What the 2017 Budget means for Watford Families

Richard Harrington. MP for Watford, has today welcomed a budget that puts hard working families first by:

Giving Britain a pay rise. From April this year, the National Living Wage will rise from £7.20 to £7.50. This is £500 a year to a full time worker and will be a pay rise for 1.3 million people. Personal allowance (the amount you can earn before paying any tax) will rise to £11,500 from April, and the allowance will reach £12,500 by the 2019/20 tax year. The annual limit on investments into all ISAs will increase from £15,240 to £20,000. The new Lifetime ISA will also be available from next month, helping people to either save for their retirement or to buy their first home.

Helping parents return to work. The Government is investing £5 million to find ways to better support 'returnships' for people who want to return to work but are finding doors shut, in particular parents who want to return to work after raising children.

Providing extra help for pubs and small businesses. We’re providing extra relief for small businesses to help with the revaluation of business rates. The rate of Small Business Rate Relief is being doubled to 100%, and around 600,000 small businesses are being taken out of paying rates altogether. In 2017, small and medium sized pubs will also receive £1000 in business rates relief.

Investing in schools so that our children get the best start in life. £320 million to deliver up to 110 free schools, on top of the 500 already promised. The Government's flagship policy of Tax Free Childcare will be introduced next year as well, helping working families with the rising cost of child care. All pupils on free school meals will also be able to receive free travel to selective schools.

More funding for our local NHS services and Social Care. The Government is providing £2 billion for Social Care, as well as £325 million to improve NHS services locally, and £100 million for NHS A&E Triage Services. This is on top of the extra £10 billion committed by the Government for the NHS Five Year Forward Plan.

Freezing fuel duty to help household budgets and support small firms. We have frozen fuel duty for the seventh year in a row, a saving of £130 a year to the average driver and £350 a year to small businesses with a van.

Richard Harrington welcomed these provisions saying:

With the triggering of article 50 round the corner, there are understandably concerns about the economy in the face of so much uncertainty. There are many risks– our financial markets are volatile, productivity growth is too low and the outlook for the global economy is weak.

I have always believed that our country has the ability to bounce back from anything and the Chancellor’s speech proved just that. Our economy is strong, growing and resilient because of the action we have taken over the past seven years.

But we can’t stop there. That’s why we are taking steps to balance the books whilst building more schools, raising wages, helping savers, protecting our health services and supporting small businesses.  

This is a budget that puts hard working families first.”