Bill Wiggin MP has welcomed the Budget as it provides the foundations for a stronger economy in North Herefordshire and the Country as we continue with an extraordinary recovery from the pandemic.

He was particularly pleased to see:

  • An increase in pay for the public sector, In particular our armed forces and NHS who did so much throughout the pandemic to help us all.
  • The biggest simplification of cider duty since 1923 and a change to way in which alchohol is taxed.
  • A cut in business rates by 50% next year for 90% of retail, hospitality, and leisure, and freezing all rates.
  • Over £270 million of local roads maintenance funding in the West Midlands between 2022-23 and 2024-25 (enough to fill over 1 million potholes a year, every year for  the next 3 years).
  • An increase in the National Living Wage to £9.50 an hour.
  • Building 10 Community Diagnostic Centres in the Midlands in 2021-22, which expand diagnostic capacity across the country whilst targeting investment at areas of deprivation.
  • £5 billion for Project Gigabit, rolling out gigabit capable broadband for homes and businesses across the UK. In particular, this continued roll-out will be welcome in North Herefordshire.
  • Over £2.6 billion for the UK Shared Prosperity Fund over the Spending Review, focused on helping people into jobs and supporting businesses across the UK.

Commenting Bill Wiggin MP said:

“ I welcome the Chancellors budget today that despite the unprecedented challenges caused by the pandemic, shows this Conservative Government is getting on with the job and delivering on the priorities of the British people.

It provided great news for our Cider makers and hop growers who will see the alcohol duty system become simpler and fairer.

For example, we will be cutting the tax on draught fruit ciders by 20 per cent. 

Until this new system is in place, we will freeze all alcohol duties for the third year in a row which translates to a tax cut for families worth £500 million every year.

The new Draught Relief will apply a new, lower rate of duty on draught beer and cider sold in large kegs over 40 litres – cutting duty by 5 per cent.

This will be the biggest cut to cider duty since 1923 and the biggest cut to beer duty for 50 years boosting British pubs by nearly £100 million a year

New cider makers will also benefit from a small craft producers’ relief.

Duty is due to be cut and cider will now be taxed on alcohol content equal to beer. This will cause some big changes but now we are on equal terms.

Cider was always at a 2p a pint disadvantage to beer previously.

There are of course challenges to producing cider and becoming profitable however, I believe this budget announcement will help promote the entrepreneurial spirit of drinks manufacturers that Herefordshire is famous for.

There were also some key announcements that will directly aid those in North Herefordshire.

This includes a significant tax cut for low-income families by reducing the Universal Credit taper rate from 63 per cent to 55 per cent and a 6.6 per cent increase in the National Living Wage to £9.50 an hour.

This will be giving a £1,000 pay rise to 2 million of the lowest paid as well as increasing pay for public sector workers.

Tax payers want to know that those on the lowest incomes are benefiting and people on Universal Credit will now find it even more worth their while to find work than before. 

I would like to see the taper continue down so that every extra pound earned made even more of a difference.

This budget was complicated and did not contain the tax cuts that many wanted to see. 

However by putting the NHS and our armed forces first and by making those on the most modest means better off he has reflected the mood of the Nation, in all parts of the United Kingdom.

With the various investments in infrastructure and training he has put in place the building blocks for even greater economic growth and he hinted about how, in future budgets, the burden of taxation can be lifted.

We have been through a global pandemic and we are emerging as the fastest growing economy in the G7 with employment far higher than even the most optimistic predictions, this budget will mean we can stay in the lead.”