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A Budget that delivers on our plan for working people in London and the South East

At Summer Budget, the Chancellor, George Osborne, set out the next stage of the government’s plan for London & the South East


Chancellor of the Exchequer, George Osborne, today used his Summer Budget to set out the next stage in delivering the government’s plan for working people in London and the South East.

Putting transport, education, skills and culture at the heart of plans to support the regions, the Budget also set out plans to help working people in London and the South East at every stage of their lives.

Since 2010, there are nearly 730,000 more people in work in London and the South East, and almost 320,000 more businesses

But there is more to do. That’s why, alongside wide-ranging reforms to help working people at every stage of their lives, the Budget announces new investments in infrastructure, enterprise, skills and education to help deliver more jobs and investment in London, the South East and the South Coast.

Chancellor of the Exchequer George Osborne said:

My budget today puts security first. It delivers economic security so Britain lives within its means, financial security for families, and national security for all

A new National Living Wage for 330,000 people, and an income tax cut for millions more provides new support for people right across London and the South East.

At the heart of our plans our commitments to improve infrastructure, education, skills and culture.

This is a Budget that delivers on our plan for working people in London and the South East.

Measures announced in the Budget will support working people with:

  • A tax cut for 8 million people in London, the South East and the South Coast with a rise in the Personal Allowance and an increase in the higher rate threshold. 130,000 more people will also be taken out of income tax altogether.
  • A significant pay rise for 330,000 working people across London, the South East and the South Coast with the introduction of the National Living Wage.
  • A doubling of the amount of free childcare for working parents of three and four year olds – meaning thousands of families in London, the South East and the South Coast will now receive 30 hours of free childcare a week.
  • Thousands of family homes in London, the South East and the South Coast taken out of Inheritance Tax altogether as a result of the increase in the Inheritance Tax allowance.
  • New opportunities for up to 670,000 apprentices as part of ambitious plans to grow the number of apprentices across the country.

The Budget also backs businesses in the regions with:

  • A tax cut for businesses across London, the South East and the South Coast with a cut in the main rate of corporation tax to 19 per cent in 2017 and 18 per cent in 2018.
  • An extra £1,000 for every business thanks to an increase in the Employment Allowance to £3,000.
  • Further support for 27,000 businesses in London, the South East and the South Coast from a significant increase in the Annual Investment Allowance to £200,000.

The Summer Budget also includes announcements to directly support London, the South East and the South Coast:

  • £23 million of investment in six Next Digital Economy Centres across the country, including one at UCL.
  • To ensure even further that cities have greater say over their own local economies, the government will consult on devolving powers on Sunday trading to city mayors and local authorities.
  • The government can confirm significant industrial support for specific science investments, including £128 million in the UK Collaboration for Research in Infrastructure and Cities (UKCRIC), with hubs to be established in London.
  • London is a leading global city of culture and the government supports the Museum of London’s ambition to move from London Wall to Smithfield General Market. The GLA has already supported the Museum of London with funding for an architectural competition to support this move.
  • Upgrading domestic rail services to bring Ramsgate within an hour of London. The Department for Transport has asked the rail industry to include extending High Speed 1 services to Hastings and Rye in the forthcoming Kent Route Study.
  • Extending the scope of the Lewes-Uckfield study to look at improving rail links between London and the south coast, including upgrades to existing routes, consideration of the Brighton Main Line corridor and a re-examination of the DfT’s feasibility study on BML2.
  • New Regius Professorships like those established in Imperial College, King’s College, London School of Economics, the Universities of Surrey and Royal Holloway will be set up in order to recognise excellence in universities across the UK. The competition will be launched later this year, with a view to making awards to celebrate the Queen’s 90th birthday in 2016.
  • £90 million to extend the Coastal Communities Fund, from which the South Coast has already benefitted significantly.
  • A new round of Enterprise Zones ensuring that all places in England can benefit including rural areas.

Notes to editors

These measures build on investment and support for London, the South East and South Coast already committed to by the previous Government and reaffirmed today, including:

  • Significant investments in infrastructure in London and the South East, including improving roads along the South Coast, with a substantial upgrade planned along the A27 corridor through Arundel, Worthing and Lancing, as well as upgrading the M3 to smart motorway, and delivering improvements to junctions.
  • There will also be improvements to the A31 in Hampshire, A35 near Southampton, M27 junctions near Southampton and the M20 in Kent.
  • Work also includes road improvements at Eastleigh, such as the Chickenhall Link Road and Botley bypass, and the transformation of Junction 6 of the M27 into an all-ways junction to reduce congestion.
  • The government reaffirms its commitment to supporting £10 billion of transport investment in London.
  • This includes finishing the Thameslink project, with brand new trains and the rebuilding of London Bridge station. Further, construction is starting on the Northern Line extension to Battersea, helping to regenerate the Vauxhall, Nine Elms and Battersea areas, supporting 24,000 new jobs and over 18,000 new homes. Construction of stations by Crossrail has now started, following the completion of 26 miles of tunnelling in June.
  • As part of the Roads Investment Strategy, one third of junctions on the M25 will be upgraded, including a major rebuild of the A3/M25 Wisley interchange - one of England’s least safe motorway junctions.
  • We have asked Transport for London to come forward with prioritised proposals for new infrastructure projects including Crossrail 2, the Bakerloo Line extension, Old Oak Common redevelopment, the next phase of Underground upgrades, Lower Thames Crossing and East London river crossings.
  • TfL are working up plans for installing high speed broadband across all of TfL’s stations and offices, to boost broadband infrastructure across London, and will publish these plans in the summer.
  • The government is building on the plan the Chancellor set out to tackle housing in London in February 2015, and the GLA allocating an extra £200m from its budget to start work on 10 new housing zones – which will mean a total of 30 zones across London by 2016.
Published 8 July 2015