Budget 2017: how your MPs responded

Reporter:

Josh Morris

The 2017 budget unveiled by the Chancellor Philip Hammond at Westminster came with several headline grabbing changes to how the nation’s finances are governed.

Many of the headlines were taken by the scrapping of Stamp Duty for first-time buyers of properties under £300,000 which only affects purchases in England.

The Chancellor also announced an extension of the freeze on fuel duty, giving motorists an effective tax cut worth £850 million.

The Chancellor also announced £3 billion worth of spending on making Brexit happen, and the start of discussions on a North Wales Growth Deal.

MP for Clwyd West, David Jones said: “The Conservative Government has continued to strengthen the economy to ensure a strong foundation.

“The opportunities presented by our departure from the European Union, changing markets, and challenges presented by an ageing population highlight the need to be agile, invest well, and remain competitive. The Chancellor’s budget provides strong assurance that the UK economy will be robust and fit for the future.

“I welcome the further £3 billion on top of the £700 million already committed to the Department for Exiting the European Union to prepare Britain for every possible eventuality, and ensure we prosper as we leave the European Union.

“I am particularly encouraged by the announcement of greater cross border opportunities, including the start of formal discussions for North Wales Growth Deal projects, further transport upgrades to the North Wales main railway line, the Wrexham to Bidston line, and further devolution deals that will benefit private businesses in Denbighshire.

David Jones MP also called for the Welsh government to follow the English lead on stamp duty (or the Land Transaction tax in Wales) and also encouraged the Welsh Government to invest it’s budget increase of £1.2 billion.

MP for Dwyfor Meirionydd, Liz Saville Roberts said: “This budget will intensify the squeeze on living standards, with growth, productivity and business investment revised downwards for the second budget in a row. There was nothing in the budget for Wales – no road upgrades, no rail infrastructure upgrades.

“In prolonging austerity well into the next decade and sticking to the most economically damaging form of Brexit, the squeeze on living standards will only get worse.

“Once again the Westminster Government has delivered a budget for one country instead of four, deliberately overheating the south east of England while Wales is left out in the cold.”

MP for Clwyd South, Susan Elan Jones spoke in Parliament today on the budget.

She said: “We now know the extent of the Tory’s UK’s Government policy failure. Debt has increased massively and the poor productivity figures are the worst this country has seen since the 1860s.

“Far from dealing with the basic problems, their seven year policy of cutting public services and infrastructure budgets has harmed our country and our economy, as well as caused suffering among the most vulnerable in our society.

“At a local level, there is still no action from them on the North Wales Growth Deal and there is no commitment for funding to end the public sector pay cap.

“Meanwhile, £3 Billion goes to fund the Brexit shambles - money that should be going towards our hospitals, schools and basic infrastructure.”

The office of Chris Ruane MP has been contacted.

Email:

josh.morris@nwn.co.uk

See full story in the Free Press

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