As a Conservative I believe in low taxes.
I think the best place for people's money is in their pocket, and the same goes for businesses too. They invest it in clever and exciting things to grow our economy, and create a bigger overall pie to fund our public services.
However, tax cuts are something you have to earn as a government. You can't bypass the hard work of a having a strong economy, coupled with public debt and inflation being under control.
When Rishi Sunak became Prime Minister he made 5 commitments to the British people, and 3 of them were about the economy: to halve inflation, grow the economy, and reduce debt. Since then, inflation has halved; the economy has recovered more quickly from the pandemic than first thought, and debt is on track to fall.
Thanks to the stability he has brought, we can now focus on the long-term decisions required to strengthen our economy: reducing debt; cutting tax and rewarding hard work; building domestic, sustainable energy; backing British businesses; and delivering world-class education. That's exactly what the Chancellor set out in his Autumn Statement today.
Firstly, it was brilliant to hear his continued commitment to supporting the most vulnerable in our society. Throughout the pandemic and energy crisis we have protected those who needed it, and today we heard that benefits would be rising by 6.7%, state pensions by 8.5%, and Local Housing Allowance would be rising too.
Secondly, he set out some really exciting changes for businesses, including full expensing of plant and machinery being made permanent - the largest business tax cut in modern British history. He also changed the investment rules for pension funds, gave tax cuts to pubs, and scrapped a whole class of national insurance for the self employed altogether.
And thirdly, he made sure that hard work is getting the recognition it deserves. The National Living Wage will be rising by a whopping 9.8% to £11.44 an hour- almost double what it was when Labour was last in Government. People who are currently struggling to find work because of illness or disability will be helped to find a job, and working people will see their National Insurance cut by 2% - meaning a family with two earners on the average income will be £900 better off.
Click the link here to find out more about all this and more.
These are the decisions you can take when the economy is in good hands, and I'm absolutely delighted that ours is.