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 the South West.
This Budget has delivered a tax cut for 2.6 million people in the South West, taken an additional 50,000 out of income tax all together, announced new opportunities for up to 320,000 apprentices and offers more childcare to working parents. Since 2010, there are 163,000 more people in work in the South West and 98,900 more businesses.
Putting progress towards devolution to Cornwall and significant investment in broadband, transport, skills and education at its heart, the Budget also set out how government will support local cider makers across the region.
But there is more to do and that’s why the Chancellor also announced wide ranging reforms to help working people at every stage of their lives, alongside local investments for the whole of the South West.
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 140,000 people, and an income tax cut for millions more provides new support for people right across the South West.
At the heart of our plans is an ambition to build a world class transport system, to hand over new powers to local leaders in Cornwall, to support the South West’s small cider makers, and to invest in science, education and skills.
This is a Budget that delivers on our plan for working people in the South West.
Measures announced in the Budget will support working people in the South West:
- A tax cut for 2.6 million people in the South West with a rise in the Personal Allowance and an increase in the higher rate threshold. 50,000 more people will be taken out of income tax altogether.
- A significant pay rise for 140,000 working people across the South West with the introduction of the National Living Wage.
- Double the amount of free childcare for working parents of 3 and four year olds – meaning thousands families in the South West will now receive 30 hours of free childcare a week.
- Thousands of family homes in the South West taken out of Inheritance Tax altogether as a result of the increase in the Inheritance Tax allowance.
- New opportunities for up to 320,000 apprentices as part of ambitious plans to grow the number of apprentices across the country.
The Budget backs businesses in the South West:
- An extra £1,000 for every business in the region with an increase in the Employment Allowance.
- Further help for 11,000 businesses in the South West from a significant increase in the Annual Investment Allowance to £200,000.
- A tax cut for businesses across the South West with a cut in the main rate of corporation tax to 19 per cent in 2017 and 18 per cent in 2018.
The Summer Budget also includes announcements directly to support the South West:
- The government is making good progress towards a devolution deal with Cornwall.
- £20 million for a further round of the New Stations Fund which will consider proposals including any put forward by Somerset County Council for a new station between Castle Cary and Taunton.
- The government will provide local councils with funding to support the development of business cases for the North Devon Link Road, and the A391.
- £3.5 million for a further round of the “pinchpoint” fund which will address local congestion and bottlenecks including £2 million for the Treluswell Junction improvement in Cornwall.
- £90 million to extend the Coastal Communities Fund, from which the South West has already benefitted significantly.
- A new round of Enterprise Zones following the launch of the Plymouth enterprise zone, ensuring that all places in England can benefit, including rural areas.
- A fund of up to £10 million to support connectivity in the South West through the broadband programme. The fund will be available for local projects to bid into, with priority given to those delivering ultrafast speeds. Broadband delivery UK will start working with local projects immediately.
- £23 million of investment in six Next Digital Economy Centres across the country, including one in Bath.
- Continued support for the local cider industry in the face of demands from the European Commission to remove the tax exemption for small cider makers which would have cost up to 500 cider makers around £2,700 a year.
- The establishment of a network of National Colleges right across the country to provide high quality professional and technical routes into employment.
- The government also supports the work towards building a new stadium for Cornwall, and looks forward to seeing further progress.
Notes to editors
These measures build on investment and support for the South West already committed to by the previous Government and reaffirmed today, including:
- £7.2 billion investment in transport infrastructure in the South West announced earlier in the year.
- This includes £2 billion on upgrading key roads such as the A30, where we are dualling the entire of the A30 from Temple to Chiverton Cross. It also includes upgrades to the A303, A358 and the M5.
- It also includes improving Junction 25 of the M5 as part of the work on the A358.
- The government confirms the new train franchise for the South West which will deliver more frequent trains to the South West of England, brand new 140mph trains, and an earlier arrival into Plymouth from autumn 2015. The government is also looking at plans for a new dedicated rail franchise for the region.
- Improvements in Cornwall will include £120 million of investment in improving local roads in Cornwall.
- The government is providing Cornwall with investment of over £140m which will fund the complete overhaul of the interior of the Night Riviera Sleeper trains, which run between Penzance and London.
- Following a commitment to supporting cyber in the South West in the Long Term Economic Plan, GCHQ have recruited 150 new cyber specialists in the South West and are on track to recruit 250 more.