Winchester MP responds to Budget 2017

Steve Brine has highlighted key areas in the Budget which he is welcoming after today's statement in the House of Commons.

The Winchester & Chandler's Ford MP said the fact we've more people in work than at any time since the 1970's is strengthened by confirmation that from April 2018, the personal allowance will rise to £11,850, meaning the typical basic rate tax payer will be £1,075 a year better off compared to 2010.

Steve says; "This is a flagship Conservative policy for me, started by George Osborne and now taken forward by Philip Hammond. Getting people in work, and the latest figures in my constituency show just 0.8% of the economically active population aged 16-64 seeking a job, is great but we are determined to help people keep more of what they earn. This is, for me, another key manifesto promise kept."

Investing more in our NHS

More people than ever are using our NHS, and we will help deal with those pressures, with an additional £2.8 billion of funding to 2019-20, including £350 million for this winter and £1.6 billion next year.

In addition we will deliver another £10 billion in capital to upgrade buildings and facilities.

Steve says; "As a Health Minister I have obviously, like many of my constituents who've written to me ahead of the Budget, been making the case for new money in the NHS. This will help us continue the transformation and modernisation of services.

"Particularly welcome for me is the announcement we will also provide additional funding for agreed nurses pay rises. I know this will be warmly welcomed in our area."

Abolishing stamp duty for over 80 per cent of first time buyers

We have abolished stamp duty altogether for all first time buyer purchases up to £300,000. The exemption will also be available to properties up to £500,000, but will stop thereafter. This means an effective discount of up to £5,000 for a property of £500,000.

Steve says; "I talk regularly to business leaders in Winchester and only last week Rob Mott from Charters was urging me via my business club meeting for the Government to do this.

"I know the move will be hugely popular and want to liaise closely with the local housing market to see how it stimulates demand and what effect it has on prices."

Building new homes

We've built over a million homes since 2010 and housebuilding is at its highest level since the crash, but housing remains unaffordable for many. Today's Budget commits to deliver an average of 300,000 homes a year by the middle of the next decade, the biggest annual increase in housing supply since 1970.

The Chancellor also confirmed that we will allow local authorities to lift the cap on their housing revenue account (HRA) so they can make a step change in their building programme. Just last month, Winchester announced it was doubling its New Homes Programme which brings new council housing to the District.

Steve says; "Caroline Horrill at Winchester City Council has lobbied hard for this change so WCC can go further and faster with its excellent New Homes Programme so I am delighted.

"Building new homes for social rent must remain an important part of the mix and in Winchester it will do just that.

"On top of this, and the pledges we're making on building new homes to buy, we're sending a message that getting on the housing ladder is not a dream of your parents' past when Winchester was affordable, but a reality for your future."

Other areas Steve Brine welcomed includes extending discounted rail travel with a new 26–30 rail card and continuing the £1,000 business rate discount for pubs with a rateable value of less than £100,000 to March 2019.

He also welcomed the announcement of more measures to tackle tax avoidance and evasion, and non-compliance.

"This builds on significant action already taken including securing almost £160 billion of tax revenues since 2010, introducing over 100 measures, and making the UK's tax gap fall to a record low of 6.0 per cent", he adds.

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Budget 2017 HMT

Watch Budget Statement in full or read Hansard