with the Personal Savings Allowance. In the North East, giving basic rate taxpayers a £1,000 Personal Savings Allowance and higher rate taxpayers a £500 Personal Savings Allowance could remove up to 690,000 people from savings tax liability.

Giving more choice to savers with New Flexible ISAs. In the North East, the latest figures show there were 880,000 ISA holders that could benefit from being able to invest in a wider range of assets and 439,000 cash ISA subscribers that could benefit from being able to take money out of their cash ISA and put it back later in the year without losing any of their tax-free entitlement.

Increasing the period over which self-employed farmers can average their profits for income tax purposes from two to five years. In the North East, this could benefit 1,350 individual farmers.

Delivering more homes by creating Housing Zones. A new Housing Zone has been announced in the Exemplar Neighbourhood in Gateshead that could deliver 1,000 new homes.

More funding for flood defences. As a result of decisions made in the Autumn Statement, an additional £4.1 million will be made available in the first four years of the flood and coastal erosion programme, enabling nine schemes to be delivered at least a year sooner than originally planned, and a further new scheme to be included.

Taking further steps to build a Northern Powerhouse with a Northern Transport Strategy. This will deliver transformed city-to-city rail connectivity and reduced journey times between the major urban centres of the North of England, both by bringing the benefits of HS2 to the North sooner and committing to develop the TransNorth rail vision. It will also commit to an integrated and smart ticket system to support our vision of a single economy across the North of England.

Improving roads by launching the Highways England Delivery Plan. The Delivery Plan sets out further detail on the roads investment programme from 2015-2020, setting out milestones for projects across the North East. It confirms that improvements to the A1 around Newcastle and Gateshead will be delivered by June 2017 and between Leeming and Barton by 2017. The improvements to the A19 in Tyne and Wear will have entered construction by 2019.

Continuing to rebalance the economy by supporting Enterprise Zones to create jobs and attract investment. The Tees Valley Enterprise Zone will be extended to the Prairie site with enhanced capital allowances. It will enable the Enterprise Zone to expand into the emerging North Sea oil and gas rig decommissioning market, estimated to be worth £1 billion a year between 2013 and 2018.

Investing in innovation. The Government will provide £1 million for the Centre for Process Innovation – a technology innovation centre based in the North East – through Innovate UK to support knowledge transfer in this sector.

Supporting small businesses with the Broadband Connection Voucher scheme. The scheme is open to all SMEs, charities, social enterprises and sole traders and provides up to £3,000 to support broadband connection. The scheme in Newcastle, which has already issued 272 vouchers, is being extended for 12 months to March 2016. The scheme will be available in Sunderland and Middlesbrough by 1 April.

Building on the North of England’s strengths in health science with Health North. The Government is committing £20 million to Health North to enable better care for patients and to promote innovation through analysis of data on the effectiveness of different drugs, treatments and health pathways.

Promoting tourism links between Newcastle and Scandinavia. £300,000 of funding will be made available for a new advertising campaign to promote tourism links between Newcastle and Scandinavia in 2015.

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Scott Wood – Budget Press Release